An Overdevelopment Tsunami is Coming to Boca Raton

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A BocaWatch reader requested us to provide additional details regarding the pro-development votes cast by Boca Raton City Councilman Jeremy Rodgers. Here is a link to the article:

https://bocawatch.org/boca-raton-election-candidate-voting-record/

Our response in the comment section of the referenced article caused quite a stir because of the huge number of condos, apartments and townhouses that have been approved for development by the City Council and are scheduled to be built in the near future. To put this in context, turning the City into high density completely violates Boca Raton’s Low Density Planning Directive, which states:

“The city council hereby declares that it adopts as a planning directive the conceptual goal that the city develop predominately as a low-density residential community, and that single-family owner-occupied residential units be encouraged, fostered and perpetuated as the major implementation tool to achieve such goal.” Boca Raton Code of Ordinances, Article IX Single-Family Residential Districts, Sec. 28-333.

Here is the text of our comment response to the BocaWatch article.

Following are Councilman Rodgers development YES votes. He voted YES to approve development of 2,470 multi-family residences and 394 hotel rooms.

These will be completed over the next several years, so the City has not felt the impact of this growth yet. Added to this problem are developments currently under construction that were approved before he was elected, such as Tower 155. Approval of any new residential development projects will further exacerbate the problem. His irresponsible voting YES on the above projects has created a tsunami that will further crush the City with more school overcrowding, more traffic, more parking problems and a reduced quality of life. What was he thinking?

And then there are his votes against the will of the residents who want to protect our waterfront parks from being commercialized.

Above is the text of the comment posted to a Bocawatch article. From this information is clear that Councilman Rodgers is not resident friendly and is motivated to help Boca Raton become a high density city without the infrastructure upgrades to sustain a high quality of life.

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Jim Wood is a 25-year citizen of Boca Raton. Upon arriving in Boca from Arizona, Jim and his family had a house built in Broken Sound in the western section of the City. After the last of their three children left for college Jim and Trish downsized and relocated to east Boca, where they have lived for 18 years. His volunteering activities include serving eight years on an advisory board in the City. Jim is a computer engineer who advanced into executive positions with telecommunications companies Siemens and Lucent. He holds undergraduate degrees in mathematics and management, a master’s degree in computer engineering and an MBA. He is also a veteran who served four years on active duty with the United States Air Force. His interests include cycling (A1A), guitar (acoustic) and cooking (healthy comfort food). He is a member of the Boca Raton Bicycle Club and the FAU Alumni Association.

11 COMMENTS

  1. University village vote was originally approved before Rodgers got there. It came back after he was elected, and he approved a change. The residential count went up 409 (NOT 849), but the commercial count was drastically reduced. that vote overall REDUCED daily trips by 1,687
    Source: http://bocaraton.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=9&clip_id=1176&meta_id=82691

    Boca Colonnade vote, was a conversion of previously approved Office development to residential .. REDUCING the daily trips by 774

    5500 Broken sound, rights approved 2013 planned mobility district (pre Rodgers). This site provided 35% open space vs 25% required.

    5201 congress, rights approved in 2013 planned mobility district (pre Rodgers). This site plan provided 41% open space, 25% was required.

    Mizner 200 vote (current council 5-0), besides having the support of all surrounding neighbors, forcing the developer to put small publicly accessible parks in the front, and being within code, it’s REPLACING 248 townhomes..that’s 136 more units, not 384 more. Also, condos tend to have less students and cars than townhouses.

    1 S ocean vote (current council 5-0), the guy who complains on here all the time, (Hendrey?) has written spoken in favor of this. he practically demanded council vote for it

    Math Error: 185 hotel rooms + 164 hotel rooms is 349 hotel rooms, not 394 hotel rooms.

    No one wants overdevelopment, but let’s at least try and be fair and look at the full picture instead of painting a false narrative.

    • Thomas- thanks for pointing the net effect of the development. Those figures posted by Mr. Wood create a distortion of the facts.

    • A review of the voting records for Andrea Levine O’Rourke and Jeremy Rodgers for CRA and City Council consent agendas, resolutions and ordinances, between April 18, 2017 and January 8 2018, indicates the following:
      Andrea Levine O’Rourke: 99 yes votes, 4 no votes and 1 recues.
      Jeremy Rodgers: 98 yes votes, 5 no votes and 1 recues.

      It seems that the so called “Pro Development” Rodgers has a remarkably similar voting record as does the “Citizen Friendly” Council member. How is that possible?

  2. Thomas, you are correct, I support 1 Ocean Palm on the corner of A1A and Palmetto, I live in the adjacent neighborhood. What was important to me and my neighbors was the developers willingness to work with us. We and he fashioned an agreement which is about half the original design. All we of like mind ask is inclusion in the process. We know Boca must grow, but, as has been in evidence, the developer sponsored candidates, like Rodgers, were so eager to build they took their eye of the ball neglecting schools, following City planning rules and listening to the public. Why is it unreasonable to ask it be done right?

  3. I wrote a comment last week requesting Mr. Wood detail his numbers and prove his position on Mr. Rodgers. I believe he does that here. The numbers Thomas provides are so exact one wonders if Thomas is not Mr Rodgers middle name. As I look at his response it changes nothing and seems to be sugar coating the numbers. Thomas recognizes Rodgers voting record in support of his development benefactors. I like Councilman Rodgers. I just think he is too eager to build and we need to slow down, evaluating the effects of what is in the building pipeline, Mr Wood’s tsunami of concrete.

  4. We can quibble about the math and the details of specific votes, but there is no doubt that Downtown Boca has been turned into a mini-urban center with LOTS more construction to come. Tower 155 rises so close to the lot line that they have had to close off lanes on adjacent roads and even shut down the Post Office for days so they can build it. An enormous building crammed onto a too small parcel, thanks to special treatment by a previous City Council. Via Mizner II and III and Mizner 200 will drastically change the corridor from S. Federal and Camino all the way up to SE Mizner and Royal Palm Road. One big high rise after another. Just come back in three years and you won’t recognize the place. And come back in three years and you will find that nothing has been done to improve the traffic mess in Boca. Sad but true.

  5. Jim, you’re an intelligent guy, but when you misrepresent facts to meet your own personal agenda, you tarnish your reputation. Clearly the above comments speak to that issue. The City Council was mandated to improve the quality of life in Boca Raton. I believe they are making an active effort to do so with EVERYBODY’s input in mind. The CRA was formed for that reason, and the rules are BEING FOLLOWED. Please look at the picture in a more global perspective. Of course, you also have other choices you may make, as we all do (no need to go over them in this forum), thank you.

    • Alan, you neglect to point out that the so-called rules being followed have been amended a number of times to accommodate developer interests. The CRA is far adrift from the original vision and the result has been detrimental on a number of levels.

  6. Ladies and gentlemen, I respectfully submit to you that: “The proof is in the pudding.”
    The variances granted by the ‘powers that be’ which have allowed for construction projects/buildings:
    Palmetto Promenade and Tower 155 speak for themselves. Better yet, IMHO they scream to the community how broken and corrupted Zoning application is. Now, don’t get me wrong this is not unique to Boca Raton – just take a ride to good old Miami Beach; you’ll see the same abuses.

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