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Here’s The Scoop … “Clarifying ” The 2010 Campaign … Crazy? … Like A Furth! …

November 30, 2009 by Barbara

ATTACK OF THE 33 FOOT  CRAZED WOMAN …

Dear Readers… Well here we go..tomorrow night by the seat of their pants… the commission will vote on the ethics and height ordinances for 1st reading… to put on the March 9, 2010 ballot…

Let’s address the heights first….. With all the stalling done by this Furth- led majority since they won in January 2008 on heights… we are truly down to the wire…really down to the the wire…with first and second ordinances being addressed and voted on only one short week apart…clearly going against the commission’s normal set practice of spreading the readings  a month apart…..It’s being done with a “lame duck commission”…..and by two commissioners that badly need an issue in order to have something to run on besides their records …

This 33 foot height “townwide” drumbeat began alongside the other “insider” planning done at Town Hall east on El Mar Drive  prior to the election ..It was sitting right there with the “purchase of adjacent property”…the $2 million dollar Public Safety Building, the health insurance and the cell phones…This writer never heard of any of these being instituted while battling for the CIC-endorsed candidates to win…foolishly believing I was working hard to return the Town’s commission to fair and balanced…fiscally responsible and open for all to actively put down their differences and work together!…Hah!…

The first time this 33′ “townwide” revisionist history issue came forth…was when the majority knee-jerk action was taken to remove the overlay districts, ASAP…..It was a move that a learned and ousted short lived “Town Historian” warned should not be done in haste…Following up this orchestrated action to ensure it stuck, was the plan to torpedo the Town boards from addressing the fallout from this action by turning a deaf ear to any and all requests for direction from Commissioner Dodd or Paul Novak the Chair of the  Master Plan Steering Committee …Add to that  the few and far between meetings of the Planning and Zoning board…….They successfully held the height issue at bay for almost 2 years…just waiting for the opportune moment to use it for an election platform in order to run on once again in the the same old CIC-Furth led campaign…campaigning against “evil developers”…and “a LBTS Galt Ocean Mile”…with a dash of anti-VFD thrown in for good measure…sort of the 6 degrees of  VFD separation…

Ms. Furth who may have succeeded in this election in getting the nod to run for commission in the south end of town…by cajoling Comm. Silverstone into the mayoral spot…has been driving this train from day one……including pushing via this  group, a Town Manager via the Assist. Town Manager via the based on Wilton Manors “townwide” survey that included the falsely stated question 13… “Do you support the current maximum height limit of 33’0 in Town?”…It produced the hoped for response from less than 4% of the residents in the affirmative…and with that in place…it was full speed ahead to become the focal point of the Mc-Furth-CIC campaign over the next 3+ months… No epiphany at the beach required for this one!…

We saw the Furth “siesta -soldiers” on the dais hop on board this psychedelic “Love the height issue” train……especially in the aftermath commission directions of drafting the first ordinance given to the Town Atty. last month….They were  given  “marching orders” from their oft visited late night “El Mar” command post…”clarify”…the LBTS voters need to “clarify the heights”…once and for all…Take a look how often the word “clarify” is used in the ballot question… Who else is visiting Town Hall East?……Hmmm…..

We have been given two versions of the the new height limit referendum from the Town Attorney…Ordinance 2009-33 and Ordinance 2009-34…

Page 1-2009-33 is to approve an amendment to 7.1 of the Town Charter pending a referendum election providing for a maximum building height of forty-four (44)  for all buildings within the Town located to the north of Pine Ave: providing for a maximum of thirty-three (33) feet for all buildings located south of Pine Avenue ….It goes on to say “providing for a modification in the calculation used to determine maximum building height”…Basically the word “modifying” means LOWERING the maximum building height in the south end of town from 3 over 1 or 44′ to 33’…..continuing on … “further providing for clarification on the restrictions on the creation of new zoning categories and amendments to residential zoning zoning district regulations”…

On page 2- Sec. 2 Charter Amendment-7.1 (1)  … states that buildings north of Pine, as they existed on March 20, 2006 shall not be more than four stories high above grade and the maximum height of such buildings shall be 44 feet high above the grade, a horizontal plane eighteen inches above the crown of the roadway of the highest point adjoining the property on which the building is located….

What’s stricken-measuring the height” as defined in the Florida Building Code, or above” (the horizontal 18″ above the crown of the roadway)…and also stricken in the highest point determination “whichever of those 2 levels is higher”…

(2) NEW- “No building within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Town as they existed on March 20, 2006, located south of Pine Avenue, shall exceed a” ….attached to the prior section in place …”maximum height”…NEW- “of” ‘ thirty-three feet, …NEW -“which shall be measured from”a horizontal plane eighteen inches above the crown of the roadway of the highest point adjoining the property on which the building is located.”

What’s stricken- “Above grade, as defined in the Florida Building Code, or above (the horizontal 18″ above the crown of the roadway)…and also stricken …”Above the minimum elevation for a habitable, finished floor permitted under applicable federal or Florida state regulations, whichever of those three levels is highest.”

Page 3 -again stricken-the Florida Building Code for height …no longer allowing for roof apparatus such as air conditioners…elevator shafts and the like being in addition to the maximum height …those will now be included in the maximum height allowed…33′ or 44’..

Page 4 -still allows for those non- conforming buildings existing before and now non-conforming with the new LOWER 33′ maximum height in the south ( if voted on in referendum… we will have many more that will now be non-conforming) destroyed by fire/natural disaster or other act of God…to be rebuilt to height and setbacks as recently passed in the land development codes..

Page 6 -NEW-  adds-the following for rezoning “The Town may not rezone property that was zoned in one of the residential zoning districts as of March 20, 2006 to a different zoning district and”… (may not )NEW-” revise any regulations applicable to these residential zoning districts to allow additional uses without approval by similar referendum vote.” …also NEW- “The Town may not “( create without approval by referendum ) NEW-“overlay districts.”…

Ordinance 2009- 34

page 1- The same in content …with the exception of adding “In specified areas” to include certain areas in the south allowing 44 ‘…

Page 2- Sec. 2 -Sec. 7.1 is the same for the 44 ‘ north of pine……until you see the inclusion of certain areas south of Pine Ave..to also be 44’…

NEW …(1) “South of Basin Drive and north of Hibiscus Avenue, south or east of Silver Shores Waterway and west of the mid-block line between Seagrape Drive and Bougainvilla Drive.

Page 3- (2) “South of Pine Avenue, east of Bougainvilla Drive, and north of Palm Ave and

(3) Frontage along Commercial Boulevard east of the Intracoastal Waterway.”

The rest of the additions in 2009-34 …… are as above in 2009-33… stricken also the same with an OOPS!… MIA in leaving out the stricken “The Town” in (9) line 237 …same text used with the Florida Building Code and grade from the crown … zoning etc…

Ballot Questions…

2009-33

“MODIFYING; MAXIMUM BUILDING HEIGHT; MEASUREMENT CALCULATION; AND CLARIFYING REFERENDUM REQUIREMENT FOR RESIDENTIAL ZONING DISTRICT CHANGES”

“This amendment (1) establishes a maximum building height of 44 ft. for all buildings located north of Pine Avenue and 33 ft. for all buildings located south of Pine Avenue, (2) revises the measurement used to determine maximum building height, and, (3) clarifies referendum requirements for certain changes to the Town’s residential zoning districts.”

“Shall the above-described Charter Amendment be adopted?”

Yes [ ]

No [ ]

………………………….

2009-34

“MODIFYING; MAXIMUM BUILDING HEIGHT; MEASUREMENT CALCULATION; AND CLARIFYING REFERENDUM REQUIREMENT FOR RESIDENTIAL ZONING DISTRICT CHANGES”

“This amendment (1) establishes a maximum building height of 44 feet for all buildings located north of Pine Avenue, 44 feet in specified areas south of Pine Avenue,  and 33 feet for all buildings located south of Pine Avenue, (2) revises the measurement used to determine maximum building height, and, (3) clarifies referendum requirements for certain changes to the Town’s residential zoning districts.”

“Shall the above-described Charter Amendment be adopted?”

Yes [ ]

No [ ]

…………………………

The 1st and 2nd versions of the first ordinances for the ballot 2009-33 /2009-34 do not specify that the maximum height in the south end of town will be lowered…which will again lead to, in yet another LBTS Height Referendum election, many voters voting on these referendum questions to walk away voting against the way they intended!..

Going against the Florida Building Code will cause much confusion from those coming into our already substandard Development office… The office that has repeatedly been called out over the past 2 years for inconsistent, and incorrect information…Taking out the Florida Building Code in the ordinance could also take away a layer of protection in a dispute …

Referendum on zoning…for every”residential”  area …what about all the talk of the need for a “Hospitality Overlay District” to retain the town’s tourism vitality…

This is a giant mistake and unnecessary for this election…What’s the rush?…

It’s only been a few months since the Town Manager terminated the Town Fire Marshal saying she could not justify his $100,000 salary (which was never $100,000) due to lack of permits for building…She was backed up by Comm. Clottey …who repeatedly turned this writer’s stomach with her crass remarks each time the termination was discussed…”we can’t pay someone to sit in their office and twiddle their thumbs”… Vice Mayor McIntee and Comm. Silverstone heartily concurred and backed the Town manager due to lack of building in the Town….

Take a walk around…see any building going on?…Nope!… Minto has stopped and we hear has plans to come back with a revised plan…for somewhere down the line…years from now…As for other properties on El Mar Drive who have had their plans approved… ..not even a shovel has been put in the ground…We saw the Garden Court extension process….it’s treading water, with the assist of a state program……And the By The Sea Future has on its new edition’s back page 2 hotels for sale…The Coral Key who came up empty ….and did not get an extension…due to the owner and his paper…coming up against a hostile, biased dais…and the La Mer Hotel ….

Does anyone doubt for a minute if “Mr Oliver Parker ” now so strangely and suddenly revered by his former foes pulled such a stunt…the BTSTimes newsflashes would be out tonight!…

The  political shoe’s on the other foot here folks….. Tell this commission to do one thing the last commission did with 6 meetings to go…. leave this decision for the next commission!…A look at the minutes for 2007 /08 will show the commissioners did just that …led by McIntee and Silverstone)….

Those wishing to deny that LBTS voters have more than once specifically approved a 3-over-1 story height limit in Town might well be reminded that — according to its title — *Section (9) of the 2006 Charter Amendment on Height Limits and Voter Control of Rezoning….the 2006 Charter Amendment was one “REFINING AND STRENGTHENING THE 3-OVER-1 STORY HEIGHT LIMIT.”…

Stand up and run on your record…”Broom Boys”….This issue should be swept aside! …

The full ordinances are online in the backup … http://www.lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov/town/backup2009.htm

more to come….

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