Boca’s Hidden Valley Residents Win!

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Publisher’s Comment:

Welcome to 2018….’Resident Friendly’ may now be the order of the day. The P&Z Board’s considered analysis and negative recommendation with this golf course re-development request to replace recreation with residential is a breath of fresh air for the residents of Hidden Valley, specifically, and all city residents, generally. Kudos is extended to these board members that are now acknowledging the ‘quality of life’ impacts of unfettered development.

P&Z is the most influential appointed city board in advancing development issues. Just a few weeks ago, this Board recommended against the Midtown development project’s request for 2500 residential units; a recommendation that is now at the City Council for affirmation. This Hidden Valley recommendation of denial of the developer’s rezoning request represents another significant advancement of the notion that development is good when balanced with quality of life. The residents for years now have been screaming this message. The message seems to have been heard.

Political winds have shifted; Developer interests are no longer to be the ultimate driver!!! Political will demands ‘ resident friendly’ results!

What say you City Council???

Remember folks….your vote is your voice; Let your voice be heard loudly in the City, County and School Board elections of 2018!!!

Elect ‘Resident Friendly’ candidates….that is the American Way to bring about change.

Al Zucaro, Publisher

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On January 4, 2018 Boca Raton’s Planning and Zoning Board voted to recommend against rezoning the Hidden Valley golf course property from recreation to residential.  This is a significant win for the residents of Hidden Valley, who filled the hearing chambers and voiced their concerns regarding the proposed residential project.

The proposed project would develop 101 houses on the golf course property. The residents argued that the project would add an unacceptable amount of vehicle traffic to an already overcrowded infrastructure and would decrease open space at a time when Boca is experiencing loss of open space to development. Another concern is with the impact to Boca’s schools, many of which are over their designed capacity. The Palm Beach County School Board advised that it could not guarantee that children of the proposed development would attend Boca schools.

City Staff also raised concerns about the comprehensive plan impacts of increased traffic and loss of open space and recommended that the P&Z Board vote to recommend against approval of the proposed project. The P&Z Board responded to the Staff and residents’ concerns and voted against approval. In particular, a proposed ordinance to amend the Comprehensive Plan was not recommended for approval by a 5-0 vote and a proposed ordinance to rezone the property from recreation to residential was not recommended for approval by a 4-1 vote with P&Z Board member Rick Coffin casting the only YES vote. Three resolutions concerning site plans were defeated by 4-1 votes with Rick Coffin voting for approval.

Next step in the approval process is a hearing by the City Council where they will consider the P&Z Board’s recommendations.  Stay tuned to BocaWatch for date and time of any upcoming City Council action(s) on this ‘over-development’ matter.

Another issue the City Council need consider within this request:

A number of resident speakers at the P&Z meeting complained about the condition of the former golf course property. Due to lack of maintenance of the property by the owner, public safety issues are occurring. For example, FPL trucks cannot access their facilities to prevent or repair outages due to ground conditions on the golf course property.

More to come…Congratulations to the residents!!!  ‘Resident Friendly’ results are winning the day

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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.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Congrats on this great win! But, you have to stay on top of it; don’t rest on your laurels because the developers will continue to come back with different proposals. Make sure your elected officials actually represent you, the residents, and not the developers. I say this as someone who fought for 10 years to preserve our golf course, our green space, that we paid a premium to be on. Eventually, the PBC commission voted in favor of development. PBC P&Z is very cozy with developers. But, for 8 out of the 10 years, P&Z recommended against development of our golf course. Eventually, the developers came with a plan P&Z could get behind. Don’t let that happen to you.

    • The political make-up of the PBC Commission changed which is what allowed the approval of the development on the Camino Real golf course. You are absolutely correct that this is not over for the residents of Hidden Valley who need to be proactive at the upcoming city council elections in March in order to make sure that resident-friendly candidates are elected.

  2. No real winners here. Fact is the plan was submitted by an arbitrage group not a respected Developer like Toll Brothers. This project should have been voted down but not for the reasons suggested. Contributions needed to be made for roads, etc. This is not open space but a failed dilapidated golf course, it will continue to drag down property values until redeveloped. The residents should be careful what they wish for. Right now the market for anything in Boca is $550K and up. That is because the economy is good. Boca Teeca buildings nearby are a valuation disaster of the past to show you how things can go wrong. Don’t be surprised as the winds of politics change that there becomes a sudden push for “workforce” (low income) housing where either the State and County take the City options away. And on the subject of golf courses and them failing everywhere unless taxes doubled the City is not bailing this property out like Boca Teeca golf course which will lose money hand over fist in perpetuity.

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