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Here’s The Scoop…2004 Master Plan….Overview…

“PRESERVING THE BEST OF TIMES’

TOWN OF LAUDERDALE- BY- THE- SEA

MASTER PLAN

Prepared by Peter j Smith Buffalo New York

January 2004

Commission approved 2/24/2004

Depending on who you speak to…there is a faction that believes it was either a plan that should have been more fully implemented by now…as we approach the time to plan for the next 5 years….or those who are are grateful that it languished….and many who did not know what to believe…such as this writer….

A look at the Plan itself….presented an unexpected surprise….showing numerous recommendations that have been implemented……some as recommended ….some altered…..due to development and acquisitions….

Streetscape Enhancements …El Mar Drive…page 29…3.3.3….the renderings …look pretty close to the Oriana and Minto projects on El Mar Drive….(minus the back-out parking…and a wide bike/pedestrian lane)…along with the Buena Vista Hotel and the Coral Key Inn…. two more projects that were supposed to have started construction by now….these two developments as first approved are in jeopardy…… due to any development extensions most likely being turned down by the new commission……with Overlay Districts being repealed….as was the case for the Overlay project that was turned down some months back in the now defunct Marina Overlay District….

Oceanfront Streetscape Design Language- streets…page 39- 40…3.4.1…….Interesting…the recommendation….”two ten- foot travel lanes…two ten-foot service lanes…a center landscaped median”…..was enacted with Oriana… with the “10 ft. service lane”…questionably MIA….. El Mar Workshops overturned and returned the road to two lanes….with the future of the one lane in front of Oriana to be decided after they get their CO…………while the facade and features seem to be adhered to…ie…tall windows…awnings…courtyards…fountains…what was not followed…form…and this recommendation…”The width of the buildings along the street should be less than their length and should be site located to preserve views of the ocean…YIKES!…

Beach Access Points…..page 31…….3.3.4…… the portals….including the benches….page 49….

Single- Family/ Multi-Family Neighborhood Streetscape…page 50- 55….3.4.4/3.4.5… sidewalks… (although not the streets mentioned in the Master Plan ) …on Seagrape south of Commercial Blvd and in process on Seagrape north of Commercial…with the specifics of using the west side for the sidewalk placement…… the shade trees…..light fixtures…drainage….and….. the new town homes on Bougainvilla…Poinciana ….Shore Court…etc…

Commercial Corridor Streetscape….page 42- 45….3.4.2….pavers were put in at crosswalks….along with some median landscaping… and a bench by Benihana……

El Prado Park….3.3.1……page 26…….due to the Minto development agreement…unfortunately….missing from the Minto built El Prado Park…as recommended in the 2004 Master Plan….a large open amphitheater …for community events…and restrooms…although the benches are the same as offered up in the plan…

The Plaza Streetscape…3.4.6…page 58- 61….gone due to the new parking lot …between Minto’s properties…in this writer’s opinion…a big loss of connecting what was described as a “landscaped grand pedestrian promenade linking the Town Hall Complex with the beach”….

Arrival Gateways/ Secondary Gateways……page 28….3.3.2….. the plans never called for pelicans…so where the idea came from…is a big question…and one that many are glad to say came…and after much heated discussions…went away……but the “signature” arrival gateways….might have become another lost opportunity…in great part due to the pelicans…leaving the Town with some sort of “wall” chosen in the end by the Town Manager…no “signature” gateway in this “choice”….

Parking Garages….page 35….3.3.5…were proposed sites were the Clarion Hotel parking lot…now the Lauderdale Beach Hotel…north on El Mar…and the Holiday Inn Hotel parking lot….HMMM….not such a bad idea….not viable now…due to new hotel owners…and the “White Elephant” on A1A…..

Where to go from here…..in this writer’s humble opinion…..

No need to “re-invent the wheel”…there are some great “components” that should still be included in the new plan…… the entire recommendation or certain part of each recommendation….below….to see the full text..ask to see it at Town Hall ….it should be available for purchase at Town Hall….. copies were recently provided to members of the MPSC….

Basin Drive Promenade….page 25….3.3.1

“An enhanced Basin Drive is recommended to create a secondary waterfront retail destination in the Town. Basin Drive will become a public, pedestrian- oriented route and access to the Silver Shore Waterway should be opened for development of a waterway promenade and transient boat dockage. Small portable retail stands may be erected along the roadway to allow for additional retail opportunities. The rear facades of buildings fronting onto Commercial Boulevard should be enhanced with pedestrian scale features such as awnings,porches and attached lighting and signage. Street furniture and amenities should have a maritime character, building on the proximity to the Silver shore Waterway. The successful implementation of the recommendations for Basin Drive would help to create a strong , east- west pedestrian linkage from the Intercoastal Waterway, across to the Atlantic Ocean”…

Pedestrian Promenade….page 66- 69…3.4.8…..a continuation to draw pedestrians to the Basin Drive area…and connect to Commercial …to promote a flow to the Intercoastal…the beach…Town Hall…businesses…

BCbythesea…at the Arker Town Hall Complex presentation at the MPSC a few years ago….Nancee Nixon also recommended a similar Pedestrian Promenade extending along the back of a Town Complex on Bougainvilla…to Commercial…

Commercial Corridor Design Concepts….page 43…3.4.2….a view of pedestrian link from Basin across Commercial Boulevard…

Commercial Boulevard Pedestrian Mall…page 25….3.3.1….

“The development at the eastern foot of commercial Boulevard can be divided into two major projects”….

One is to close off the street from State Route A1A east to the beach…no vehicles…enhanced with retail and restaurants….more street furniture and amenities….

The second development …a Barrier Island Interpretive Center….which would include a dive center…welcome center…diving access area…(which should be a tie- in to the MIA coral reef project…presented last year…)

BCbythesea…with the addition of the new pavilion ….the location would need to be further in the center of the enclosed square ….if that becomes purely pedestrian…..

Town Hall Complex…page 27….3.3.1……The design to be within the existing Town property “footprint” prior to the recent purchase of the “McIntee” Public Safety Complex…ie…the Orleans Hotel…purchased for $1.8 million….plus remodeling expenses…

This proposed Complex consisted of “two buildings with an open courtyard in the middle that provides a continuous view from the Municipal Park directly down to the water, via the El Prado Drive. The Town Hall Complex would include a prominent feature to signify the importance of the site within the Town, an Observation Tower. The Town Hall Complex would include, in addition to the Town offices, an indoor community center, a senior center and meeting rooms available for use by Town groups and special organizations.”….the original projected cost…in 2004….$2,500.000- $2,750.000….to do now….$7-$10 million was projected at a recent commission meeting…

BCbythesea…..unlike the Arker Town Hall Complex …this writer observed at a MPSC a few years back…which was one building…containing both a parking garage and the Public Safety Complex…this 2004 plan states the Public Safety Complex would be off-site…therefore…with the recent acquisition of the hotel…a possible return to a variation of the 2004 buildings…courtyard plan…may be the way to go…similar to the Complex of municipal buildings in Lighthouse Point…previous posts…

Waterfront Access Park…page 27….3.3.1…..”in an effort to create more “neighborhood” amenities….proposed a Waterfront Access Park in the northern residential area of Town, along the water, at the corner of SE 15th Street.”….”The Access Park would include a waterfront promenade, transient boat dockage and a small park with seating areas and landscaping.” ….

Pedestrian Alleys… page 70- 73….3.4.9

“Pedestrians alleys are secondary travel routes, that are located parallel to major roadways in the Town.”…They run directly north and south of Commercial Boulevard…. in addition to the above mentioned pedestrian access from Basin Drive….(see above)…

What needs to re-addressed ….or discarded….

Commercial Corridor Design Language- Buildings….page 44…the form…the facade the features…just plain ugly …besides the fact that 5 stories is no longer an option….

Commercial Corridor Streetscape ….page 42- 43…3.4.2 and Coastal Corridor Streetscape…page 46- 49…3.4.3….need an overhaul of ideas and concepts to succeed in really completing the “look” of the Town…to tie- in with the pedestrian alleys…and promenades…

Multi-Family Neighborhood Streetscpe…page 54-57….3.4.5…need the “swales” addressed…and to continue the creation of “individual sense of identity” neighborhoods…that has remained dormant for too long….

Still in need of commercial area signage….which could be fully implemented with the financial help of the businesses on El Mar…

A top priority despite the recent declaration of doing no more for the north side of town…is to add onto the beautification of their entry…included in this year’s budget…”piggy-backed” onto the Terra Mar bridge repair…should also include some beautification for coverage …for the new sewer work…some camouflage must be allowed….

Forget the Oceanside promenade…….the boardwalk….not included in the present budget…. the creation would cost millions…and would only be viable using eminent domain proceedings against many big properties in town… a non- starter….

Some offering of a more “eclectic” style should be offered…so LBTS does not become a boring “Mediterranean” allowed only design… ….resulting in no distinguishable difference from neighboring coastal locals…

If we are to benefit fully from new up-scale restaurants …which will anchor any revitalization…to the town…we need to implement two new ordinances…one is an Entertainment Overlay District…and the other is to repeal the parking requirements for restaurants……

BCbythesea….has heard from local business owners …who say…any good restaurant will bring patrons…who will park regardless…and the LBTS requirement…may turn away those who could add much to this town….

The Entertainment Overlay…is already used in Fort Lauderdale….previous post….

Overlay Districts…the original intent was there….and should be used….certainly adhered to…. to keep from “overbuilt developments” such as Oriana……….but still allow for flexibility in design…. ..allowing for development to return….using 3 over 1…keeping green space and neighborhood impact as the most crucial factors….to keep it all in check….

As stated in previous posts…. the next Master Plan…requires ….the residents…the businesses…the hoteliers….. the elected officials… the staff…. and the input of our new town engineers…and architect…..all coming together…to finish the plan…before the next one is required in 2010….

comments welcome….

more to come…….

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