The letter to the editor on March 12 about the Original Save Our Beach (OSOB) sponsored referendum, a citizens' ballot initiative in which thousands of people participated as petitioners, was factually wrong.
The 55-foot height limitation was already in the Deerfield Beach Development Code before the Referendum. Many years ago fearing what would happen to the beach, building height limits were passed for the beach area. The accusation that the referendum is responsible for the 55-foot height limitation is false.
Also false is the accusation that the referendum was the cause of the Soleil 460 Condominium project failing and the property being sold to a drug rehab company. The truth is that this beautiful, unique project was enthusiastically and unanimously approved by the commission in April 2006, when I was the District 1 Commissioner. The claim that this project was denied is absolutely false.
The truth is the owners bought at the top of the market when they bought it in 2002!The truth is that by the time they wanted to build this condominium, the economy was tanking and they could not get financing. The property values across the country were dropping and many property “investors” who bought during the peak lost big time during the recession.
Accusing the referendum of causing the value loss of any property is ridiculous and completely false. The comment about having “no choice but to sell to…drug rehab facility” shows that property owners who choose this path are so greedy for an unrealistically high price for their properties and that they don’t care about their neighbors or the quality of life in the neighborhood. No one is forced to sell to anyone. Don’t blame the referendum, or the 75 percent of voters who voted for it, for a decision to sell to a drug rehab company.Far from stifling development, the current codes carefully encourage responsible, profitable development, as witness the many exciting new projects in the beach area. The owner of one of the new projects said he located his building in Deerfield Beach: “for its timeless qualities…low rise building landscape and its devotion to natural beauty,"
The residents of Deerfield Beach do NOT want the beach area to be OVER-developed. They do not want buildings built high and wide on the beach. They know if the current building codes that mandate larger building setbacks the higher the building goes are eliminated, we will be signing the death knell of the lovely gem of a beach that we have.Pam Militello, OSOB
Editor's note: here are 3 of the many new projects by the beach,
a Vacation Rental Building next to the Billabong...
and the Fordham...
these builders had no problems with the codes and all were supported by members of the OSOB.