Residents have been up in arms about over-development in Boca Raton. One of the most outrageous issue over the last year is the possible beach development at 2500 and 2600 N. Ocean (A1A)…..Hurricane IRMA has unequivocally demonstrated the folly of allowing development on Boca Raton’s beach. Jessica Gray’s article below clearly shows how the ‘pre’ and ‘post’ DUNE Lines have shifted; effecting directly these planned beach building projects. This month’s Coastal Star reports that the Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District is considering Eminent Domain to prevent these building projects from moving forward. Eminent Domain, if employed, will eventually result in a judicial determination of value. With the post IRMA Dune line, these lots ought be viewed as unbuildable and hence worth considerably less. The City Council, last year in a 4 – 1 vote with only Councilman Jeremy Rodgers voting to protect the beach, was the root cause for this development threat to Boca’s beach (Council member O’Rourke did not participate in this vote as she had not yet been elected to the council). The City Council should join the Beach and Park District to make sure that our pristine beach is not developed now or forever into the future.
Al Zucaro, Publisher
Even though Hurricane Irma did not have a direct hit on Boca Raton, the beaches and barrier islands did not escape her wrath. High seas, storm surge and wind pushed waves and sand into the dunes before, during and after the storm, creating a new dune line.
This week Boca Save our Beaches was able to view, first hand, the devastation the dunes encountered. “The city of Boca Raton suffered several million dollars worth of damage to its beaches from Hurricane Irma,” Mayor Susan Haynie said. http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/after-hurricane-irma-boca-beaches-suffered-millions-damage/EQ3HAg2ZoMg7hqmsYpKwvK/
The highly-disputed beach renourishment project that Boca Raton completed before turtle season was in full swing, has gone out the window. Due to natural erosion from Irma, the beaches in Boca have a significantly smaller width. Divers claim that there is still low visibility from all of the silt and sand turned up during Irma, which hit more than a month ago.
If the controversial 2500 and 2600 N. Ocean Blvd. did have homes built on top of the dunes, the homes would be blanketed in sand. “The dunes got crushed,” said Chrissy Gibson, city spokeswoman http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/after-hurricane-irma-boca-beaches-suffered-millions-damage/EQ3HAg2ZoMg7hqmsYpKwvK/
Dunes protect the barrier island community, and it is in the community’s best interest to preserve them. Although we are thankful that the eye of Irma did not make a direct landfall in Boca Raton, we need to start planning for future instances, and take a stand to say no to beach development.