Summer Hiatus?

Is Boca Raton’s government on a summer hiatus? Some would say YES….I say NO!!!

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This week while in City Hall for some ministerial items, I observed the video display in the first-floor lobby with most of the noticed meeting for boards and committees ‘cancelled’. That struck me as very odd….With all that is happening in this city you would think that these boards and committees would be overflowing with activities….Then, later in the week, I received the City’s agenda for the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), the City Council Workshop and the City Council Meeting. A review of these agenda supports the proposition that Boca Raton may be mentally shut down for the summer. Incredible!!!

BocaWatch reported last week that the CRA meeting took all of 18 minutes to complete. 18 minutes including the Pledge of Allegiance and the roll call….Can you imagine?

The Agenda for June 11th went a bit longer considering there was an item for approval of a temporary gravel-surfaced parking lot with 23 vehicular parking spaces for the employees of the Tower 155 construction project. Requiring this project to now jump through hoops for approval of a temporary parking lot is simply political folly. The Tower 155 project should have never been approved in the first place. It did not meet the code requirements and only after a twisted change of the controlling ordinance was it allowed to go forward. Residents have already suffered the impacts of this ill-fitting project. Not granting this parking lot request impacts the residents again and again….Enough said…stop the political posturing and accept the proposition that granting Tower 155 its initial approval was the actual cause of harm. Increasing the project’s impacts on the residents and shopkeepers more than is necessary only adds insult to injury.

The City Council, after an hour long debate, voted a 2 – 2 tie and the motion to grant the project a temporary parking facility died.

Prediction: Whatever parking spaces are available on the surrounding streets will now become parking for the projects workers…..Terrific solution!

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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.

4 COMMENTS

  1. You stated: “…City Council, after an hour long debate, voted a 2 – 2 tie…”
    Who voted in favor/against?

    At the most recent Planning and Zoning Board meeting, the developer stated that he will not need very many spaces once Tower 155’s garage is complete which should be done before the majority of construction workers are required.

    Developers and their construction companies should cease making their problems, the City’s and its’ resident’s problems.

    Thanks.

  2. Why doesn’t the developer arrange for an off site parking lot farther west, and
    have a company van transport most workers to and from that parking site?

  3. Tower 155 was approved before Scott Singer joined the City Council, but that approval was under Ordinance 4035 rules which has a lower maximum building height than the Interim Design Guidelines (IDG). In early 2015 Scott Singer helped the developer of Tower 155 by approving an ordinance to reduce the minimum parcel size for IDG compliance from 2.0 acres to 1.2 acres. The Tower 155 parcel is 1.25 acres.

    Take a look at the 1/12/2015 CRA meeting minutes and the 1/13/2015 Regular City Council meeting minutes for a picture of the voting. Ordinance 5289 changed the parcel size. Robert Weinroth and Scott Singer provided leadership in getting this approved.

    A point regarding the Tower 155 and Ordinance 5289 situation is that reducing the minimum parcel size from 2.0 to 1.2 acres for IDG compliance affects all parcels in the downtown and makes it easier for developers to build huge buildings on small lots and to bundle small lots to meet the 1.2 acre requirement for IDG compliance. So this is a gift that keeps on giving.

  4. At the CRA last week the vote to preserve a residential neighborhood went down as folllws:
    Acting Mayor Singer and Councilperson Rogers voted against City Staff recommendation to DENY Use – while Councilpersons O’Rourke and Mayotte voted along with both City Staff and residents request to deny special use.
    Chalk up a small win for the ‘little guy’ for the ‘good guy.’
    More on this later.

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