Tonight’s P&Z meeting sounded like a group of members of the Save Boca Raton Green Space organization as this tag line “Save Boca Raton Green Space” was touted by multiple speakers in opposition to the approved rezoning of the property located at the Intracoastal and Palmetto Park Rd.  Several residents stated that this property was acquired several years ago by the city after the residents supported the expansion of the Silver Palm Park by acquiring the property. 

But, tonight’s P&Z meeting appears to be paving the way for city leaders to ignore the swelling residential opposition to a restaurant at this location.  Some residents do not believe that the city should be subsidizing a private restaurant business, nor should the city be involved as a landlord per their proposed leasing of the land to the owner of a Houston’s restaurant.

A primary concern of residents was traffic in the area of Palmetto Park Rd. & 5th Ave. which is already congested, yet the city staff did not seem too concerned about the additional 7,000+ trips/day that could potentially impact the area due to the rezoning.  The city staff & traffic engineer noted that the city traffic studies go by the book, but this book does not take into account real world situations, such as bridge or railroad closings in the area. 

Yes, that is right, approved traffic studies do not take into account the opening of the bridges over the intracoastal, nor do traffic studies consider the closing of railroad crossings.  This is certainly applicable to the area near the old Wildflower site, BUT this is an even larger issue as the city is expected to support the All Aboard Florida expansion that one day “could” add a stop in downtown Boca Raton.  In exchange for a rail station the city is ready to further snarl traffic with the over 30 additional trains running through the city which will not be considered in traffic studies on future development.

Obviously this meeting transcript helps to clarify why the city of Boca Raton is looking similar to the gridlock in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, that is, poor traffic planning due to purposely ignoring real world impacts on traffic in our community – Shame on City Staff for Not Being Forthright In Their Traffic Presentations!