Boca Raton Needs to Learn From Ft. Lauderdale

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The City to the south is planning a transformation of its central beach areas to urban green space.  Their projects include an oceanfront park with water features and an Intracoastal Waterway promenade.   Representatives of EDSA design firm have put plans together for the City. The design work includes several open park areas and sidewalk and street improvements along portions of Las Olas Blvd and A1A.  Mayor Jack Seiler said, “I’m much more excited and enthusiastic about this plan” now that I can see “the whole concept, the whole flow”.  The City’s oceanfront parking will be relocated  to north of Las Olas with the former parking lot turned into a park, with an open grass area that can host special events, two water features including a youth play area, a sandy palm area that would provide a respite from the heat, etc.  Commissioner Dean Trantalis said “I like the idea of transforming the parking lot into an activity area, we are creating more and more green space here.”

 

And Boca Raton is doing what? Our City, up until now only considered a brick and mortar chain restaurant for “our property” at the Wildflower site. It’s now officially an idea from times past.  For several months, we have been asking for active green space on this site but our city leaders have not been listening.

Our only idea to include parks in the downtown is one proposed by P&Z member, Glen Gromann, for “pocket parks”.  What’s that… a bench for 1 with 1 shrub?  We must think creatively where ALL TAXPAYERS have access to our property.

Suggestion:

A Call to Action – let’s put sod down, clean up the palm trees and place picnic tables on the site.  Let’s remove the chain fence & No Trespassing signs which have been denying us, taxpayers, our property for over 6 years and…..LET’S GET IT DONE NOW….

 

Referenced October 13, 2015 Sun Sentinel article by Larry Barszewski here

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Nancy and James Hendrey arrived in Boca Raton 32 years ago as IBMers. From Hawaii to Dallas to Atlanta and Boca, for them, IBM meant "I've Been Moved". In 1988 they chose to leave IBM management and take an employee "buyout" and start their own business. Twenty-five years later they chose to retire and stay in place. "With our previous experience as teachers, sales professionals, product developers, advertising managers, small business owners and real estate developers, we both have unspent energy, especially when it comes to protecting the city we love."

7 COMMENTS

  1. As chairperson of the city of Boca Raton’s Green Living Advisory Board (GLAB), it would be my pleasure to discuss this topic at out next meeting, November 10, 8:00am at City Hall. The public is invited to attend. The board can discuss ideas for a park and vote to present our ideas to city council in a timely manner.

    The mission of GLAB is to advise city council on how residents can live a greener, more sustainable lifestyle. I believe a discussion of a park at the Wildflower site falls within our jurisdiction.

    Keep an eye on the city website to monitor meeting time changes. Feel free to contact me about the meeting,

  2. As a 35 year resident of Boca Raton I do believe that a park would be the best use of the former “Wildflower” site. Let us keep Boca Raton as pristine as possible. We are among the lowest taxed municipalities in Florida, we do not have to develop this site into a tax revenue source.

  3. There appears to be plenty of good alternate available restaurant space east of Federal Highway – with much more currently under construction. No need to put a restaurant on a piece of property purchased by the City for a park.

  4. Consensus, Cooperation and Compromise is how we can get things done. Not speaking for the City or anyone else, I continue to support the idea of “pocket parks” In our Downtown regardless of any other pending issues or ideas. These are not designed to be “small” but to rather utilize green space effectively and to provide possible “transit-Downtowner” type stops. Sanborn Square is a good example of a large pocket park. I think these are win-win ideas but they have to be paid for in some way. Developers can contribute but the City needs to be fiscally sensible. I applaud the “Waterfront” Master Plan idea. Residents probably agree on more than they disagree and this is a good start. I hope we can stay positive.

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