Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ocean Strand Under Attack by City Council

The last city council workshop and council meeting revealed at least 2 city council members support for a development that would include the Ocean Strand property. At the workshop meeting on Monday, Mayor Whelchel stated that a possible development of the property on the NE corner of Camino Real & Fed. Hwy. could be worth up to $800 million and the city needs the tax revenue from this size of a development. The possible development has been rumored to include a Beach Club on the Ocean Strand property which may explain why the city council has refused to heed the pleas of many Ocean Blvd. residents to change the land use on the Ocean Strand property to open space & recreational use.

Council member Constance Scott voiced her support for development of this size as a need to raise tax revenue. The city manager stated that the estimated budget deficit for 2011 would be approximately $14 million and the city has already cut approx. 10% of the operating budget over the past few years to balance the budget.

Based upon these meetings it appears that the city has plans to allow a development of some sort on the Ocean Strand property in spite of the fact that the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park district commissioners have stated that they do not intend to develop or lease the property. With the city council's intent clear that they want to accommodate the possible $800 million development, it would appear that the city staff has a plan to convince the GBRBPD to either sell the property or lease the property to the developer.

Residents wishing to oppose this future development potential on the Ocean Strand property should email all city council members--asking for the land use change to be included in the current comprehensive plan amendment that will be approved on August 10th at the 6pm council meeting. Residents should also plan to attend the city council meetings on 8/9 at 1pm and 8/10 at 6pm and speak at the meeting during the agenda item for the comp plan amendment approval---asking for the land use change on Ocean Strand.

There will be a meeting on MONDAY July 19 at 5:15 pm to request a new LAND USE and ask the Parks District to change it to PR- see explanation below.

Please let our elected officials know that you would like the Ocean Strand Parcel to be accurately reflected in the existing and future land use maps as (PR) – Recreation and Open Space and (N)-conservation on its environmentally sensitive lands, reflecting the purpose of its acquisition rather than is current now outdated FLUM Designation “RM – Residential Medium”. The "RM" designation on Ocean Strand is particularly troubling in light of the proposed addition of Hotels/Motels to the list of allowable uses in the RM District.

Boca Raton City Council and City Manager Phone 561-393-7708
City Manager - Leif Ahnell -
Susan Whelchel
Constance Scott -
Anthony Majhess -
Susan Hanyie -
Michael Mullaugh -

Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park Tax District NEXT MEETING this MONDAY July 19, 2010 AT 5:15 at 300 S. Military Trail, Sugar Sand Park – Boca RatonPhone 561-417-4599
Robert Rollins
Dennis Frisch
Dirk Smith
Earl Starkoff
Elaine Kleinman

Ocean Strand is current designated as a land use Residential-Medium Density (RM):
The principal permitted uses are primarily multifamily uses with some small lot single family uses at densities of up to 9.5 units per acre. Accessory or related residential uses and institutional uses may be permitted. Motels or hotels may be permitted in areas along heavily traveled routes or in other areas such as PUDs.

Request to change Ocean Strand to: PUBLIC AND PRIVATE Recreation and Open Space (PR): This category designates both public and private property used for recreation or committed to recreational use. It is applied to properties having major recreational activities, such as golf courses, or other structured and maintained recreation area facilities. Appropriate accessory uses such as docks, jetties, or clubhouses will be permitted. Additionally, up to 0.5 dwelling unit per acre is permissible provided that 50% or more of any proposed development area remains in recreation uses. And change the portions of environmentally sensitive land to: Conservation (N): This category designates land within the City that has been protected due to vegetation or wildlife habitat. A land use designation of N is compatible with any zoning district.

Thank you for helping to protect Boca Raton Green Space.

MCZ Centrum Foreclosure Update

An extension of time has been granted by the court based upon a request by MCZ Centrum. The next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 24th at 8:45am.

These foreclosure proceedings normally take several months and considering the current large number of foreclosures in Palm Beach County it would be expected for this process to take up to 2 years.

Residents often inquire about the outcome of the foreclosure and what will eventually happen to the Boca Teeca/Ocean Breeze golf course. It is our expectation that another investment group will buy the property and operate it as a golf course--similar to what happen to the Boca Greens golf course in Dec. 2009. An investment group has contacted members of the Save Boca Raton Green Space organization in order to access their interest in supporting an effort to purchase the golf course after the foreclosure process is complete versus MCZ Centrum.