MIDTOWN Boca…A Victory for the Residents!

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A heart felt thank you to the residents of Boca Raton who responded to BocaWatch’s  ‘call to action’ on the Midtown Boca second reading for ordinances that would permanently alter the quality of life in Boca Raton city wide.  The residents were nothing short of terrific and the outcome is a significant victory from a ‘resident friendly’ city council.

Yes, I said ‘resident friendly’!!!  Can you believe that???

Led by Councilwoman Andrea O’Rourke and seconded by Councilman Robert Weinroth, the City Council voted 4 – 1 (with only Mayor Haynie voting against) to ‘postpone’ further consideration of the entitlement ordinances requested by the Midtown Boca developers until at least March 27th and most probably longer.

City staff has now been instructed to investigate possibilities for a ‘small area master plan’ of the entire Midtown parcel; a plan that would give specific direction to the land owner/developers on what the city will allow them to develop before granting the developer entitlements to development without such details.

What took so long?

This is what the residents have requested for well over a year now; what the developers have been resisting with demands and threats resulting in a complete waste of their time and money.  Time and money that would have been better spent putting the plan together in the first place.

Kudos is in order for City staff’s strong directional compass setting the stage for this ‘resident friendly’ outcome.  Development Services Director Brandon Schaad has crafted documents addressing many of the items demanded by the developer.  Of particular note is the issue of how is the area to qualify as a Transit Oriented District if the Tri-Rail is not built.  How can you be a Transit Oriented District if there is no transit element in the district?  Logical question….

Kudo is also extended to the City Attorney who sat quietly for most of the meeting until the developer’s representative began to raise the threat of a legal challenge arguing that further delay would be tantamount to a ‘taking’ and that imposing conditions like requiring a Tri-Rail or requiring that infrastructure be in place is ‘unconstitutional’.  The City Attorney’s response to these threats was impressive.  Basically she argued that the representative’s interpretation of the law was incorrect and her tone and temperament ended what was an out-of- control argument during Council’s deliberations between the developer and Councilwomen O’Rourke; behavior that should have been reined in by the Mayor; behavior she who would never have allowed a resident.

Perhaps the most impressive moment of the evening was when Councilwoman O’Rourke asked the developer’s attorney how could it be said that adding 2500 residential units would not add to the traffic issues of the area.  The silence was deafening….such a telltale moment!!!

At any rate, the item has been postponed; a ‘master’ plan will be ordered and the residents will finally have an opportunity to have meaningful input in determining the outcomes affecting their quality of life….

Stay tuned…BocaWatch will keep you posted as developments change….but for now, thank you for your responsiveness, for your interest and for your voice.

Remember, your vote is your voice; Let your voice be heard for resident friendly outcomes in the March 2018 ballot box!!!

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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.

12 COMMENTS

  1. As I continue to say, Andrea can’t do it alone. We need to support Monica and get more neighborhood friendly representation in City Hall!
    The more I see of Kim the more I’m interested. She’s right on schools and might be a good way to fill the empty seat Rogers has occupied for the Chamber and developers. Just watch the money! What pigsty does Rogers frequent?
    It’s your City… let’s give Kim a look. Think we might like what we find!

  2. You have really made a difference Andrea. Thank and for your well thought out objections to this deve!oper madness with their Mid Town pipe dreams. Thank you.

  3. Jeremy voted to protect the beach from development. He said NO to beach mansions. He voted in favor of capping the B1 height limit at 30 feet. He has shown himself to be a good fiscal steward of our dollars. He extracted major concessions from developers to get green space. Jeremy Rogers is not a career politician – quite the contrary – he serves to serve the interests of the community at large.

  4. Ian…. check the record…
    1. Funded mostly by the developers and the Chamber. There’s a reason!
    2. He has done nothing but throw away “safe” votes that didn’t matter. He continues to amount to nothing. He abandoned us on 770. He might as well vote here!
    You’ll only get what he’s paid for… It’s simple…Andrea has done more in a years than he’s done in his whole term!

  5. Mr MacDougall, thank you for the kind words!

    Mr Gagliardi,
    I *STILL* don’t think you’ve named a single vote of mine yet over *3 years* you haven’t liked?? Usually people are happy with someone who lines up with them 80% of the time.
    I advocated heavily and early for all of those votes. Line up against the one guy who advocated strongly, against the development community, for your issues — brilliant. As Ian mentioned, I also PUSHED REPEATEDLY to get the beach B1 height limited to 30ft permanently. That’s something we accomplished. Ask your RCA president about that one. Otherwise you’d be looking at 5-10 more projects coming forward looking for more density and 50 ft on palmetto just one block over from your multi million dollar beach mansion.
    Funded mostly by developers and the chamber? Can you elaborate? The vast majority of my donations come from individuals in the community who care about our community.. You’re driving another false Boca Watch narrative. Here’s the raw data for people to judge for themselves: https://www.myboca.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/9757. Look through it all … ZERO chamber dollars in there thus far Mr Gagliardi, so please Fact check yourself . Again. Please.
    I’ve got broad support from the community. Businesses, as well as most residents, appreciate a thoughtful, stable, honest representative.
    There is clearly no changing your made-up mind, but for the love of honesty, Boca residents, do your own research and recognize some people and authors here have an agenda, and its not necessarily in line with what’s best for the city.

  6. Is your arm getting tired from patting your back….I hope you believe that garbage..
    .
    I’ve seen the same numbers that were on Boca Watch a week or so ago…. you were a Chamber guy.. your dontiions are decidedly developer…Give us one vote where the vote went against the developers and you were that vote…….
    I first saw you in action as you supported the long list of exceptions that were approved for 770…. which were reversed in the Courts.
    You support our Mayor remaining in office. She has become the laughing stock of Palm Beach County. From cab driver to lawn care to City employees to local grocery stores… their laughing at you. You endorsed her for County Commission.
    She needs to go deal with her “situation”.
    As I’ve said…. when you swim in a pigsty…
    You being to smell like a pig.
    Believe me… I know your development/Chamber friends wont let you loose. We’re stuck with you….
    I plan on taking a look at your opponent!

  7. Dear Councilman Rodgers,
    Your comments appear to call into question the BocaWatch analysis of contributions for your campaign. We welcome you to provide your own analysis, publicly, as we have done. For our analysis we categorize the following: Legal; Development Community; Other Business; PAC; and Individuals. This leaves us with a 19% total cash contribution from individuals for your campaign. Our Gross numbers exclude candidate contributions and in-kind contributions that, if included, would yield an even lower percentage from individuals. We stand by our numbers and analysis.
    It appears to us at BocaWatch that you ‘doth protest too much’.

  8. Chris, i have better things to do than sit around putting people into buckets. I’ll refer again to the raw reports: https://www.myboca.us/1438/Jeremy-Rodgers for anyone interested . The biggest protest point was on Mr Gaglardi’s “funded by the chamber” comment. It sounds liek you’ve done the math, can you let me know how much chamber funding is in my campaign at this time? Thanks!

    All residents and local businesses are welcome to chip in here to help get the positive message out: http://donate.electrodgers.com/

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