Boca Beaches New Dune Line

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PUBLISHER’S COMMENT;

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

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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.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Jessica and Save Our Beaches has a mission we must all support. As a 34 year resident on the Barrier Island I was shocked the City Council made the “wrongheaded decision” to further develop our beaches. They forgot logic and common sense by failing to recognize our beach dunes protect thousands of residents.

    The national news forecast Boca was to take a direct hit with Irma. So, we dodged a possible class 5 hurricane …. this time. Irma’s storm surge pushed water into the Intracoastal breaching some of the sea walls on its west side. Water covered the streets of Miami. Just imagine what a 15 foot surge, as experienced in Hurricane Andrew, would do to our barrier island and the downtown as you view the graphs in the article above.

    I attended meetings where our Council granted a variance, an exception, to existing code by supporting a single property owner at the expense of many. There was no consideration for or appreciation of what our beach dune does for the whole of the city.

    But, we can show our appreciation for such blatant ignorance next March. Robert Weinroth is running for reelection. Robert voted for putting Barrier Island residents at risk.

  2. I have volunteered, many times, to chair or participate in a committee whose purpose would be to develop an inter-city solution to the problem of beach erosion. Beach re-nourishment, as we know it today, is the definition of insanity – Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. If anyone is serious about trying to solve this problem, I can be reached at jpanella@bellsouth.net.

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