City Commission meeting, June 21, 2011Sentinel's short story

As the Bahia Mar discussion got under way, maybe 20 citizens were in the audience — and most said nothing on the issue. The first two rows at right are the developer’s people, and many of the others seen here are city staff.

 

T he most startling thing about Tuesday night’s City Commission meeting was the empty seats. Are the people happy with the plan? Indifferent? Unmotivated? Who knows. But for an issue of such importance, it was remarkable. Commissioner Rodstrom was the only “no” vote on the PUD ordinance. She seemed to base that largely on the proposed 100-year lease, which she considers a violation of the City Charter — the clear intent of which is to limit Bahia Mar leases to 50 years. (The Commission is considering a work-around that would use a 50-year lease “extension.”) Commissioner Roberts got all indignant about any suggestion that the other Commissioners would doing something unethical or improper if they back the 100-year lease. Roberts said its “a plan and a product ... that’s good for the entire city.” Leasing out Bahia Mar for 100 years may be technically legal, but it will be spitting in the eye of the City Charter, I think. Commissioner Bobby DuBose seemed pleased to approve the ordinance — even though NONE of his neighborhoods will be allowed to use the “Community” Center. It’s for Beach-area neighborhoods only. (I am struck by the fact that next month we will be marking the 50th anniversary of the “wade-in” in which blacks successfully fought banishment from the beach.) The Community Center is really a hotel meeting room that they’ll let us use from time to time. Don’t you dare hang a picture in there or put up any other form of permanent community decoration — it’s not ours. Commissioner Rogers was worried about the parking. The developers’ chart shows parking virtually maxxed out during the peak evening hour. Rogers said he doesn’t know any business person whose ever regretted having too much parking, and wondered if the developers might consider adding a floor to the parking garage. Developer’s spokesman Preston Henn explained why that would be a problem. I wish Rogers had showed the same concern about parking when he voted to approve the South Andrews Master Plan, which tossed out the parking garage plan — approved by the Commission in 2004 — in favor of parking reductions. South Andrews already is plagued by businesses with inadequate parking, and I expect the new master plan supported by Rogers will add to that. Mayor Seiler called the plan “a good balance” and says we’re “starting to take back the property” by getting a 0.8-acre park with no facilities that’s  an 1,100-foot walk from A1A. Sadly, we will be “STARTING” to take back the property for 100 years if he has his way.  	T he most startling thing about Tuesday night’s City Commission meeting was the empty seats. Are the people happy with the plan? Indifferent? Unmotivated? Who knows. But for an issue of such importance, it was remarkable. Commissioner Rodstrom was the only “no” vote on the PUD ordinance. She seemed to base that largely on the proposed 100-year lease, which she considers a violation of the City Charter — the clear intent of which is to limit Bahia Mar leases to 50 years. (The Commission is considering a work-around that would use a 50-year lease “extension.”) Commissioner Roberts got all indignant about any suggestion that the other Commissioners would doing something unethical or improper if they back the 100-year lease. Roberts said its “a plan and a product ... that’s good for the entire city.” Leasing out Bahia Mar for 100 years may be technically legal, but it will be spitting in the eye of the City Charter, I think. Commissioner Bobby DuBose seemed pleased to approve the ordinance — even though NONE of his neighborhoods will be allowed to use the “Community” Center. It’s for Beach-area neighborhoods only. (I am struck by the fact that next month we will be marking the 50th anniversary of the “wade-in” in which blacks successfully fought banishment from the beach.) The Community Center is really a hotel meeting room that they’ll let us use from time to time. Don’t you dare hang a picture in there or put up any other form of permanent community decoration — it’s not ours. Commissioner Rogers was worried about the parking. The developers’ chart shows parking virtually maxxed out during the peak evening hour. Rogers said he doesn’t know any business person whose ever regretted having too much parking, and wondered if the developers might consider adding a floor to the parking garage. Developer’s spokesman Preston Henn explained why that would be a problem. I wish Rogers had showed the same concern about parking when he voted to approve the South Andrews Master Plan, which tossed out the parking garage plan — approved by the Commission in 2004 — in favor of parking reductions. South Andrews already is plagued by businesses with inadequate parking, and I expect the new master plan supported by Rogers will add to that. Mayor Seiler called the plan “a good balance” and says we’re “starting to take back the property” by getting a 0.8-acre park with no facilities that’s  an 1,100-foot walk from A1A. Sadly, we will be “STARTING” to take back the property for 100 years if he has his way.  	— Cal Deal, 6/26/11

 

 

Romney, MJ and Julie,  Will someone tell me why I don't have an answer to my question about the parking space giveback?? After six days!  Cal   Begin forwarded message:  From: Cal Deal <caldeal@gate.net> Date: June 17, 2011 1:23:26 PM EDT To: MJ Matthews <MMatthews@fortlauderdale.gov>, Julie Richards <JuRichards@fortlauderdale.gov> Subject: Fwd: Bahia Mar  Someone should be able to answer this off the top of their head. Who is responsible for answering? This is Day 3.  Cal    Begin forwarded message:  From: Cal Deal <caldeal@gate.net> Date: June 17, 2011 9:24:05 AM EDT To: MJ Matthews <MMatthews@fortlauderdale.gov> Cc: "Julie Richards" <JuRichards@fortlauderdale.gov>, "Romney Rogers" <RRogers@fortlauderdale.gov> Subject: Re: Bahia Mar  Can I have an answer, please?  Cal   On Jun 14, 2011, at 9:36 AM, MJ Matthews wrote:  Good morning, Julie.  Will you kindly forward Mr. Deal's inquiries below to staff for a response?  With sincere thanks,  MJ Matthews, JD Assistant to Commissioner Romney Rogers City of Fort Lauderdale - District IV 100 N. Andrews Ave. Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 954-828-5028 direct 954-828-5003 main 954-828-5667 fax mmatthews@fortlauderdale.gov  -----Original Message----- From: Cal Deal [mailto:caldeal@gate.net] Sent: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 9:22 AM To: MJ Matthews Subject: Bahia Mar  Hi MJ,  I would like to find out:  Is it correct that the city parking director will have the authority to return all 80 public parking spaces on Bahia Mar to the applicant? That no City Commission review or citizen review is required? That's how I understand the ordinance (Conditions of Approval, Section 2, Para 2).  Cal

 

The developers' team of experts and whatnot.

 

Fred Carlson addresses the Commission as empty seats stare.

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Cal Deal
1317 SE 2nd Ave.
Fort Lauderdale 33316

(954) 295-3726

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