Monday, December 31, 2012 + Over 5,500 Apartments Coming...

Boca Raton residents are becoming more disgruntled about how the city leaders are continuing to bow to developer's interests and there is another organization of residents who have started another web site - see

This is a very well organized group that has done a great deal of research which is reflected on their web site.  This research includes a tally of all of the apartments that have been approved, or are in the approval stages---now numbering more than 7,00 units.  The initial test of this "experiment" by the city and the lead development rep. (attorney Charlie Seimon) will be demonstrated by the Broadstone development on North Federal Hwy. at the location of the old Levitz Plaza - 7801 N. Federal Hwy.  This apartment complex is now in the process of accepting residents so will they be successful in leasing these units, or will this result in more vacant housing in our city and another developer seeking more variances or handouts from the city?

On Dec. 11th the city approved their "initial" Planned Mobility (PM) zoning regulations which allows up to an initial development of another 2,500 apartments in the area North of Spanish River Blvd., West of I-95, East of Military Trail and South of the Delray Beach border.  This over 1,000 acre area was approved without any signs being posted on any of these properties since the city used a loophole in the development zoning process by creating a so-called "overlay district" on this area, so the city claimed there was not a requirement for signage on all of these parcels that were granted generous new zoning.  Why would the city seek to circumvent basic notices on each of these parcels?  Could they be concerned that citizen input may be unfavorable?

These "Planned Mobility" apartments can be as dense as 20/acre and can be up to 85 feet high and the minimum size is only 700 sq. ft.  The parking requirement is less than the normal city zoning since the city "hopes" that residents will walk or ride a bike or bus to get to & from these apartments-Hence the name of this zoning area is "planned Mobility".  Some residents have suggested this should be named "planned Gridlock" as they expect thousands more cars on our city streets.  What is your opinion?
This is the "initial" PM zoning as the city has 4 more areas around the city which will also be eligible for similar zoning.  This hug3 increase in rental apartments appears to be the city's desperate effort to increase the city's tax base and approve virtually any large development that will generate more tax revenue regardless of the impact on the residential community.

There is yet another 200+ apartment development scheduled for the P&Z board review this coming Thursday, Jan. 3rd at city hall at 6:30pm.  This development proposal is for approval of Tower 155 which will be located on 1.25 acres at 133-199 East Boca Raton Rd. and is planned for a 9 stories with a 127,744 sq. ft. parking garage that includes a "technical deviation" that seeks a reduction in the required parking area under existing requirements. 

Are you kidding?  A 209 unit apartment building on 1.25 acres and there is not going to be enough parking on their site, so why don't they propose a 175 unit building that may meet the existing requirements for parking?  Please consider commenting at this public hearing and/or calling or emailing your city leaders with your concerns about this proposed development.

What are your concerns about adding at least another 10,000 residents to the city over the next few years in these small rental units?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Foreclosure Update On Ocean Breeze Golf Course in Boca Teeca

An update to the foreclosure on the Ocean Breeze golf course shows that over $11 million is now due on the original $7 million mortgage including accrued interest and costs associated with the legal proceedings.  The public records on this legal case has been expanded to include all Boca Teeca condo associations in order to dissolve all rights to their social membership capability with the country club.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Environmental Hazards Remain on Ocean Breeze/Boca Teeca Golf Course Property

The latest reports on the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection (FDEP) web site indicate that the hazardous chemicals remain a concern to the FDEP.  The FDEP has indicated that there can be no change of the land use without addressing the remediation of the excessive levels of cancerous causing arsenic on the property. 

Although the bank's receiver/manager of the property has been able to show a profit on operating the golf course during the first several months of 2012, they still have not resolved the environmental issues that were brought to the attention of the FDEP and the EPA in 2007.  The Palm Beach County records indicate that the foreclosure in the Ocean Breeze country club property by Wells Fargo (successor to Wachovia Bank) remains active after more than 2 1/2 years, but the property has not reached the final auction in this process and it would appear that this stage is several months away based upon the docket history.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Environmental Update-Boca Teeca South Golf Course

The Ocean Breeze golf course in the Boca Teeca subdivision of Boca Raton has been under review by the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) for several years and the latest update was filed by the DEP in May 2012. The DEP has determined that the area on the South golf course has elevated levels of Chemicals of Concern (COC) which are at levels that EXCEED the "residential" Soil Clean up Target Levels (SCTL).

These COCs include arsenic, dieldrin and polynucleararomatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) within the maintenance area and other areas within the present golf course configuration. Arsenic is a known cancer agent that is common in many golf courses in South Florida as a result of long term use of herbicides, but elevated levels have been determined to be at levels that make this land unsuitable for residential development, as previously approved by the city of Boca Raton.

According to the DEP the next course of action should be the submittal to the DEP by the property owner/receiver of a Soil Remedial Action Plan that addresses the COC exceedances in the soil. The remedial strategy could be the removal and proper disposal of the affected soil and include implementation of a Best Management Plan that would encompass the continued use of the property in the vicinity of the chemical storage/maintenance area. Should remediation not prove feasible, site closure cold be accomplished by the use of engineering and/or institutional controls per Florida statutes.

In addition to the soil remedial strategies presented above, a Natural Attenuation with Monitoring (NAM) plan (groundwater monitoring) should be submitted to the DEP to address the elevated concentration of arsenic in monitoring well location previously identified.


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Foreclosure Update - 2 years and counting....

It has been over 2 years since Wachovia Bank (now Wells Fargo Bank) filed the civil lawsuit against the owners of the Ocean Breeze country Club property. The last item on the court docket was in January which was 9/30/11 accounting report by the receiver. Why hasn't the bank been more active in filing motions to move this foreclosure along?

The receiver, an affiliate of the Arnold Palmer golf management company reported that over 47,000 rounds of golf were played during the first 9 months of 2011. This is very impressive considering that they did not takeover until mid-January and the owners had let the course condition deteriorate significantly during their financial decline.

The course has improved significantly since the Arnold Palmer group has taken control, but the fairways still need a lot of work and the clubhouse needs to renovated or completely rebuilt. It appears that the receiver is maintaining the course sufficiently to attract 300-350 players "per day" during the season, but these numbers would be expected to decline by approx. 50% during the off-season soon approaching.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ocean Breeze Golf Course Update - Over 47,000 Rounds in 9 Months

According to the court appointed receivers 9 month report there were 47,461 rounds of golf played during the first 9 months at the Ocean Breeze golf course. This golf course is the only championship level public golf course located within the city limits of Boca Raton.

This 27-hole golf course property & hotel has been in foreclosure by Wachovia/Wells Fargo bank since March 2010 as a result of MCZ Centrum failing to make payments on their $7 million mortgage and failing to pay real estate property taxes for over 2 years. There have been no recent filings on the foreclosure by Wells Fargo (acquired Wachovia) so they appear content to allow Arnold Palmer golf management company to continue operating this property as the appointed receiver since Jan. 2011.

Arnold Palmer golf management company was the first professional golf course manager in this property's over 40 year history and they have done a great job in only 1 year in rehabilitating the quality of the golf course. This golf course was operated as a private country club for the first 35+ years and only become open to the public in recent years. As shown by the over 47,000 rounds of golf played in only 9 months this is a valuable recreation resource to the Boca Raton community.

What is the future of this property after the foreclsoure? Is Wells Fargo willing to accept a short-sale offer to a buyer who is interested in preserving this community recreational amenity?