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Here’s The Scoop ….. Putting Forth A Plan …..


Dear Readers…Master Plan Steering Committee member Bob Eckblad was kind enough to give this writer permission to post his plan for LBTS….He sent it out to the Mayor and Commissioners (see below) and had intended to bring it up at the July 20, 2009 MPSC/Comm. meeting…Unfortunately the meeting ended without him having the opportunity to do so.

Many of you may recall from the Sausage Series (see categories) that at one time during the campaign the M & Ms (McIntee/MacMillan) wanted then candidate Clottey to be pushed out for Bob to run in her place…This writer told candidate Clottey to not allow it to happen if she wanted to be Commissioner…(sorry readers)…but also informed her that potential candidate Eckblad had filled out his CIC questionnaire in order to receive consideration from the CIC to back him should he run…and that as Vice-Chair of the CIC at that time I felt it was correct to ask him to consider coming to the CIC for the members to  consider even after I had heard he was no longer sure he wanted to run. I told her as I told Mr. Eckblad his answers to the questionnaire were really well done and the only problem he would have was his stance on the 15 stories in the north end of town….adding that since that was a moot point at that time it still left the door open, for the CIC to back him if he so desired to pursue it. I also told candidate Clottey  as I told Mr. Eckblad that if he still had any interest in running  to go ahead and file as he could always pull his name at any time….Unfortunately Bob Eckblad chose to stay out of the race….After reading his plan I say to him…there’s always next time Mr. Eckblad….in 2010 or 2012


‘Mayor, Commissioners: With elections coming along next March, and the composition of the Commission possibly changing, I think it’s time for this Commission to set aside some of the petty issues that occupy so much of your time, and put your own positive mark on the history of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea.

In the last Master Plan Steering Committee meeting, I hear that Marc brought up the suggestion that the Town acquire some properties that are on the market or may be available for purchase at prices we may not see again.  Specifically, he was referring to properties along El Mar Drive that were purchased at inflated prices by the Oriana folks.  I believe the properties he was referring to were Block 15, Lots 13 thru 18, addresses 4329, 4333, 4337, 4341, and 4345 El Mar Drive, totaling 300 feet.  These are currently listed in the MLS for a total of $3,565,000, less than the price the Oriana folks paid and less than the mortgages thereon, commonly referred to as short sales.  This is an opportunity to put together a parcel of properties comprising more than ¾ of an acre that could be used for much needed parking.  If purchased at the asking prices with $565,000 down, a $3,000,000 loan over ten years at 6% would require only annual payments of approximately $400,000, an amount that certainly would not have a significant impact on any anyone’s property taxes.

My vision for this Town’s commercial areas is a more upscale destination than presently exists, more on the order of Las Olas.  I believe this can be attained with some wise investments and a little tweaking of our current zoning.  And I believe we would receive an excellent return on our investment via increased real estate and sales tax revenues, along with, of course parking fees.

In a previous e-mail to you last August and, again in one of our Master Plan Steering Committee meetings, I suggested the purchase of the marina property on Basin Drive and development along the lines of what was proposed in the Master Plan prepared by peter j. smith & company, inc. in January, 2004.  This would serve as not only an attraction in itself, but a destination for the Water Taxis that would bring customers and dollars to our businesses.

Also, I made a suggestion at one of our Master Plan Steering Committee meetings that we look into the possibility of re-zoning Block 30, which is bounded by A1A to the east, Bougainvilla to the west, Datura to the north, and the Town-owned park/Chamber of Commerce property to the south, from residential to commercial.  This might encourage a developer to develop the property into a multi-level, say, one over one or two over one, shopping mall, providing much needed parking on the ground level and professional offices, restaurants, shops, etc. on the upper floor/s.  Here again, this would bring customers and dollars to our businesses.

Instead of wasting money answering lawsuits from property owners in the annexed north beach area, return their zoning to pre-annexation codes and restore their property rights, and use the funds to make a progressive investment in the future of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea.  To me, it’s called common sense.  And to those whose primary concern is their property values, a more upscale business district would certainly have a significant positive impact.

Regards, Bob Eckblad, Bel Air resident’

BC- May I add that if the “Gang of 3” under the leadership of  Marc and Cristie Furth from campaign headquarters (“Town Hall East”) pursue the March 2010 referendum item of 33″ townwide…The residents in the north end of town should either request from the Commission or obtain by petition that a referendum item be placed as well to return the 15 story height limit to the annexed north side of town….It was a close race…and many of those who did not understand the vote or voted just for McIntee (many ex-CIC members) would most likely overturn that vote …thereby putting to bed the Bert J. Harris lawsuits….

more to come….

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