The Bahia Mar Vote: Final Thoughts

The details of the Bahia Mar Community Center proposal are disturbing. Here's why:

PROPOSED BAHIA MAR COMMUNITY CENTER
IS NOT FOR "THE COMMUNITY"

Do our Commissioners realize that MOST if not all of their neighborhood associations will be excluded from using the Bahia Mar "Community" Center??

Only associations "within the greater Beach and/or Intracoastal area" will be allowed, according to the "Conditions of Approval" in the ordinance that's up for a vote tonight. In the Commission's backup materials, it says the center is for "official community groups from the GENERAL AREA." [Exhibit 1, Page 2]

That means the entire Northwest can sit at home and quietly pay their taxes, because they are excluded!

Look at the map below ... how many neighborhoods fit into the "greater Beach and/or Intracoastal area?" Who knows — it's not defined. Could Bay Colony use it? They are on the Intracoastal, but far away. Could Victoria Park use it? Where does the "greater" Beach area end?

To me, the intent is to limit use, not make it as broad as possible, because the room will remain a part of their hotel operation. (See text below)

DESCRIBE THE COMMUNITY CENTER — IN WRITING!

There is NO description of the Community Center in the "Conditions of Approval." The size ... the location ... it's NOT there! (The "Conditions of Approval" are part of the PUD ordinance.)

The only "descriptions" of the Center I've seen vary in both size and location!!

A developers' 2011 PowerPoint slide — certainly non-binding — shows a building on the north side of the hotel with a red arrow pointing to the top floor. (Image below) A year earlier, a slide pointed to the middle of that same building, where there would be NO westward view, and no floor was indicated. (Image below)

A 2010 developer's slide showed the Center at a flat 3,500 square feet. A 2011 slide says the center is "approximately" 3,500 square feet. But in the current City Commission backup materials, the Center has shrunk by 200 square feet. The stated size is now 3,301 square feet. [Commission "Exhibit 1, Page 2."] But the size is NOT specified in the all-important "Conditions of Approval!"

Our Commissioners should have this nailed down in writing BEFORE they vote.

RESTRICTIONS ON NEIGHBORHOOD USE OF "COMMUNITY" CENTER (Complete text below)

• Established neighborhood associations only
• Beach / Intracoastal area neighborhood associations only
• For monthly neighborhood meetings only
• Limited to 3 hours on 1 night per month per association
• Weekdays only
• 5 to 10 p.m. only
• 1 association per night only
• Reservations required
• Security deposit may be required "from time to time"

Enjoy your "Community Center."

— Cal Deal, 6/21/11


Who gets to use the "Community Center?" Map of Neighborhood Associations:

 

 

2011 PowerPoint Slide below shows Community Center at western end of this wing,
which is on the north side of the Bahia Mar hotel. Will it really be on the top floor
with a view toward the Intracoastal, as this indicates?

 

In 2010, their PowerPoint slide pointed to
the MIDDLE of that wing, not the west end.
Is it on the top floor?? Windows?
There's no indication.

 

In the June 21, 2011 backup materials, the Community Center has shrunk by 200 square feet.
(This is NOT part of the "Conditions of Approval.")

Commission Exhibit 1, Page 2

 

In November 2010, the developers' slide
said it would be 3,500 square feet.

 

Complete text of "Community Center" section
of Exhibit C, Conditions of Approval, which accompanies the ordinance:

3. Applicant shall make the Beach Community Center available to established
community neighborhood associations within the greater Beach and/or Intracoastal
area for their monthly neighborhood meetings. Such neighborhood associations may
reserve the facilities in advance on an individual association basis for up to three (3)
hours a month
on the same evening on a re-occurring basis up to 13 months in
advance (e.g., the third Thursday of every month from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for the
next 12 months for ABC Intracoastal Association and the second Tuesday of every
month from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for XYZ Beach Association).

Applicant shall make
the facilities available to such established neighborhood associations on an
advanced reservation only basis only during the week nights (and not on the
weekends) during the hours of 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. only, with only one
neighborhood association using the facilities each week night
.

There shall be no fee
for ·the use of the facilities (but a security deposit to off-set potential damage to the
facilities may be required
by Applicant from time to time as the case may be).

In addition, Applicant shall make the Beach Community Center available to City for
general municipal, CRA, BRAB, Commissioners' and other special meetings and
workshops that the City holds regarding the beach area from time to time. Applicant
shall make the facilities available to the City for such meetings and/or events up to
five (5) hours a day during the weekdays (and not during the weekends) on an
advanced reservation only basis between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Said five (5)
hours a day is in addition to the three (3) hours that certain neighborhood
associations may also reserve the facilities from time to time each weekday. There
shall be no fee for the City to use the facilities.

Since Applicant reserves the right to
use such facilities when not being used by established neighborhood associations

and/or the City as set forth above, the Applicant shall be responsible for all costs of
developing, maintaining, operating and repairing the Beach Community Center
including, but not limited to, electrical, water, cleaning, etc.

Notwithstanding the joint
use of the Beach Community Center by established neighborhood associations, the
City and the Applicant, it is the intention of the parties that the Beach Community
Center is primarily a facility for the use and enjoyment of the "public" as set forth
herein although the facilities will also be used by the Applicant through its hotel
operations.

The General Manager of the hotel controlled by Applicant shall maintain
the monthly schedule for use of the facilities and shall provide a copy to such
neighborhood associations and the City (Attn: Office of Mayor and City Commission;
City Manager; Director of Parks and Recreation; and Director of Public
Communications).

Finally, the Beach Community Center will not be available for use
by any neighborhood association and/or by the City five (5) days before the Boat
Show, during the Boat Show and five (5) days after the Boat Show; and during any
emergency at the Property which causes the facilities and hotel, or partial thereof, to
be closed.

Once the Beach Community Center is developed as part of Phase 2 of
the PUD Site Plan, the terms of this condition shall continue during the term of the
Existing Lease, New Lease and any amendment or extension thereto as set forth
above. This condition shall be stated in the revised lease amendment between City
and Applicant.

FortLauderdaleObserver.com

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Cal Deal
1317 SE 2nd Ave.
Fort Lauderdale 33316

(954) 295-3726

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and astonish the rest."

— Mark Twain