The Fight to Save our Beaches

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Publisher’s Comment:  Regarding 2500 N. Ocean, BocaWatch has been reporting on this matter for over two (2) years now.  Faults raised in today’s article falls directly at the collective feet of Suspended Mayor Susan Haynie and Acting Mayor Scott Singer. In a December 14, 2015 article titled  “Fights worth Fighting”, BocaWatch reported the arguments that Haynie and Singer offered for granting variances to the developer; variances that established an entitlement to what was then an unbuildable lot into a lot with an asking price in the tens of millions.  A second article titled “Misleading or Incompetence” published on November 28, 2016 further analyzes these extremely costly circumstances. Readers are encouraged to use the BocaWatch search engine above to bring up these articles and review.   Haynie and Singer’s political judgments, their disregard for the residents’ call to not entitle the lot, and their ‘developer friendly’ results are simply unacceptable and troubling. At this time, the City Council will need to carefully consider the arguments identified by Jessica Gray in today’s article and any other legally defensible arguments that may be identified in reviewing the facts of this matter to prevent further developer threat to Boca Raton’s pristine beach.    Al Zucaro, Publisher

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Narrative:

Last week, Boca Raton’s Beach and Parks District announced they will not be purchasing 2500 and 2600 N Ocean due to lack of funds and their $42+ million commitment to Ocean Breeze Golf Course. The property owners of 2500 N Ocean and 2600 N Ocean are asking for a sum around $20M per lot.

Wondering out loud, who has an extra $40 million laying around? Meanwhile both properties were appraised in 2017 via Palm Beach County’s Property Appraiser for no more than $150,000.

The owners of 2500 N Ocean and 2600 N Ocean individually purchased the unbuildable lots for less than $1 million while they were in foreclosure. However, in 2015 – City Council granted a lot width variance to 2500 N Ocean Blvd, deeming the lot buildable, with the exception of Jeremy Rodgers who voted against oceanfront mansions. Due to this variance, the property values have skyrocketed as the lots turned from an unbuildable lot into a buildable lot.

Although not on the agenda yet, both properties, will come before City Council for a final CCCL variance. This yes or no vote will say – yes build on the beach, or no do not build on the beach. We need Council to vote NO when these parcels come up for review and put this to rest.

In the City’s Code of Ordinances, it states: “The city hereby adopts the county coastal construction control line as established by the department of environmental protection, as specified under F.S. § 161.053, and recorded in the public records of the county in plat book 80, pages 137 through 155. Seaward of the established coastal construction control line no person shall:

(a) Construct any structure whatsoever;
(b) Make any excavation;
(c) Remove any beach materials or otherwise alter existing ground elevations;
(d) Drive any motor vehicle”

https://library.municode.com/fl/boca_raton/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=VOII_CH28ZO_ARTXVSUDIRE_DIV10MIARRESE_S28-1556COCOSE

Clearly in the map, both properties, 2500 N Ocean and 2600 N Ocean are seaward of the CCCL. Check out the map here: https://ca.dep.state.fl.us/mapdirect/?focus=beaches

It is a rare scenario that Boca Raton’s City Council Members are in the same room as Boca Raton’s Beach and Parks District. There is a joint meeting between the City and the Beach and Parks District scheduled for Wednesday next week. Although only Ocean Breeze Golf Course is on the agenda – these two properties will be discussed. You are welcome to join as this meeting is open to the public. https://www.myboca.us/Calendar.aspx?EID=3029&month=5&year=2018&day=3&calType=0 

It is very important to ask ALL members, what are you going to do to protect our beaches?

8 COMMENTS

  1. I’m against giving ANY builder approval to build anywhere in BOCA. Enough is enough. Haynie should be jailed.

  2. Jessica, the lots lie seaward of the coastal construction control line and so are unbuildable under city ordinance 161.053 (as you point out), and this holds true even though 2500 N Ocean was foolishly granted a lot-width variance. I don’t know that the lots’ market value has skyrocketed or even increased much at all since the lots are still, under city code, unbuildable. Rather, developers are asking around $20 million per lot because they have no interest in conducting a good-faith negotiation with the city for the lots’ purchase. Perhaps also to falsely signal that $20 million is their true market value (it is not) to create the false impression that the market considers them buildable despite the fact that they are not.

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