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Here’s The Scoop…Town Of Lauderdale- By- The- Sea El Mar Project Design Competition…


The Master Plan Steering Committee met today Feb.23,2009 to have a meet and greet …pow-wow…to get the students on board with the future of El Mar Drive….

The group met at Aruba Beach Cafe’ for a luncheon at noon….followed by a walking tour of El Mar…then heading over to Jarvis Hall for their project pamphlet…some direction and some Q & A…for this major design independent class project that will be done in overdrive mode….this being week 7 of their 11 week program….

Not to worry …their Industrial Design Instructor Win Menish says they can accomplish it…even with the abbreviated time factor facing them…and after seeing this group of twenty students enter the Hall at 2:15 pm… this diverse class of students hailing from other countries…Columbia….Haiti….Dominican Republic…Honduras…Russia…Venezuela …Guatemala…Ecuador…along with those from Miami…Sarasota..Chicago…. Michigan…Washington D. C…..Pennsylvania…and Delaware…and a few more…this writer didn’t quite catch as they went around the room…they’re up to the task…

The imagination that can flow from these young minds….will make this a competition worth watching…..

Here’s what they found when they opened their booklets…

A list of the members of the Master Plan Steering Committee…. the Town Commission….and Town Administration…followed by some specifics…

I Project Description


The Town of Lauderdale By The Sea, Florida is sponsoring a Design Competition to identify the best concept for the Town’s El Mar Project.

The Town’s Master Plan Steering Committee (MPSC) will function as the Town Commission’s review and screening body. The MPSC will recommend five designs for the Town Commission’s consideration. The Town Commission will select its preferred design.


The Town of Lauderdale By The Sea is a seaside community located between the Intercoastal Waterway and Atlantic Ocean., and between the cities of Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach. The Town is primarily a residential community with 6,300 permanent residents and up to 11,000 seasonal residents. The heart of the Town’s business district extends along Commercial Boulevard with short extensions north and south along State road A1A and El Mar Drive. The Town has been officially recognized as the “Shore Diving Capital of the World” and is very interested in promoting the enjoyment of the beach and ocean to its residents and visitors. The Town recently completed the construction of the Portals to the Sea project, which provided beach access, seating , shade shelters and landscaping at five beach access locations along El Mar Drive.

The Town is now desirous to beautify El Mar Drive and make it pedestrian friendly. El Mar Drive is the “Flagship” and the “Heart” of this village. It is an area of high visibility and activity (Walkers, Joggers, Tourists and etc.) all doing their thing. It is our intention to make this boulevard more aesthetically pleasing, more functional and an area which will serve the residents and visitors of the Town for many years to come.

The El Mar Drive Project should contain the following components:

Shade & Shelter

Seating area(s)

Landscaping and irrigation

Gazebo’s & Resting areas

Pet Friendly

Turtle friendly lighting

Low-level lighting

Handicap considerations

Each median should have its own personality and should not conform to each other

The project will be from Pine Ave. to Palm Ave.

BC- this is the area that is designated in the development order for the use of the Oriana million…for beautification…

II Selection Process

From the submittal response to the Competition, a Selection Committee (MPSC) will objectively evaluate the submittals and recommend five (5) responses for consideration by the Town Commission. Each of the five (5) chosen individuals will have an opportunity to make an oral presentation to the Town Commission. The individuals will have equal time to present and time will be allowed for questions and answers after the presentation. The Town Commission will select the top three ranked designs for the implementation. A cash prize of $500.00 will be presented to the winner, $300.00 to second place and $200.00 to the third place winner.

III General Instructions

A. The Design Competition involves a preliminary submission, a final design submission, and if recommended by the MPSC, a presentation to the Town Commission. The schedule for the competition is provided.

B. One original and an electronic copy ( either jpeg,pdf format or other readable format) of the response must be included.

C. The format for the preliminary submittal should be drawings, sketches or concepts no larger than 11″ by 17″ in size.

D. The format for the final submission should be drawings, Elevations, renderings on sheets no larger than 24″ by 36″ in size.

E. All drawings, sketches and concepts must contain the name of the Individual submitting the project.

F. Submission of the Individual Drawings,Sketches and Concepts should be made to demonstrate the proposed design, highlight major features and demonstrate compatibility with the surrounding area.

G. The MPSC will schedule a meeting to receive Preliminary Submissions including a brief presentation on the merits and Features of the concept.

H. The MPSC will schedule a meeting to receive the Final Submission and hear a presentation on the Design Concept.

I. The MPSC will select the Five (5) Design Proposals which best Represent the goals and objectives of the Town. The Five (5) Selected Designs will be presented to the Town Commission for evaluation. The Town Commission will select the Design Winners.

J. The Winning Design will be recognized in some fashion (by plaque or etc.) somewhere in the project.

IV Terms And Conditions

A. The Town of Lauderdale By The Sea reserves the right to accept or reject any design proposal in the best interest of the Town.

B. The Town is not liable for any costs incurred by the submitter.

C. Submitted material becomes the property of the Town.

V. Competition Schedule…

BC- the schedule listed was “scratched” due to the time constraints left in the school’s semester…The MPSC will meet the student next Monday at their school to see their plans and a presentation in front of the Commission with the 5 top designs will be March 23,2009….

Footnote: The El Mar Project will take a considerable amount of time to complete. It will be divided into the following phases:

1. Landscaping

2. Lighting

3. Pedestrian Promenade (Sidewalks & Pathways)

4. Proper Drainage

The first two phases (Landscaping  & Lighting) are what we are trying to address in this present project. Some consideration should be given to the last two phases also to achieve the over-all desired result.

P.S. We wish you all “Good Luck” in your endeavor

A last page of 4 photographs were included …the length of El Mar Drive…the medians at each end of El Mar…(Palm Ave & Pine Ave.) and a median in front of Minto…all taken by MPSC member and Town Photographer Marc Furth.

At the meeting Vice Chair Sandra Booth reiterated what was in the project material above…adding a few antidotes about El Mar Drive…such as mornings on El Mar Drive are “almost like magic” with an influx of activity from 5:30-8:30 in the morning…bringing people of all ages walking, running…professional bike clubs…baby buggy runners…and even those who drive from Coral Springs just to walk this road….

Paul Novak, Chair spoke of the beautification…the need for plants that will survive the elements…of sand …salt and wind…and the prize money…

With no members of the MPSC…( MPSC members Marilyn Carr and Maryann Wardlaw were present along with Marc Furth in the audience).. having anything to add Cristie Furth took to the podium to relate her 38 year connection with El Mar Drive…meeting her husband…and owning a “mom & pop” hotel….going off topic to describe the heights in town now being only 33 feet…and telling the students that LBTS is  one of only three cities in the state with height restrictions…Not done yet…she said airline pilots and boat captains know LBTS being low rise between the high rises allowed to the north and the south of us……

She further went on to describe the charm of the town…the “old Florida style community” and the 8 foot pink  sidewalks…and further speaking about the “prickly medians” in front of Minto…and the evening use she envisioned for restaurant visitors strolling down El Mar…referring to the medians as “linear parks” ( a phrase used at the MPSC meetings) ..

Later Ms. Furth stood up again to inform them of the “tropical tourist” feel of the town,…wanting the students to be compatible with it in their designs……and then wanting the students to extend the project to include all of El Mar….not just the medians…

BC- The time spent by Ms. Furth reminded quite a few of the input of former Mayor Parker at the pavilion project competition meeting 2 years ago……which caused quite an uproar resulting in calls made to the school to disregard any direction given…HMMM………

The Chair and the Vice Chair stepped forward to explain the time frame…the designated funds and the phases for the project all included in the pamphlet and fully discussed beforehand at the MPSC meetings attended and covered by Ms. Furth in her Editor of the Mc-Furth BTSTimes capacity…

Questions were asked by the students concerning accessibility to power….a possibility of a ” fenced in doggy park”…if medians could be divided up….all answered in the affirmative to offer up….with Sandra Booth explaining they would be making “history”…

Instructor Win Menish came forward to discuss the criteria required to make for having  a common denominator….providing continuity…and enabling the committee to compare all the projects  on an even playing field…with uniformity in size and scale of the first presentation to take place on Mon. Mar. 2nd at the school…

After much discussion it was decided that 24″ x 36” boards would be used with a scale of 1/4 inch…using a median 25 feet wide by 100 feet in length…which can be made larger or smaller at a later point in time…After this was decided and agreed upon the students will then be free to “WOW” us with gazebos and whatever else they come up with….

The students were all wished well….and seemed excited and raring to go…as they congregated outside the hall…in no hurry to leave our town…

more to come……..

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