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Delray CRA Unveils New Arts Venue in Pineapple Grove

The visual arts community of Delray Beach, which has faced the brunt of rising rents and vanishing studio space in recent years, will soon have a new champion: a 15,000-square-foot building buttressing Artists Alley.

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Situated on Northeast Third Street just west of the train tracks, the palm-lined, pale yellow edifice is known as the Arts Warehouse, and it’s been a long time coming. Delray’s Community Redevelopment Agency purchased the building in 2010, during the economic downturn, as a prong of its 2006 Cultural Plan to brand Delray Beach as an arts haven.

Originally, in conjunction with Creative City Collaborative and other entities, the CRA considered transforming the building into a performing arts venue. But with Arts Garage satisfying the community’s needs for this aspect of culture, the CRA shifted the focus to visual arts.

After years of painting, construction and redesigns—local architecture firm Currie Sowards Aguila designed the improvements—the CRA unveiled the new digs to the media this week. The building’s sleek, geometric entrance ushers visitors into a cavernous ground-floor exhibition space, which will be open to local, national and international artists. High ceilings can accommodate large-scale installations, and movable walls will ensure flexibility.

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Upstairs, approximately 18 single- or double-occupancy studios, each equipped with sinks, await tenants. The studio spaces can welcome up to 26 artists, offering 24/7 access, at a monthly cost of $2 per square foot. Other spaces ideal for classes and workshops, ground-floor kitchen and meeting rooms, and a mixed-use, all-purpose space fit for video shoots and casting calls complete the facility.

The CRA expects to soft-open the Warehouse to the public later in 2017 and to host a grand opening in 2018, once it has a full season of exhibitions lined up. In the meantime, artists interested in leasing studio space have until Oct. 20 to apply at delraycra.org/artswarehouse.

When it’s all up and running, Brown hopes to work with the city’s other visual-arts resources, seeing Artists Alley as collaborator more than competitor.

“I want us all to work together to make this a good area,” she says. “I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in meetings with the different arts organizations, trying to come up with ideas. We’re hoping to have a trolley route for First Fridays. I have a lot of ideas for how to get things going. We’re off the Avenue, but there’s a lot to Delray besides the Avenue. We want to do things a little differently and help these artists grow.”

For updates on the Arts Warehouse, keep up with its Facebook page here. The CRA can be reached at 561/276-8640.

As the A&E editor of bocamag.com, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
View of the intracoastal from Veteran's Park in Delray Beach. On Tuesday, the Delray Beach City Council selected a new city manager.

New City Manager for Delray, Boca Election Updates and Other News

View of the intracoastal from Veteran's Park in Delray Beach. On Tuesday, the Delray Beach City Council selected a new city manager.

View of the intracoastal from Veteran’s Park in Delray Beach. On Tuesday, the Delray Beach City Council selected a new city manager.

New city manager

Delray Beach residents can be proud of how their elected officials chose the city’s next CEO. Read more

Randy Schultz has lived in Boca Raton since 1985 and has worked as a journalist in South Florida since 1974. He spent 37 years at The Palm Beach Post, the last 23 as editorial page editor. He has written the City Watch blog for Boca Raton Magazine since February 2014. He also writes a weekly oped column for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
A tree torn out of the earth by Hurricane Irma near Yamato and Second Avenue. While trees like this one have been removed, piles of debris still line the city's streets. Photo by David Shuff.

Post-Irma Blues, Ocean Breeze, Delray’s City Manager Woes

A tree torn out of the earth by Hurricane Irma near Yamato and Second Avenue. While trees like this one have been removed, piles of debris still line the city's streets. Photo by David Shuff.

A tree torn out of the earth by Hurricane Irma near Yamato and Second Avenue. While trees like this one have been removed, piles of debris still line the city’s streets. Photo by David Shuff.

Hurricane gouging legal

Hurricane price gouging is illegal in Florida, but the Boca Raton City Council and the Delray Beach City Commission just legalized it. They had no choice. Read more

Randy Schultz has lived in Boca Raton since 1985 and has worked as a journalist in South Florida since 1974. He spent 37 years at The Palm Beach Post, the last 23 as editorial page editor. He has written the City Watch blog for Boca Raton Magazine since February 2014. He also writes a weekly oped column for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
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Irma Updates (Including Debris Pick-Up), the Downtown Boca Campus and More

Debris removal

Pieces of roofing on the curb at Briny Breezes have yet to be removed. Photo by Marie Speed.

Pieces of roofing and tree branches on the curb at Briny Breezes have yet to be removed. Photo by Marie Speed.

Just as Florida Power & Light asked customers to be patient while the company restored electricity, officials in Boca Raton and Delray Beach want residents to be patient while trucks pick up debris from Hurricane Irma. Read more

Randy Schultz has lived in Boca Raton since 1985 and has worked as a journalist in South Florida since 1974. He spent 37 years at The Palm Beach Post, the last 23 as editorial page editor. He has written the City Watch blog for Boca Raton Magazine since February 2014. He also writes a weekly oped column for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
A fallen tree atop a car in Boca Raton. Photo by Randy Shultz.

Boca Raton Nearly Back to Normal After Irma, Debris Remains a Problem

Cleaning up and restoring power

A fallen tree atop a car in Boca Raton. Photo by Randy Shultz.

A fallen tree atop a car in Boca Raton. Photo by Randy Schultz.

As of Monday morning, according to Mayor Susan Haynie, only 140 homes in Boca Raton still lacked electricity. Traffic signals were working, and except for all the debris it was a normal workday. Read more

Randy Schultz has lived in Boca Raton since 1985 and has worked as a journalist in South Florida since 1974. He spent 37 years at The Palm Beach Post, the last 23 as editorial page editor. He has written the City Watch blog for Boca Raton Magazine since February 2014. He also writes a weekly oped column for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
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Petrolia Announces For Mayor, Budgets in Boca and Delray and More

Petrolia’s announcement

Commissioner Shelly Petrolia.

Commissioner Shelly Petrolia.

Delray Beach City Commissioner Shelly Petrolia will run for mayor next March.

Petrolia announced her decision this week on the TakeBackDelrayBeach Faceboook page. Petrolia has held the District 1 seat since 2013 and could have run for another three-year term. She was unopposed in 2015.

The TakeBackDelrayBeach administrator is Kelly Barrette, who ran unsuccessfully against Jim Chard this year for the open District 2 seat. Petrolia openly supported Barrette in that race and Josh Smith in District 4. Barrette and Smith lost by wide margins, so Petrolia’s decision is interesting. Mitch Katz, who has filed for reelection to Seat 3, also backed Barrette and Smith.

Mayor Cary Glickstein is eligible to run for another term. He told me Wednesday that he hasn’t decided.

Boca and Delray budgets

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Boca Raton and Delray Beach have released their preliminary 2017-18 budgets.

City Manager Leif Ahnell proposes hiring 34 additional employees in Boca and increasing the operating budget by almost $10 million. The tax rate would not change, but residents would pay more because of rising property values. Ahnell also wants to raise the fire fee by $20 for every homeowner. Increases for commercial properties would depend on the size of the property.

Notably, Ahnell wants to create a deputy director position in the Development Services Department. The city council has heard complaints about the slow pace of development approvals. Ahnell also wants to hire another assistant fire chief, which would restore a position that was cut during the recession. He proposes adding four firefighters and four police officers.

Those hires align with the council’s stated goal to maintain levels of key services. The council also wants the city to promote itself more, so Ahnell’s budget includes two positions for public relations and digital media.

Similarly, Delray Beach Interim City Manager Neal de Jesus said his budget would address the basics: services and backlogged repair work. De Jesus wants five new police officers—all outside the Community Redevelopment Agency boundaries—and eight additional firefighter/paramedics. Obviously, that second request is to deal with the continuing opioid epidemic.

As in Boca Raton, the tax rate would be essentially unchanged, but bills would rise. Delray Beach’s tax roll, de Jesus said, is at a record level. He proposes an increase of roughly $460,000 to the operating budget.

Both cities must hold two public hearings on their budgets next month before approving them in time for the Oct. 1 start of the fiscal year. I will have more after digging deeper into the numbers.

Police and fire contracts

Boca Raton and Delray Beach both spend most of their operating budgets on public safety. So police and fire contracts are major financial factors.

A city spokeswoman said Boca Raton has not finalized new, three-year contracts with the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF). The next meetings are with the police union on Sept. 12 and the fire union on Sept. 19.

Delray Beach already approved a new firefighter contract. Mayor Glickstein and commissioners Petrolia and Katz all praised the union, with Glickstein saying the Police Benevolent Association “could take a page” from the IAFF. All three could be on the ballot next March. The police contract expires next year.

As part of pension reform during the last negotiations, Delray Beach and the unions agreed to create separate police and fire pension boards—they have been combined—and also combine their administrative functions with the general employees fund. The city commission believes that the change will increase accountability and improve returns on the funds’ investments.

The transition, however, is not finished, because of what Glickstein called the funds’ “significant assets and rules regarding them.” The city’s legal team, he said, is preparing a timeline to complete the transition.

Weinroth’s war chest

Boca Raton City Councilman Robert Weinroth had a good fundraising month in June and a better one in July.

After raising about $16,000 for his March reelection campaign for Seat D, Weinroth added $18,500. He has a major fundraising event next month. No one has filed papers to challenge Weinroth, who would serve seven years if he wins again. The city has six-year term limits, but Weinroth first won in 2014 to fill out the last year of a term. He won a full term in 2015 without opposition.

Among Weinroth’s new contributions is $1,000 from Arnstein & Lehr, the firm that employs one of the lawyers representing GL Homes. GL is one of the bidders for the western golf course. Weinroth also received $1,000 from Art Koski. He’s executive director of the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District, which wants the council to underwrite bonds for the district’s $24 million purchase of the former Ocean Breeze golf course and money to make the course playable. Koksi also is suing the city over approval of Chabad East Boca, which Weinroth supported.

And Weinroth got $1,000 from Marta Batmasian. Her company, Investments Limited, has applied to build Phase 2 of the Royal Palm Place redevelopment. Investments Limited would tear down and replace some retail space and build nearly 300 residential units. The project is in the early stages of city review.

Rodgers raising funds, too

Also on the 2018 ballot is Councilman Jeremy Rodgers, who holds Seat C. His fundraising total for July, his first month since filing for reelection, shows nearly $13,000, including a $5,000 loan from Rodgers.

Among his contributions, Rodgers got $1,000 from attorney Bonnie Miskel. She represented Elad Properties, developer of Mizner 200. Rodgers, like the rest of the council, voted for the revised project this month. Miskel also represents Boca Raton Regional Hospital and Town Center Mall, among other clients, before the council.

Rodgers got $500 from architect Doug Mummaw, who designed that Royal Palm Place Phase 2 project on which the council might vote. Rodgers received $500 from Boca Beautiful President John Gore, whose group might weigh in on Mummaw’s project. Another $500 came from the law firm that represents Via Verde, one of four homeowner associations that surround Midtown. This fall, the council could set rules for Midtown development.

In addition, Rodgers got $250 from Katherine MacDougall, one of Koski’s plaintiffs in that Chabad East Boca lawsuit. Rodgers received $250 from Neil Haynie, who is married to Mayor Susan Haynie, and $250 from Seat A Councilman Scott Singer.

Annexing Highland Beach?

As he promised during the Boca Raton City Council’s goal-setting session in May, Councilman Rodgers is exploring the idea of the city annexing Highland Beach.

Rodgers believes that costs would drop for both cities if they combined services, though he doesn’t have data to prove that. He is seeking online comment from residents of both cities. Highland Beach has about 4,000 residents, almost all of whom live in high-rise condos.

As Rodgers acknowledges, this annexation—which is his initiative, not the council’s—would be a heavy lift. Voters in both cities would have to approve it. If the Boca council and the Highland Beach Town Commission didn’t put the proposal on the ballot, getting it to referendum through petition would require signatures from 15 percent of Boca Raton voters who cast ballots in the most recent city election and 20 percent of registered voters in Highland Beach.

This issue also involves Delray Beach. In July 2016, the city signed a new 10-year contract to provide fire-rescue services in Highland Beach. The deal essentially gives Delray Beach an extra fire station. Mayor Haynie said Highland Beach approached Boca Raton, which decided that the deal wouldn’t work financially.

I get Rodgers’ point about Boca Raton’s need for revenue. More likely, though, the city will try again on annexing a few neighborhoods on the northwest border. But Rodgers certainly thinks big.

Rumor control

We saw recently in Boca Raton one more example of how rumors can run unchecked on social media.

Just north of Addison Mizner Elementary School on Southwest 12th Avenue is the Center for Spiritual Living. For years, the church has allowed Addison Mizner parents to use its parking lot. The school fits tightly into the residential neighborhood. Parking is beyond tight.

As school opened two weeks ago, however, word went out that the church had closed off the parking lot. Outrage followed. How could the church do this?

But as pastor Jill Guerra told me, the problem was not with the church. Addison Mizner had not obtained the usual insurance policy that indemnifies the church from any accidents related to school activities. Such a policy is normal and proper. The organizers of Boca Raton’s Boating & Beach for People With Disabilities must have similar policies when they use Spanish River Park.

The school obtained the policy, and the parking lot is back in use. If they haven’t already done so, those who criticized the church might want to apologize.

Boca Hoops a slam dunk

Boca Raton residents may argue about growth, but everyone agrees that recreation is one of the city’s best amenities. With that in mind, here’s a shout-out for the people who started Boca Hoops nearly three decades ago.

My son and daughter played just about every rec league sport in the city: baseball, softball, flag football, soccer. Until Boca Hoops, however, there was no basketball. In 1989, however, Jody Forstot—a Boca physician—Mike Doyle and Bob Mullin started the league.

My grandsons will play this year in the 29th season. As its website states, Boca Hoops helped to plan the Sugar Sand fieldhouse where most of the games take place. During last weekend’s jamboree, a banner saluted the 34 original sponsors of Boca Hoops. Thanks to them, thanks to the founders and thanks to all the people who each year make possible what not long ago didn’t exist and what now we can’t imagine the city without.


Missed the last City Watch? Visit our City Watch page, and subscribe to the magazine for more City Watch columns in every issue. You can also sign up for our City Watch e-newsletter, where you’ll get the latest column delivered directly to your inbox. 

City Watch e-newsletter subscription

Subscribe to get City Watch columns with the latest Boca/Delray news sent directly to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday.

Randy Schultz has lived in Boca Raton since 1985 and has worked as a journalist in South Florida since 1974. He spent 37 years at The Palm Beach Post, the last 23 as editorial page editor. He has written the City Watch blog for Boca Raton Magazine since February 2014. He also writes a weekly oped column for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
The Boca Raton Tri-Rail station. Photo by Aaron Bristol.

The Facts About Midtown and Tri-Rail, Remembering Carol Hanson

Midtown in perspective

The Boca Raton Tri-Rail station. Photo by Aaron Bristol.

The Boca Raton Tri-Rail station. Photo by Aaron Bristol.

There are meetings today and Wednesday about a second Tri-Rail station for Boca Raton. Discussion of the station likely will lead to a discussion of Midtown. So let’s base the discussion on facts. Read more

Randy Schultz has lived in Boca Raton since 1985 and has worked as a journalist in South Florida since 1974. He spent 37 years at The Palm Beach Post, the last 23 as editorial page editor. He has written the City Watch blog for Boca Raton Magazine since February 2014. He also writes a weekly oped column for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
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Customs Facility Delayed, No Marijuana in Boca?

Airport delays

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The customs facility at Boca Raton Airport will open at least two months late.

The plan was that the gateway, which will save private pilots and their passengers an extra stop at Palm Beach International or Fort Lauderdale Executive, was supposed to be ready by Labor Day. But Airport Authority Executive Director Clara Bennett and Authority Board Chairman Mitch Fogel confirmed Friday that the new construction completion deadline is mid-September, with the facility to open in mid-October.

Bennett first told the board in May about potential delays. She updated board members in July. Bennett said the contractor, West Construction, has gone through “a lot of turnover in management.” That’s been the main problem. There were some rain delays, though nothing that Bennett called “unusual” for a South Florida summer.

Executive Director of the Boca Raton Airport Authority, Clara Bennett. Photo by Eduardo Schneider.

Executive Director of the Boca Raton Airport Authority, Clara Bennett. Photo by Eduardo Schneider.

The contract with West is for $4.3 million. West was the low qualified bidder, and Bennett and airport authority board member Gene Folden said the authority board had to choose the low bid, in part because the authority received state and federal grants that come with procurement rules. The work covers construction of the building and improvements to the taxiway and the roadway. Still, it’s not a complicated project. There seems to be no good explanation.

In addition to the authority, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and the city are monitoring the work. Bennett said the authority “cannot tell the contractor how to proceed. We only can document the progress.” Because that progress is behind schedule, the liquidated damages clause of the contract has kicked in. West is being fined $500 per day, plus engineering costs. “It’s disappointing,” Bennett said, “because there has been such excitement.”

Folden worries that, as with a commercial flight that is delayed and then delayed again, the facility may encounter more problems. “I’m not totally optimistic,” Folden told me, “that we’ll make the mid-October deadline.”

As Folden pointed out, “You worry that the fines will exceed the profit” for West, “and the contractor will walk.” The authority “has to balance” its deadline push so West “doesn’t leave.” A lawsuit, Folden said, could push the opening into mid-2018.

Folden said the authority is relying on its consultant, Ricondo and Associates. The firm also worked for the authority on construction of its administration building, which opened in 2015. Folden said the board will “raise more questions” at Wednesday’s meeting.

Mizner 200 crawls toward approval

Concept view of the entrance of Mizner 200.

Concept view of the entrance of Mizner 200.

Progress continues toward a version of Mizner 200 that the Boca Raton City Council could approve. At least one participant in the talks, however, doesn’t think that a final version can get to the city in time to make the agenda for Monday’s meeting of the city council acting as the community redevelopment agency.

Doug Mummaw is the architect for Investments Limited, which owns Royal Palm Place across Mizner Boulevard from where the condo project would replace the Mizner on the Green rental complex. Investments Limited has been representing itself, the Townsend Place condo to the south of Mizner 200 and Boca Beautiful in the discussions with architects Peter Stromberg and Jorge Garcia, who designed the project. Mummaw made a point of saying that the discussions, which began three days after the city council on July 25 asked for design changes, have not included lawyers from either side.

Though city staff and the city’s architectural consultant concluded that Mizner 200 satisfied the requirements of Boca Raton’s downtown ordinance, Mummaw argued otherwise before the council. Obviously, his argument was persuasive. Mummaw said the “collaborative” discussions have produced “major, significant” changes that will make Mizner 200 “an exquisite building with a lot of movement.”

Critics had said Mizner 200 would be too massive as it stretched for almost 900 feet, thus overwhelming the street and the neighborhood. Among the changes, Mummaw said, are varied rooflines and another 9,000 square feet of green space facing Mizner Boulevard. At the July 25 meeting, Mummaw raised six specific objections. The changes, he said Monday, have addressed all of them.

As others in the discussions have told me, relatively quick progress has been possible because the project manager for Elad Properties—the developer—has been present and can speak for the company. Mummaw praises Stromberg and Garcia for their willingness and ability to be flexible and work quickly.

Yet as Mummaw acknowledges, Mizner 200 is a large, complicated project. A change in one area affects other areas. “They have to put everything through the rinse cycle with their team,” Mummaw said, in preparing a modified development application for the city to review.

Obviously, the goal is a new application that everyone can endorse. The application would have to be ready no later than today, and that would be pushing it. The city will post the agenda Wednesday afternoon.

Royal Palm Place: Phase 2

Mummaw and Associate's rendering of Phase 2 of Royal Palm Place.

Mummaw and Associate’s rendering of Phase 2 of Royal Palm Place.

Coincidentally, on Thursday Mummaw and Investments Limited will present their plan for Phase 2 of Royal Palm Place to The Mellgren Planning Group. Mellgren is the consultant that found Mizner 200 in compliance with the downtown ordinance, after first finding the project not in compliance.

As I reported, Royal Palm Place Phase 2 is a major project, like Mizner 200. Its two key components are on the west side, facing Federal Highway, and in the northeast corner. That second component includes new residential development and would be across Mizner Boulevard from Mizner 200.

Delray to—again—attempt to put it’s downtown parking plans in drive

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Downtown Delray at night. Photo provided by the Delray Beach Downtown Development Authority.

The Delray Beach City Commission will try for the third time tonight on a downtown parking plan.

This presentation comes from the Downtown Development Authority, which notes that the DDA represents 1,000 business owners. The group favors a far less ambitious approach than some commissioners, calling it “start slow and grow.”

Rather than install smart meters at all 2,600 downtown spaces, the DDA wants meters at just 245 spaces on and near East Atlantic Avenue. The DDA wants free parking to remain on Atlantic west of the Intracoastal Waterway until noon, with a rate of $1 per hour until 5 p.m. and $1.75 per hour after that. The limit would be two hours until 5 p.m. and three to four hours after that.

East of the bridge, the rate would be $1.50 per hour—beginning at 9 a.m.—with a two-hour limit. On Northeast Second Avenue, the rate would be $1 per hour—starting at noon—with the limit ranging from two hours to three hours. On A1A, the DDA proposes a rate of $1.75 per hour with a four-hour maximum.

The DDA also proposes a flat rate of $5 for all city garages. After that, however, the group’s push is for free parking with longer limits. The DDA also wants the city to add spaces and create “a parking program that is consistent with and enhances the Delray Beach brand, a plan that provides a welcoming environment and supports the downtown small businesses.”

In addition, the DDA proposes a plan under which business owners could pay $150 per year or $20 per month for employee parking. The DDA says this aspect of the program is modeled after one in Sarasota. There also should be “incentives”—unspecified—for employees to commute using something besides their cars. City residents could pay $95 annually to park anywhere downtown.

The DDA helpfully suggests that the city commission can “Make Parking Fun!” So far, however, the process has been more like excruciating. The DDA wants the commission to ignore the city’s consultant, who recommends meters for all spaces and demand pricing. The DDA wants the commission to delay any decision until the DDA’s own studies are done.

The fun continues tonight.

Rundown of Boca P&Z’s Thursday agenda items

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It’s an especially crowded, varied agenda for Thursday’s meeting of the Boca Raton Planning and Zoning Board. The highlights, in no particular order:

  • Boca Raton wants no marijuana dispensaries in the city. The council previously approved annual moratoriums while the Legislature debated how to implement medical marijuana in the state.

In 2014, the Legislature allowed use of non-euphoric marijuana to treat certain medical conditions. Last year, voters approved a constitutional amendment that expands the use of medical marijuana, though the Legislature has ruled that patients can’t smoke it.

Now Boca Raton wants to tell patients that they can’t get it within the city limits. If the city doesn’t specifically exclude them, dispensing centers could be at any licensed pharmacy. The ordinance would prohibit any person or entity from “acquiring, cultivating, possessing, processing, transferring, transporting, selling, distributing, dispensing or administering” marijuana or marijuana-related products.

Under the staff’s proposed schedule, the ordinance would go to the city council for introduction on Sept. 12. Two public hearings would follow on Sept. 26 and Oct. 11. Since 71 percent of voters approved the amendment, it will be interesting to see if the ordinance draws opposition.

  • Boca Helping Hands wants to convert a warehouse in the city’s industrial district south of 20th Street into a counseling center. The group has a wonderful record, but staff recommends against this change, calling it incompatible with land use in that area.

The group’s attorney counters in a letter to the city with Boca Helping Hands’ history of helping women, many of them victims of domestic abuse, and their children. As with the marijuana issue, this debate could be interesting.

  • As I had reported, the developer of the Ocean Palm condo on the southwest corner of A1A and Palmetto Park Road is before the board asking to add a floor to the six-story condo the council approved last spring. The number of units would stay at 70.

At 65 feet, staff noted in reviewing the initial application, Ocean Palm would be no taller than The Meridian condo. It’s on the northwest corner of the intersection, and drew lots of opposition from neighbors. Ocean Palm, whose developer spent considerable time with the neighbors and got their blessing for the shorter project, would be 10 feet taller than The Meridian.

  • A developer wants to put a 20-unit apartment and three single-family homes on nearly two acres at Yamato Road and Northwest Third Avenue. Though this item twice has been postponed after going on the agenda, the board took public comment.

Every speaker from the neighborhood opposed the change, saying that the apartments—Yamato Villas—would bring more traffic and drive down property values. According to the staff memo, the developer asked for the postponements “to meet with the public.” Despite that local opposition, the staff recommends approval.

October closing on Ocean Breeze unlikely

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I wrote last week that the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District would like to close in October on its $24 million purchase of the former Ocean Breeze golf course. I sought comment from the city council, which would have to underwrite bonds for that purchase and the cost of improving the course for play.

Mayor Susan Haynie and council members Jeremy Rodgers and Robert Weinroth expressed varying degrees of skepticism, since the district hasn’t answered the city’s many questions about the deal. Chairman Bob Rollins proposed that the district board provide those answers for a September meeting with the council.

Councilman Scott Singer now has relayed his comment: “I don’t see how an October closing and bond agreement are feasible if the answers to the outstanding questions will not come until September.”

Correction

Due to an error on the Boca Raton Airport Authority’s website, I referred to authority board member Gene Folden as the chairman. The chairman is Mitch Fogel. The facts have been corrected in this post.


Missed the last City Watch? Visit our Community/City Watch page, and subscribe to the magazine for more City Watch columns in every issue. You can also sign up for our City Watch e-newsletter, where you’ll get the latest column delivered directly to your inbox. 

City Watch e-newsletter subscription

Subscribe to get City Watch columns with the latest Boca/Delray news sent directly to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday.
Randy Schultz has lived in Boca Raton since 1985 and has worked as a journalist in South Florida since 1974. He spent 37 years at The Palm Beach Post, the last 23 as editorial page editor. He has written the City Watch blog for Boca Raton Magazine since February 2014. He also writes a weekly oped column for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Photo provided by Delray Beach Downtown Development Authority.

Gear Up for Dine Out Downtown Delray Restaurant Week’s Prix-Fixe Specials

Dine Out Downtown Delray Restaurant Week takes place Aug. 1 - 7, and features prix-fixe meals for take-out, lunch and dinner. Photo provided by Delray Beach Downtown Development Authority.

Dine Out Downtown Delray Restaurant Week takes place Aug. 1 – 7, and features prix-fixe meals for take-out, lunch and dinner. Photo provided by Delray Beach Downtown Development Authority.

We love eating well and benefiting charities at the same time (who doesn’t?), and that’s where Dine Out Downtown Delray comes in. From Aug. 1- Aug. 7, a boatload of restaurants will offer great prix-fixe meals and will raise awareness for the Delray Beach Homeless Initiative for Children in partnership with Palm Beach County Food Bank. That’s a mouthful, so plan on pairing a mouthful of food with that from the many participating Delray restaurants. Read more

Lynn Kalber wasn’t born in Boca Raton, but she attended elementary through high school there, so she might as well have been. She’s a graduate of the University of Florida and has been in journalism most of her life, including 26 years at The Palm Beach Post. She’s written feature and food stories, and edited food copy among other jobs, including blogging about wine (The Swirl Girls). Her husband is writer and author Scott Eyman. They live in West Palm Beach with an assortment of cats and dogs.
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Who Will Run Delray, Road Rage in Boca and More

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Downtown Delray at night. Photo provided by the Delray Beach Downtown Development Authority.

More Delray turnover

Turnover at the top levels of Delray Beach government continues.

Assistant City Manager Dale Sugerman has resigned. The former town manager of Highland Beach lasted less than a year. His departure leaves Delray Beach with Caryn Gardner-Young, who holds the other assistant’s position under Interim City Manager Neal de Jesus. Read more

Randy Schultz has lived in Boca Raton since 1985 and has worked as a journalist in South Florida since 1974. He spent 37 years at The Palm Beach Post, the last 23 as editorial page editor. He has written the City Watch blog for Boca Raton Magazine since February 2014. He also writes a weekly oped column for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.