On March 6, 2015 we reported on a social media survey result that indicated overwhelming support for a public park instead of a Houston’s restaurant at Boca Raton’s Wildflower site. This prompted us to look at the information that the City used to decide that a Houston’s restaurant was appropriate for the site. Our analysis of two City surveys also does not support the conclusion that the citizens prefer a Houston’s restaurant on the Wildflower site.

The following table contains a summary of three surveys. One is the social media survey and two others were performed by the City in 2011. Note that the City survey questions were rather general compared to the social media survey. By the time the social media survey was performed, the options for the Wildflower site were narrowed to two: a public park and a Houston’s restaurant. That is the reason for the relatively low “Other” score for the social media survey.

The totals of the three surveys show significant support for a park instead of a Houston’s restaurant (75% versus 10%). The difference would be significant even if all of the “Other” responses were added to the restaurant total (75% versus 25%). Following is a discussion of each survey.

The City Electronic Survey results were received by the City in the form of emails during the interval 6/28/2011 to 10/26/2011. The number of emails received by the City and analyzed by the authors of this article was 151. Slightly less than half were not included in this study for various reasons such as multiple emails received from the same citizen, content missing or not relevant, etc.

The City Workshop Comments are as a result of a special workshop held by the City Council on 10/18/2011 to receive comments from citizens regarding preferred usage of the Wildflower site. The comments are documented in the minutes from the workshop, which can be found in the following link.

http://bocawatchv2.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/filebocaraton_bbd4c9ce-06f5-4bb6-a015-2e3f280ebac7.pdf

The Social Media survey was started on 2/27/2015 regarding preferred usage of Boca Raton’s Wildflower site. The survey was concluded on 3/1/2015. The two Boca Raton-focused Facebook Groups that were surveyed are BocaWatch and Old Boca 2. The survey requested the following: We’re having a poll to see how many members favor a park versus a Houston’s restaurant on the Wildflower site. Please comment with either “Park” or “Houston’s Restaurant.” There were 201 group members responding to the survey. Two members of both groups responded to the survey from both groups, so one of their responses was deleted to eliminate redundant responses. As mentioned above, the relatively low number of “Other” responses was influenced by the narrow scope of the survey question. Some responses indicated only that they did not prefer a Houston’s restaurant, so these responses were included in the other category.

The next steps are to communicate this to the City Council and request that they stop plans for a Houston’s restaurant and begin planning for a public park at the Wildflower site.