Wildflower Park Tracking Report: Progress at last!

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Publisher’s Comment:

Like the turtle and the hare, progress on the Wildflower will never be fast enough for the residents (hare) but could it be any slower than the pace set by the City (turtle)? I think not….As pointed out in this tracking update by Jim Wood, progress is now actually measurable and the end result on two fronts beginning to show the ‘proverbial’ light at the end of the tunnel. City Staff indicates that a Wildflower ‘passive’ park may be open to the public in the next few months. This park will still be laden with asphalt and concrete in the form of parking lot spaces but at least it will be open to the public for access to the waterfront. That is a good thing! The City’s consultant last month conducted a charrette with over 100 citizens participating. A compilation of ideas is now in progress and when presented, we, the resident, will see the suggested changes within our park system to fulfill the often heard rhetoric that Boca Raton is a “city within a park.” Attached below is a short video capturing the newly opened Sullivan Park in Deerfield Beach. Perhaps, the cooperative attitude demonstrated there will be a positive role model for us here….enjoy…More on the Wildflower park possibilities later this week. Stay tuned!

Al Zucaro

This article presents some updated information regarding Wildflower Park progress. The tracker graphic included toward the end of this article has been updated accordingly. Past update articles are included for reference in Attachment 1. Following is a brief update discussion on each of the open phases.

Passive Park

Residents have been asking for Wildflower Park to be opened as a passive park while the long term EDSA waterfront study is proceeding. It appears that the City may be opening the park for residential use in the next couple of months. The park design for this opening looks like it will be similar to the design when the park was opened for the Boca Raton Boat Parade on the evening of December 17, 2016. This means that there will still be a massive amount of asphalt for parking cars, but a relatively small amount of natural area for recreation by residents. It should be the opposite. It is hoped that the next EDSA presentation to residents on July 12, 2017 will articulate a more resident-friendly passive park design that will be implemented in the short term while the waterfront study is rolling out.

Land Use Change

The City Council approved ordinances changing the Wildflower parcel comprehensive plan map designation and zoning from Commercial to Public Land and Recreation respectively at the June 13, 2017 regular meeting. Prior to this, the P&Z board voted to recommend approval of the ordinances. Approvals were by unanimous votes.

Waterfront Study

The City’s consultant on the waterfront study, EDSA, held a public outreach on April 3, 2017 where they also presented their inventory of the City’s waterfront public lands. Their next public outreach meeting is scheduled for July 12, 2017. Following is the City’s notice for this meeting.

“EDSA, the City’s consultant working on the waterfront master plan, will be hosting a second public outreach meeting at the Downtown Library at 400 NW 2nd Avenue on Wednesday, July 12 from 6-8pm. EDSA will be sharing conceptual plans and recommendations.”

BocaWatch will continue to track and report on the status of Wildflower Park.

Attachment 1 – Prior Wildflower Park Progress Tracking Articles

4/24/2017 – https://bocawatch.org/boca-raton-wildflower-park-progress-tracking-5/

4/17/2017 – https://bocawatch.org/boca-raton-wildflower-park-progress-tracking-4/

3/13/2017 – https://bocawatch.org/boca-raton-wildflower-park-progress-tracking-3/

3/6/2017 – https://bocawatch.org/boca-raton-wildflower-park-progress-tracking-2/

2/6/2017 – https://bocawatch.org/boca-raton-wildflower-park-progress-tracking/

1/12/2017 – https://bocawatch.org/wildflower-park-progress-tracking-article/

12/5/2016 – https://bocawatch.org/wildflower-site-tracking-chart/

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Jim Wood is a 25-year citizen of Boca Raton. Upon arriving in Boca from Arizona, Jim and his family had a house built in Broken Sound in the western section of the City. After the last of their three children left for college Jim and Trish downsized and relocated to east Boca, where they have lived for 18 years. His volunteering activities include serving eight years on an advisory board in the City. Jim is a computer engineer who advanced into executive positions with telecommunications companies Siemens and Lucent. He holds undergraduate degrees in mathematics and management, a master’s degree in computer engineering and an MBA. He is also a veteran who served four years on active duty with the United States Air Force. His interests include cycling (A1A), guitar (acoustic) and cooking (healthy comfort food). He is a member of the Boca Raton Bicycle Club and the FAU Alumni Association.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Why is Boca the only city in South Florida without water front dining next to downtown? What deceptive ballot fubbery resulted in this sad end? If Boca voters could be presented with an honest choice between yet another Intracostal park and waterfront dining within walking distance from downtown, we’d likely be working how to build a fantastic dining experience rather than compromising on the problems associated with this undersized park. Check your moral compass, don’t let a ballot prevail that invidiously tricked the average voter by concealing the ballot’s primary objective. Give us a new and honest ballot on this specific venue – with a clearly worded choice between this compromisingly undersized park and the restoration of one of Boca’s historic dining locations.

    • Mike, you want a “fantastic dining experience” go to Del Ray or Deerfield. You say next to downtown. Are you ok. It is a 5 block walk. There are 300 restaurants in Boca and 300 in Del Ray and you want a restaurant that you will go to maybe 3 times a year. And what is this crap about “moral compass”. That referendum had 27.456 yes votes and you are saying that all those people had no moral compass. “Deceptive ballot” stuff is a joke. Can’t you read. 27k can and you can’t? And as far as “historic dining location” is a joke. Their food as in Wildflower was unbelievably bad. Chicken wings and stuff. It was not a restaurant. It was a hangout for prostitutes and ask Bill Clinton where he met several gals. Genivere Flowers and 2 others wrote books and Wildflower was named when he and other governors were down for conventions each year. It was a drug infested for the rich. Just ask a county commissioner whom will go unnamed when her husband was arrested with coke all over his face. I won’t talk about the mob wise guys, shootings, murders, on and on. The citizens voted to buy the land so another dump would not go in there. Now we will have a beautiful park to take grandma ,grandpa, grand kids when they visit.

    • Any time you’re in the mood for kitschy tourists traps serving straight out of the can (a.k.a. waterfront dining), there are hundreds to choose from. For you I recommend the lovely Hollywood Beach Boardwalk.

  2. The video of Sullivan park is OUTSTANDING. It is THE communities park, as should be the Wildflower property. The residents voted – their voice was heard loud and clear. We do NOT need water front dining in that location. There are many other places in the city for that type of venue. The golf course where the old Sun and Surf once was on A1A. Lake Wyman where Rutherford park is, perfect location. In fact..have you tried Waterstone? Very nice place to dine – breakfast , lunch or dinner. Drive your boat right up!
    THIS Wildflower PIECE of PROPERTY belongs to the residents..for ALL to enjoy…and it is fabulous!

  3. The only thing insidious about the ballot for the park was the misleading Vote NO advertising

    which “pretended” to save out parks. Who needs another Houston’s. Voters did make a choice

    between waterfront dining and a public park on the water. They chose the park by an overwhelming majority.

    I’d rather have an open waterfront space for young families to bring their children, and elderly and visitors to sit and

    watch the passing boats. That is immensely more valuable for the entire community.

  4. I’m always amazed at the lengths people will go to in covering up an initiative that had a fraudulent intent at its very core. We’ve seen it in Washington DC and it’s creeping its way into the Boca Watch. It’s like Lemmings that drank too much of the Hendry cool-aide.

    Most voters are totally uninformed and look to the ballot for honesty when deciding how to vote. Instead of defending a fraudulent ballot your tactics are simply cast stones at the other side – deflecting the issue with the casualty being the truth. Even the Barber high-rise ballot back in the 1990’s was ethical enough to present voters with a clear choice – NO HIDDEN AGENDAS! It sad, very sad, to think that the Barber group can be the ones claiming the moral high ground.

    Seriously, the ballot was a fraud. The voters did not speak, they were tricked. I’ve checked my moral compass, I’d feel like an ashamed looser if I were the one standing behind such fraudulent ballot fubbery.

  5. Mike, you are basically saying that 27,345 residents are stupid. They are all guilty of “flubbery” ??????Since this fight started I am amazed how smart boca residents are. I thought apathy and who cares did not happen. In fact when the contract was reviewed by Jim Wood in a city council meeting when he showed that the Houston’s contract was a sweet heart deal rent free sort of for 40 years bordered on “somethings wrong”. Wake up people and they did. They felt why should we subsidize a restaurant for tourists and out of towners to our detriment . Boca is basically a middle America town where families can’t afford to go to restaurants where they charge $20 for a salad. $15 for a glass of wine. Family of 4 spending $150 for a meal. Mike, we all live here. Frankly I am tired at looking at the water. I have been here 40 years. I would rather go to Mizner Park and watch my grand children throw coins in the fountain and scream “Make a wish”. I feel bad for Mike not having a”Fine Dining Experience”. .

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