February 29, 2008 by Barbara
I have just returned from a meeting with Assistant Town Manager Olinzock, a few friends and Commissioner Dodd.
John invited me to come and see the plans that Walter Keller sent to him of the plans for the sidewalk on Washingtonia Ave.
The sidewalks are on both sides… approximately 7 ft. landscape then a 5 ft. sidewalk….
The impact to both sides is big!
On the south side my neighbors to the west will no longer be able to park their cars…their water meter will need to be moved….
My property will need the water meter moved (although it was missing from the plans), a Comcast box and tree will be moved along with most of my plantings….
My neighbor next door on the corner of Poinciana will have their water meter moved, the sidewalk will but up to their side patio…
Across the street….north side…
The neighbor on the corner of Seagrape Drive will have the sidewalk all the way up to her cement lights bordering the property….
The neighbor next to her (across from me) will not have room for her tenants to park..or will not be able to open the front door on one of her apartments….the sidewalk will be 18 inches from her tenants front patio…and massive Mahogony canopy trees will be torn down!
All the trees will be torn down!
John Olinzock informed us that there are 3 alternatives for putting in the sidewalks…
one side….as the plan now shows….with the above impact to the neighborhood…or having curbs…enabling ths sidewalk to be next to the street.
We discussed this with John…he told us what was government property…25 feet…we understand that….
But….how about government opting to pick an alternative that least impacts “grandfathered” in properties, while still providing the benefit to the public which is why the installation of sidewalks is happening at all!
John said maybe we should put it to a vote for the town…I say go ahead!
Then I will walk to every house in Silver Shores….and the Surf and Yacht Estates….and show them where the sidewalks will be in front of their homes…and how the impact will be if the plans I saw today go into effect town wide…which I was told could be the case in the future! I know for a fact the impact would even be closer to many neighborhood properties front doors than those in my neighborhood!
I was told by John that this is in the “Master Plan”…(which one?)…for “walkways to the Portals”…what a joke…the people in this town have been walking to the portals just fine for quite a long time now….no one has been hit…or hurt….
This will be on the March 11th, 2008 agenda….and my neighbors and I will be there….I hope our neighbors from other streets will come and support us…as we did for Seagrape Drive and El Mar Drive!.
The news will be contacted by one neighbor who thinks that tearing down the beloved Mahogany canopy trees is insanity!
Walter Keller should have presented the commission with the alternatives before putting pen in hand and doing any plans…
Walter Keller has, I’ve been told, been paid in excess of 100 thousand dollars plus…. for Seagrape Drive and Washingtonia Ave.
Walter Keller is making 20 thousand dollars plus ….on a 47 thousand dollar project…who gets that kind of percentage for a job?
Maybe it is time to terminate Walter Keller on this project…bring in another planner to take over…so he does not get yet another change order bonus.
The cost of this ongoing….stagnating project is way out of line!
It starts here Commissioners….just like the term limits…the Overlay district…the annexation agreement….call this one right…tell Walter Keller to re-draw these plans….and show these neighbors you are listening to the will of the people….compromise ….impact to the neighbors and benefit to the public..with reason…..which is why you are now the majority!
The consent agenda or any other agenda item that includes a neighborhood not titled, contained only in the background material should be titled for the public to know ahead of time. A notification should go out to those affected just as they are notified for variances etc… so the project can no longer be passed without the public knowing as this was. Remember, we voted you all in for transparency in government….so it is time to clean up the previous commissions mess….yet again!
I look forward to seeing you all at the March 11, 2008 Commission meeting!