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Future of Delray Beach - Its up to us!

Posted on February 6, 2015 at 10:15 AM

Hi, I've been meeting with Mayor Cary Glickstein, discussing the growth and quality of life in Delray Beach. We both agree Delray Beach is a unique town and must stay that way. "QUALITY NOT QUANTITY is our belief.

He has good intentions to keep our unique brand and way of life.

Too many residents have told me they no longer drive, dine or shop in downtown. "It's not the Delray we loved". It's too busy with closed streets, closed Atlantic Avenue, $10 valet parking, etc., ad nauseam.

Have you tried to drive on Atlantic Avenue or Ocean Blvd lately? Twice in the past 10 days I've been hit by cars on clogged Atlantic Avenue by drivers who were upset with the delays on the Avenue and actually told me, "I was trying to get the green light!" so they hit me while I was parallel parking in front of the former Mercer Wenzel building

It took me 45 minutes to get from Atlantic Plaza to Seagate Towers last weekend because streets (including Atlantic Ave.) were closed during the "Winter Art Show". Without the Atlantic Ave. bridge, Linton and George Bush were overloaded and everyone drove on A1A including confused tourists who made numerous U turns.

That is not how I want to live.

The question is what do we want our Delray Beach home to be?

Do we need to accommodate every developer's request?

Do we need to provide housing?

What do you think? I'd like you to tell me and our City Commissioners.

 

Tourism has always generally speaking good for our growth, property values, shopkeepers, restaurants and the like.

As I recall Atlantic Plaza was the last commercial development built by locals who love this city and the last that was built within existing development regulations. There is a difference as compared too Worthing Place. Worthing Place was sold the land by the CRA for far far less than the marketplace value. They asked for and received extra units, more floors than our regulations permitted. Has it really generated as advertised? Then the City Commission accepted the developer's offer to take title of their still empty parking garage. The results?: The city taxpayers now secure, police, maintain, insure and no longer receive ad valorem taxes on the parking garage. Why?

Or the Atlantic Crossing Project. Both of these projects asked for and received exceptions from the height allowance, have density far above the city's regulations and other "gifts" from the City Commission. The resulting traffic congestion will drive shoppers and diners away from Atlantic Avenue

Now comes iPIC movie theaters. They want to be in the Central Business District (CBD) that doesn't permit theaters because they require so much parking, 800 spaces in this case, but only want to provide just over 200 while removing 107 free, street level spaces and replacing them with just 50 spaces in a parking garage. If the theater was built one block south, outside the CBD, it would be required to provide 800 spaces. The CRA which answers to no one, certainly not the citizenry, urges approval including suggesting the city abandoning the North/ South alley which serves for delivery and waste removal from Atlantic Avenue shops.

 

Do you and other residents enjoy living in our unique city as much as you did just a few years ago? And Do you think it's going to get worse every year in the future?

Have we reached the Point of Diminishing Returns? I believe we have.

Residents over the years have given generously to the city, including Veterans Park and our beautiful public beaches because they passionately loved their town.

Now speculators and developers come and take and do not respect our development regulations or our way of life. They don't live here, and seek only more and more profit while we must live for generations with their mess.

Currencies in Delray Beach for many years were mutual respect, mutual interest, charity, kindness, a love for our "Village By The Sea", neighborliness, dignity and generosity.

Today, it seems, the single currency is money and they want more and more.

And several past Mayors and Commissions appear to have lacked the intelligence, knowledge, integrity, independence or a passion for our way of life.

We voters must demand more from future would be commissioners.

 

The same goes for our politically appointed CRA Board members. Frankly, I'd rather see our citizen elected commission and Mayor become the board of Directors of the CRA with perhaps the CRA Board becoming an advisory board. Why have two layers of expensive staffs and $2 million offices?

 

It's time we "Take Back Our City!!!”

I would like to know how you feel about these issues.

Please let me know.

We MUST do something about it if we want our city back!

ACT NOW. Tell our commissioners and Mayor what you want. Remember, they work for us!

Or, please tell me and I'll get your message to them. It is up to us!

Sandy Simon

Categories: Delray Beach

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