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Here’s The Scoop …. The November 17, 2010 Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Planning & Zoning Meeting/Workshop … Parking Regulations & Requirements … Jumpstart Downtown Vitality Now Or Stick With The Status Quo? …

A SIGN OF THE TIMES TO COME IN LBTS? ….

Dear Readers …the Nov. 17, 2010 P & Z meeting was done a little differently this month…It became a workshop to deal with parking regulations and requirements as well as signage…The P & Z addressed these issues previously…(prev. posts)… but when they did it was certain portions of the ordinances due t cleaning it up and making certain actions more legally defensible for the Town …This was a holdover from the prior Administration/Commission and not what the new Admin./Comm. wanted…The Commission made it clear to the Town Manager/TAtty. and staff they want the entire ordinances looked at to see what needs to be left in and what needs new consideration as we look forward to the next years of revitalizing LBTS…

The meeting was at the table on the floor …and in attendance were members  Chair Alfred “Buz” Oldaker, Vice Chair Yann Brandt, Lawrence “Peanuts” Wick, Ben Freeny and alternate Eric Yankwitt…due to George Hunsaker’s absence …as well as Director of Development Jeff Bowman and an attorney we have not seen before from Weiss Serota…Kathryn Mehaffey…(see below)…as well as Development Secretary Colleen ..
From the Weiss website…link below….
“FORT LAUDERDALE/MIAMI, FL – The law firm of Weiss Serota Helfman Pastoriza Cole & Boniske announced that it has added two new attorneys to its staff, adding to both its Miami-Dade and Broward offices. MacAdam J. Glinn and Kathryn M. Mehaffey will cover various practice areas for the firm, which serves corporate, government and individual clients.

Glinn joins the firm as an associate and will be working with the Governmental Practice Group in the Miami office. His primary focus is representing municipalities in a variety of local government issues, including the drafting of municipal ordinances, preparation and review of agreements and the provision of legal advice. Additionally, Glinn represents a number of private clients on construction and procurement issues.

Glinn earned his B.A. from Kenyon College in Ohio and his J.D. from Florida International University School of Law in Miami. Most recently, Glinn served as South Florida’s Director of Business Development for Skanska USA Building, the second largest contractor in the United States. He previously served on the staffs of both U.S. Representative Peter Deutsch and then-State Senator Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Glinn is currently a co-chair of the High Rise Council for the Builder’s Association of South Florida as well as a member of the United States Green Building Council and the New World Committee of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

Also joining the firm as an associate, Mehaffey will be working with the Municipal Land Use and Zoning Group out of the Fort Lauderdale office. Her practice focuses on representing municipalities in land use and zoning matters.

Mehaffey earned her B.S. from Iowa State University and her J.D. from Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center. Previously, Mehaffey was an associate with the Law Offices of Holiday Hunt Russell.

She is a member of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) Sisterhood.”

http://www.wsh-law.com/content/weiss-serota-helfman-welcomes-two-new-attorneys-kathryn-mehaffey-and-macadam-glinn/

The minutes were left to be approved at the next meeting in Dec. with Buz going on to allow public comments …First up was Diane Boutin who introduced herself with a new title…”Liaison” for the Windjammer …Ms Boutin congratulated the P & Z for meeting and spoke of the long ongoing issue of too much vs not enough parking …She spoke of any changes allowing for a more vital, vibrant beachside village…She cautioned them to be realistic about business/restaurants and tourist parking..She said they will not achieve 100% satisfaction but was positive about what they could accomplish… A gentleman who said he was not a property owner but a longtime business owner had concerns about the sign issue (it would be deferred to the Dec. meeting later on)…He did not want any changes made that would require a monetary be taken by suffering businesses at this to comply with…He did not think the status qou looked awful at this time  and reminded them of the empty storefronts we are dealing with…He wanted them to put this issue off at this time…He spoke of parking and said the municipal parking lot is always empty and in need of more signage to alert people of it being there…as well as the increase in the cost of a few parking spots by his business for 15 minutes ..asking it be increased to 30 minutes …He also said he heard some parking was being removed…Buz responded to his statement on signage for the A1A /Bougainvilla lot stating it was coming after recently being approved by the Comm….(prev. post)… The owner of Kilwins also wanted to address the signage issue…He spoke of being in the process of acquiring a new sign which he said was beautiful …It is being made up in Ft. Laud…But, he added it has 4 colors due to a white border …He stated the current signage code allows for only 3 colors on a sign..He said the code needs to be changed and signs should be approved on a case-by-case basis to allow for the beautiful, creative ones and squash the gaudy ones …Dave Gadsby from the Village Grill came up and stated he was “excited to be at this meeting” and that it was “years overdue” …Dave spoke of the empty lot and the always full “T” downtown around the square …He spoke of knowing of a few good businesses who “left in a hurry because of the parking requirements”…adding they were good businesses …On signage he reminded all of a large sign that was discussed a few years back to be put in the median by El Mar -Comm. containing smaller signs for business and hotels…BC- This came from when this writer was on the ill-fated walk around committee in 2006..It was not a new idea then either…This writer contacted the businesses including Dave’s and the businesses at that time were more than happy to chip in for the sign…such as are used in other municipalities…It never came to fruition…Yann asked Dave if the parking had been relaxed would they have stayed…Dave responded absolutely adding he personally thinks we do not have enough parking…and continued on to say a business takes a gamble when opening …He ended with saying if you build it they will come…With no more speakers Buz had previously made mention that Vice Chair Yann Brandt asked to speak before they began the workshop…Director Bowman interjected to explain the reason for the workshop as described above and in the agenda backup on Town website (link below) and prev.post on agenda for this meeting.. Briefly he added the backup included Planner Walter Keller’s report as well as Delray Beach’s way of dealing with parking requirements that could be implemented in LBTS…He also stated there ere no time constraints on this process and it could go beyond this meeting…with more workshops…That led way to Buz speaking about the holidays..Thanksgiving…boat parade etc…and the Dec. meeting as well as several shorter meetings as opposed to a meeting that could run into the wee hours …Eric asked what is a”shorter meeting”…Peanuts said they could set it for then…Yann suggested they do the 1st item see how long it takes and then decide when they need to meet again…

Yann thanked Buz for giving him a chance to speak first and spoke of this parking issue being an ongoing issue in town since his childhood..He was glad to see the folks from the business in attendance and thanked the Comm. for giving this item back to the P & Z to deal with…He said he did research and met with Jeff a few times concerning potential changes …He began to have a Q & A with Jeff Bowman to cover some of what they discussed prior…He asked Jeff how many spots the Town operates and Jeff responded 527…Yann asked if it was positive or was there a shortfall?…Jeff replied there is and will be a shortfall in funding..Yann stated there is not enough usage to make it positive adding the overhead was not being met by demand..He asked Jeff what he (Jeff) was seeing from businesses wanting to come into town and what was the importance of parking as an issue…Jeff responded it was the #1 issue…Yann asked about the number of parking spaces that cause the issue…Jeff responded it was a mix of numbers…BC- Note to Readers…the Admin. & Jeff Bowman are for relaxing parking req. and it appeared to this writer Jeff was clearly struggling in giving the full answers due to their stance vs. Yann’s for exemption for restaurants…Jeff when prodded did respond it’s 1 or 2 spaces to 10-20 spaces… BC- we hear each month we have 1-3 businesses such as restaurants that walk away over 1 or 2 parking spaces being required!… Yann cleared up the numbers low and high as being due to different usages..He asked Jeff what kind of business was being driven away ?…Jeff responded restaurants were the majority of those being driven away…Yann  asked Jeff if we have a parking problem in town and Jeff again struggled in answering stating he can’t answer that without a parking study…Yann replied that personally he sees an overall once or twice a year…Yann continued on with the Q & A asking Jeff if someone opens up a restaurant a 1000 sq. feet how many spots were required?…Jeff answered 1 spot per 50 sq. ft. or 20 spaces …Yann spoke about them getting a “credit” for some spots…(see how the credit comes in below) …He said a restaurant has to come up with 16 spaces to come into town and asked how that works in finding the required spots…Jeff replied they have 2 options …the variance process or a parking agreement with a private lot which is leased one time per business…Yann asked how many recorded leases the Town has (private bus.)…Jeff answered none currently….adding the Town leases spaces to 2 businesses ..Yann followed up by asking out of the leased spots the Town provides how often are they actually used by that business?..Jeff could not answer that one…answer Peanuts jumped in to ask how many do we have consigned elsewhere naming Village Grill and Aruba Beach Cafe as two…Jeff responded he doesn’t know the total estimating 24…Yann said  the next question was a question of opinion as he spoke of the ultimate LBTS being open for business and investors…He said if all of  the B1 and B1A Business District was open to restaurants with no parking requirements what would the impact be to town?… Jeff said demand will go up …but quickly added there could be a problem down the road…(referring to not enough parking spots)… Yann stated we need to help the town adding what Jeff and the Chamber sees is business want s to come in…He added restaurants opening bring with them franchise fees…use of the building brings property taxes..people coming to the restaurants bring sales tax…He asked do we want to create business…spur progress or thwart it due to a “potential problem” down the road?   He said add two words to this code to help… He spoke of his brother opening a restaurant ..and used the following scenario … A chef who has the expertise to open shop but not the expertise or the time and desire to deal with bureaucratic red tape…He spoke of Delray and going there not knowing which restaurant he would end up in…but walking around and buying something along the way …He said we can do that here…He knows it’s a big step to exempt a whole use of  business …but it’s important…

BC- this writer thanks Yann Brandt for the Q&A with Dir. Bowman…it took the issue to level where all those paying attention can clearly see what we have repeatedly been missing out on when it comes to revitalizing the downtown …with viable businesses leaving over a parking space!…

Buz said they could go around the table and Peanuts asked for information on item #3 shared parking and why the Town was not recommending that as well as exemptions… BC- clearly Peanuts did not do his homework with the backup and prior presentations on this issue from Asst.TM Bentley who are definitely in favor of shared parking…and were cautioned to come up with specifics to cover the legal problems that could arise if one of the shared businesses departed…leaving the other in a quandary to meet the parking requirements …Jeff set Peanuts straight on the Town not recommending exemption but for shared parking…Peanuts spoke of Delray and comparisons used ..he spoke of the actual floor space and wanting to see the requirement reduced from 50ft….He asked Jeff to comment on that and Jeff said no comment adding the footage was sq. ft….Peanuts spoke of a sandwich shop being  a storefront …and asked if Burger King was exempt due to having their own lot…or did they rent that out as he wondered off and spoke of the spots at Burger King being used by others…He got back on point by stating he felt the 20 spots per 1000 sq. ft. should change to 82 sq. ft. or 12 per 1000 ft….He asked again about the shared parking and to explain it…Jeff replied that shared is viable…He then went into what was previously presented by Bud Bentley concerning shared parking with hours of business not overlapping the usage benefiting both…He spoke of Sun Trust having a surplus of parking…Peanuts said during season 98% of the lots are full…Jeff replied that was in Walter’s report…Peanuts answered 98% on Sat. at the height of season…in 2004!…OOPS!….Peanuts added we need to assist the stores but by making the requirement less…Ben said in reviewing the documents and having conversations with those dealing with parking issues over a long time it was beach parking and hotel backup parking that needs to be worked through…He wanted to think more “global” so it works for everybody…He spoke of shortages and excess and taking into account the time of year…He again stated the need for a “global solution”… He spoke of Dave Gadsby comment and of a friend of his in the food industry who looked at the strip storefronts in town and stated he could not even consider it due to the parking…He said it’s a big issue and has concerns with exemption or shared or looser criteria…He went onto state this board needed to mesh with the long-term plans of the Master Plan for parking or locations for parking and work together with MPSC ..They cannot rewrite this code alone…He spoke of a parking garage which was not mentioned and the fee for use included in Walter’s report …He stated it was viable..to establish something new and different…having a reasonable fee that could benefit them…He spoke of the broad view…getting input from businesses …higher-end business and improving the values of properties… Eric said Ben stole his thunder about parking garages and asked about the funding for the Pelican Hopper being from the parking fees… BC- no one spoke up to respond…Again it has been discussed often and recently by the Admin./Comm. …The Hopper is a Broward Grant we more than match …not funded by the parking fund or fees…Eric went on to state we may have a parking problem during season (BC-in 2004!) and spoke of his personal experience before and after becoming a resident of town and how many see full spots and move on to Pompano Beach or the Galt to dine…stating people won’t fight for a space and won’t pay meters….He also stated he wanted to buy metered spots where his in-town law practice is located and the Town would not sell them to him…He said if we are losing money operating the meters and losing businesses coming in we need to use a commonsense approach…He said the parking garage brings with it the concern of the the character of the town and where it would go…He spoke of parking at SunTrust for free and walking to town …Note to Eric…now that the cat’s out of the bag…no doubt a ticket will be appearing on your windshield the next time you park there…it’s not free or legal to park there…OOPS!… He ended by repeating the need for a commonsense approach.. Buz no one’s trying to make it more difficult…as far as the parking garage no one wants them next door…He said there are lots around town that could we could work with if finances allowed.. He spoke of the 527 metered spaces townwide and the businesses that don;’t have parking..He added it was not wise to drop all restrictions…easing them instead…being careful… Peanuts asked about page 8 section 30-320 subsection B…and Jeff responded in the specific plaza he was referring to yes but those not within 50 ft. cannot…

Yann went back to the matter at hand trying to reel the board back into his point by asking Jeff …”In the last year businesses that came to you and decided not to come in how many were over one or two spaces?”…Jeff replied approximately half …He spoke of the process the businesses have to go through taking 3-4 months for approval or denial..as an impact as well…Yann asked Jeff again “We’ve had businesses leave for one space?”…Jeff responded “Yes.”…Yann said one spot …50… 200 …500 the issue is getting one spot…He spoke emphatically about the concern coming from the possibility of having a problem resulting from a “mad rush” of business…He said it’s a business issue..Someone wants to start a business and don’t because government is stopping them…He asked do we change …get rid of our barriers …expand business and get rid of major regulations …He said line item J needed to be stricken …get rid of it…He spoke of the options for parking meters, lots, valet …On the latter he said a business opens valet service because they see a profit made for convenience of use by patrons…He asked them to trust that business will decide what they need proactively if there is major success from this exemption endeavor …We shouldn’t worry about where they park…The Deerfield garage is a privately owned garage (as discussed the previous evening at MPSC…prev. post)…He said it’s a matter of getting more business in town…and the parking restrictions are a barrier…that we need to get rid of…

Peanuts said he did not know of a town that did not have parking regulations…He asked if they were going to send item J. or the 12 or 10 per 1000he recommended …He said Aruba and Village Grill as well as 101 Ocean are paying the Town..He said exempting ..he couldn’t do it… Eric said if we don’t regulate there will be too many restaurants and they might not survive…. Sometimes government needs to get out of the way of business Then he stated government is a positive force …speaking of a staggered approach or assessed fees…put in fees like the Pelican Hopper…we can have our cake and eat it too..Huh?… He said it was a win-win more mass transit ..the green movement…BC- Ugh!… Ben said what we might want to do is have the components put down in an outline..short term decisions…and parking as a whole..a guide… Yann responded about a time frame based on the discussions and the differing views of what changes are needed …He asked for the staff to draft it both ways….reduce the requirements and look at exemptions..then bring it back in Dec. with the 2 proposed changes and with public input then bring it to the Comm….one or both…Peanuts again went off topic to subsection N. of charter sightseeing boats and bringing in more tourists…BC- Boy I sure do hope Peanuts and Marjorie Evans run as a CIC slate in 2012!…He went on to tell Buz to take a consensus to move item J. or to relax the spaces required….To see if somebody wants the entire exemption…Yann spoke of the $1 hr. and the the $67,000 shortfall next year..He calculated that would require 61 cars to park 3 hrs. everyday for a year…He said as taxpayers we pay it whether generate it or not… Peanuts countered by saying to generate more revenue (tickets ) have parking enforcement work more …Parking revenue could cover that gap..Yann zinged back “And that’s gonna keep the visitor very happy!”… Buz said the public understands the parking issue…and spoke of Ft. Lauderdale and getting a ticket within minutes if not paying the meter or parking in the wrong place…Yann countered Buz by stating “So come to our stores!”… Jeff stated there was more parking that needed to be addressed and spoke of the 2 approaches discussed this evening…one was exemption for restaurants…Yann responded everything under J. as well as changing 50ft to 83 ft….Jeff asked about the rest of it…Peanuts said they needed to take a consensus vote…Ben said he couldn’t see anyone behind him and …to pass this on for just J. didn’t sit right for him…He said he had a concern of not being fair to certain businesses…and there was a need to be careful and thoughtful…He liked the recommendation of allowing private lots such as SunTrust …Jeff stated Sun Trust exceeds the required spaces..Yann asked about the business district retail stores and about a lot of them not having to meet the requirements…Jeff stated any business pre-existing 1995 (owners of the building) 1000 sq. ft are required to have 4 spots but don’t have 4 because they are already exempt..The restaurants get the same by way of a “credit” so the required 20 comes down to 16…Yann added to Jeff’s answer by stating again retail stores are already exempt from the required parking..Buz asked Yann if with the exemption he envisioned a town full of restaurants ..Yann quickly responded we were a destination spot and lost a lot of hotel rooms since the last Master Plan …the total impact of 30 million a year …his vision is to make up the shortfall with this …a spot to come to eat…we are losing businesses and the expansion of hospitality will come from these stores…He said retail don’t have a parking problem…BC- the Goodkin Feasibility study concurred with Yann’s assessment of changing the influx of revenue in the same manner ….Buz said at the end of the day where are people going to park and he spoke of Delray…Yann responded we have 527 spaces …he welcomes that problem …people in the audience welcome that problem…and they’ll be ahead of it…”What’s the number one problem? This!”…He went on to say the parking problem being bandied about as a result of the exemption could happen in a year…5 years or never…He said he hoped we have too much demand!…Peanuts said they needed to take a vote and can’t be both…Yann said they could have one/two and three…Peanuts said that would be wasting staff’s time…BC- sort of like when Peanuts wanted staff to address heights and the CCL line a few meetings back?…OOPS!…Buz countered by saying this was an important issue and it was not a  waste of time ….Eric asked how they could take a vote without a study..Yann answered they were step one…the meetings they were having…then the Comm…Eric said he was fine with that…Peanuts asked again fro consensus ….Jeff said direction to staff… Eric said he was for C. option do both…He asked about recommending the  exemption and the economic impact…Jeff responded Walter provided some info but they won’t have the answers until the approval and implementation…Eric said we cannot be the only beach town who has struggled with this…Jeff said this was only one item and they needed to get past item J. give direction on the drafting language..Buz said why vote if they were the 2 approaches but Peanuts obviously wanting to quash the exemption said they had discussed this for an hour and twenty five minutes and it required a separate vote for each…Buz said why?..Yann said they don’t have to…Ben said they needed the input from businesses and more meetings …public comment…research..presentations..and this could not be done piecemeal…This was not  what he thought the Commisison had charged them with doing …They wanted the entire code repaired..not to change each line on how they feel…Buz said A. was exempt/B. 12 per 1000 sq. ft./C. both…In the end Eric/Buz and Yann voted yes to C. for both…

After that the discussion sort of backtracked to if the result ended up being relaxed rather than exempt Jeff wanted input on allowing the Comm./Staff the ability to deal with the need for excess parking spaces rather than the business having to go through the lengthy process …There are not a large number of these but they want that ability in the future….BC-Hmmm….It further declined in this writer’s opinion after Yann said give the Comm. the latitude to fill in the blank…and Jeff wanting a number …Yann said 200 (clearly hoping exemption would prevail in the end making this moot)… Ben said 3…Buz asked about the number needed from those restaurants leaving town…Jeff said 2-4 and Peanuts said they should go with 3!…BC- Huh?..Jeff states 2-4 and Peanuts and ultimately the rest settle on 3!…So once again they might leave over one spot…since Jeff stated 2-4!…Eric did try to bring in the use of percentages rather than a number but Jeff said three’s easier…Ben said the aspect of that makes sense and spoke of Aruba tripling the number of tables and then of the now gone from town Abru Cafe and the impact of the difference..Jeff asked if they wanted the Commission in really large projects ..Huh?… Ben said 3 was a good number and Buz said they could change it in the future… BC- again this is why we need the exemption …to stop the back and forth and delays…Another item was how far cars can be parked from the business…400-1000ft Yann asked how many feet it is from Town Hall to downtown (those are the spots leased currently to businesses to comply with the parking req.)…Jeff answered approximately 1000Peanuts wanted to make it 1250 ft….Yann said to include El Prado and see what the figure is…Jeff asked about Datura and Yann said Anglin Square …The Atty said it could be either a number or geographic area…Peanuts lobbed onto that suggestion and said geographic Datura to Washingtonia …Jeff asked if they wanted Pine to Palm…Peanuts doing a CIC “number” said that would infringe on beach parking especially since they lost beach parking…Yann countered and said within town limits ..a half mile…He said the deal now of a combined residential/beach permit was a a better deal (then having to purchase 2 separate permits as required before)…Peanuts said geographic ocean to intercoastal and Datura to the north end of El Prado…BC- exemption to stop the insanity folks!…It’s like a bad game show …All in favor…they were …Yann said it was early in the process for the hotels.. Eric spoke of Walter’s recommendations on shared parking being common sense..and wanted to make a motion…BC- it’s a workshop there are no motions… Peanuts once again asked why staff was not for shared parking…BC- they are… Yann said they should have staff put something together on shaed parking and then they could agree to draft the language…Buz said item #4 parking was parking fees…Jeff explained this was to pay a lump sum for a future parking structure..Walter included estimates that were surface to structure parking $10,000-$20,000 per space..Buz reiterated that parking garages are more expensive..The Atty. said they could put something together based on a long-term vision and on design goals… Ben stated a set fee was used for going to the bank as a base…adding Walter’s estimates and that Delray was $18,2000 east of the intercoastal (per space)…and it needed to be addressed…Yann said it was Walter’s suggestion and used in towns filled with businesses…it’s premature…With this in place how many businesses would come into town?… Jeff reiterated the cost was per space..Buz said said significant changes in property incur more fees…Yann said it’s a tax…Eric asked who can do that these days?…Ben said there are challenges with that ..the changes in use is for the landowner ..For business it will be an annual fee per parking space instead….Yann said you can’t eliminate and then put up barriers…Ben said take restrictions off and have three times the cars ….you can’t take restrictions away without providing something down the road…Buz they would let this die …and they were done with parking as it was already 8:30 …Peanuts said he could go til 9:30 at least …Buz reminded him there was no deadline …and they can have more meetings…stating in Jan. it would be slower..but 9:30 was ok with him… He asked about taking a break…no takers they continued on… BC- unfortunately…

Jeff spoke of if they went with option B. the relaxed requirements they needed to address sidewalk cafe’s as well and what is now required and he would want it changed to not have the 50 sq. ft. threshold …500ft and above that number ..100sq. ft. to encourage sidewalk cafe’s… Yann said he was all for exempting parking regulations…Jeff asked again if  option B. was in place…BC- we hear after this meeting Administration actively lobbied fro option B….Yann said the criteria for outdoor cafe’s is different …it’s the same patrons same person …different table..as explained to him prior..Eric said parking based on sq. ft…and per patron instead…Buz said someone could change their floor plan overnight…Jeff responded they could not …they would need to come to the Comm….He was asked about adding 1 more table and said not for one more table…BC- hmmm. not quite what happened under the Colon Admin. for outdoor cafe’s …(prev. posts)… Yann said the sq. footage stays the same…Yann said if they go with option B. it should have the outdoor exemption with it… All 5 said yes..BC- Really?…No restaurants …equals no outdoor/sidewalk cafe’s other than what we currently have…Hmmmm….

Diane Boutin came to speak a second time and said they made great progress …She spoke of the parking east …El Mar Drive and the side streets …She spoke of the realm of relaxation..educating the population..and of El Mar Drive being for walking…also of driving A1A to other areas…

Next they began the next item which was signage… Jeff explained why this came back …. The TAtty. chimed in rather defensively in this writer’s opinion on their role thus far…She spoke of the Master Plan and the impact as a whole…long range and that those concepts can be included in developing that image… Yann recommended they look at it from the top level…what is prohibited and permitted ..speaking of zoning…temporary and restrictions ..which was on which list… Peanuts asked about public service signs… The Atty. spoke of the pole/pylon signs stricken and explained no new signs would be permitted… She added a new one…a 6 month requirement for a non-conforming business to get theirs back up in the event it needed to be replaced due to over 50% damage…BC-That was not brought up previously and it was confusing and sounded like it is not contained in the code currently or revised just a number that can be changed..Hmmm….Peanuts after his initial ignorance of why this was back in the board’s lap …said he wanted to know why no sandwich boards were allowed ….Jeff said they were not allowed but if we were encouraging sidewalk cafe’s we may need to relax that…BC- exemption..exemption…exemption…Peanuts said he wants it…Yann asked for a matrix of prohibited/permitted/districts /restrictions saying it would be helpful…Jeff spoke of the back of the code having the zones…Yann said the matrix rather than the strike thrus…Peanuts commented that the Comm uses underlined and strike thru Yann countered his suggestion would streamline the process…Jeff said he would try and put together a matrix by the Dec. 15th meeting which will be both a meeting on the parking thus far and a workshop on the signage…Jeff added that staff had distributed fliers to the businesses prior to this workshop …and Peanuts asked if it could be put on channel 78…BC- it was already as well as on the website…OOPS!… The group asked for fliers to go out again for Dec… The meeting ended with Jeff informing them of the speaker Connie Hoffmann the TM has set for Jan 7th and walk set on Jan 8th with David Sucher an urban planner who wrote  City Comforts …  http://www.citycomforts.com/ … and this board was being asked to attend…With that the meeting was adjourned..

BC- There can be no doubt that we need to jumpstart the process ASAP to get restaurants and sidewalk cafe’s into LBTS and we do not have time to pontificate about the perceived potential problem of having too may cars due to success coming from this action!… We know what hasn’t worked..what we are doing now …Relaxing the requirement by a few feet and number of space required won’t cut it…And as far as piecemealing… the talk that came after this first item of the evening concerning sidewalk cafe’s if relaxing the requirements was the consensus …in this writer’s opinion is the ultimate piecemealing…We know the political factions are still in place in town and we know a parking garage is simply pie in the sky at this juncture in LBTS ….just as it is for back-out parking being eliminated on A1A and El Mar Drive and underground utilities… What can be done easily…with no downside this writer can envision ….including putting an end to all these esoteric meetings …is to get rid of the parking restrictions for restaurants… inside and outside…as Vice Chair Brandt put forth …..and then working on easing the ability for all restaurants from the intercoastal to the beach to be able to put tables and chairs outside…and to come up with a Business Development Committee to market that LBTS is full of signs saying “Restaurant Open”!….

Link to Town website for archived backup / archived video for this meeting  …. http://www.lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov/

more to come…

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