Keeping the OVER developers from ruining the quality of life of Deerfield Beach is how I became interested in City Hall. I was a part time resident in 1993 when we bought our first place here near the beach, and now am a full time resident. The commission and city manager in 1999, when I first started to question what was happening to the beach area, were kissy-poo with every developer who wanted to use our beach for personal profit.I learned about the OSOBs and happily joined them in their fight to keep the main beach parking lot from being turned into a commercial development, and have been working with them to keep the beach area from worse traffic and congestion ever since. Not an easy job, however (see the OSOB time line, www.originalsaveourbeach.org ) with help from residents in all districts our efforts have paid off.
Mayor Robb wants to undo our protections for the beach. She has said many times that she wants to allow land owners to be able to build without the restrictions put in place after residents were shocked by the massive Tiara East building and wanted nothing like that on the beach again. The then commissioners, forced by the public, put lot coverage and height limits on beach building.The commission with Al Capellini and Peggy Noland and from what I saw, controlled by City Manager Larry Deetjen did away with those limits to benefit a developer. But, remembering what happened in the past, the again shocked residents, through referenda signed by thousands of residents and voted into the charter, restored the building codes.
Mayor Robb’s lame excuse that allowing curb to curb buildings on beach lots will eliminate the drug rehab houses is laughable. All cities are beset by these ADA protected facilities; codes have nothing to do with it. Mayor Robb’s support for doing away with the beach building codes after she supported the OSOB past efforts, and has always been a voice against overdevelopment is puzzling.I and thousands of residents and members of the OSOBs, will fight her efforts to change the codes.
I spoke against her effort to thwart the Sullivan Park renewal and the Cove Shopping Center parking lot upgrade. Happily, the other four commissioners also disagreed with her and we now have both projects going forward.
As of this moment I believe our commissioners are on the right track with development in the city, if my thinking changes you will read it right here.Do I support Bill Ganz? Yes, of course, as he has the fiscal and quality of Deerfield Beach upper most in his mind, he wants what is best for the city.
Do I support Ben Preston? Yes, and in a future post you will see the many reasons why.Do I support Joe Miller? Well, that road was much rockier for me; however Joe has learned a lot in his time on the commission and is now looking at everything from the viewpoint of what is best for the beach and the whole city.
Richard Rosenzweig is new to the commission, however he is strong in his belief that the city should be for the residents, and they are the ones he answers to.We now have a commission who is not in favor of development for the developers gain, but development that enhances the city and adds to the quality of its life. This is a far cry from the commissions of the past when the public was scorned and belittled and behind the door deals were the norm.