Like some nations enjoy ‘favored nation’ status on the world stage with the United States, some developers seem to enjoy ‘favored developer’ status on the local Boca Raton stage.

Favored Developer Status in Boca Raton?

Who has it? How do you get it?

Are there favored developers in Boca Raton? Is there a difference in treatment from favored developers versus those that do not enjoy favored developer status. Looking at the decisions made it might seem that way. Below are a series of photos demonstrating the simple proposition that different developers are treated differently in at least one respect.

The Alina project in the downtown on Mizner Blvd. south of Palmetto Park Rd., arguably not a ‘favored’ development with the City Council over the last two years, was cited for not adhering to the OSHA regulation and city ordinance in its original treatment of sidewalk overhead protections and lighting requirements at their construction site. The Alina developer was made to construct the appropriate scaffolding and lighting protections necessary to meet code.

However, two other projects currently in construction also in the downtown, Tower 155, also on Mizner Blvd just north of Palmetto Park at Boca Raton Road, and, the Via Mizner hotel/condominium project on Federal Hwy. just north of Camino Real on the east side, seem not to be in compliance with the same regulation and/or local ordinance. Yet these projects are proceeding apparently without being require to construct the scaffolding and lighting protections required of the Alina project.

 

Disparate treatment, for sure!!! Why???

One additional pet peeve with regards these same projects….

Off site parking was the subject of a major political upheaval last year with Tower 155’s request to utilize the empty lot across from their project for parking to compensate for the lack of on site parking and staging area. The City Council, with only 4 voting members at the time, rejected the request for the project’s use of the vacant lot. Singer and Rodgers voted to allow; O’Rourke and Mayotte voted against.
(See BocaWatch article: ‘Tower 155’s Got a Lot to Improve‘ June 21, 2018 by Jim Wood)

 

If memory serves me correctly, staff, at the time responding to Council Member O’Rourke argument that the parking lot should not be allowed to make up for the lack of on-site parking, stated that the use of the lot for temporary parking was prohibited. Staff also stated that the use of other parking lots like the St. Gregory lot across from Tower 155 project would also be prohibited. Yet, the St. Gregory parking lot is providing parking every day from 7:00 A.M. on. This parking has been allowed to proceed for the last 6 months or so without further incident or City Council action.

Disparate Treatment, again!!!

The City Council and City Administration can only be seen as inconsistent with the treatment of some developers versus others; an unacceptable situation.

No wonder some developers have turned to the courts for relief.

Al Zucaro
Publisher of BocaWatch

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Alfred Zucaro has resided in Palm Beach County since 1982 and has been a resident of Boca Raton since 2008. A graduate of Fordham University, he holds a Magna Cum Laude degree in Economics. Mr. Zucaro attended Nova University receiving a Juris Doctorate Law Degree in 1986. He is a member in good standing with the Florida Bar, practicing in the area of Immigration Law for the majority of his career. Currently he is manager/member of Palm Beach Investment and Finance LLC, a USCIS approved regional center identifying foreign investment leading to permanent resident status. Mr. Zucaro served as a City Commissioner in West Palm Beach from 1995 to 2002 and as the President of the City Commission in 2000/2001. He has also been a member of and/or served on the Economic Council, the Business Development Board, the Film and Television Commission, the Tourist Development Council, the Workforce Alliance and the Palm Beach International Film Festival. Of particular interest is his founding of the World Trade Center Palm Beach, an organization that focuses on international economic development. Married to Yvonne Boice, they are avid world travelers having visited 6 continents and dozens of countries since their 2008 nuptials.

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