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Here’s The Scoop … The November 16, 2010 Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Master Plan Steering Committee Meeting … Branding LBTS For The Future …

November 20, 2010 by Barbara

BRANDING THE TOWN ….ARE WE BURGER KING  …  OR … A CUT ABOVE ?…

Dear Readers ..sorry for the delay in the full account of the Nov. 16, 2010 MPSC meeting …This meeting began a little late as the committee waited for one member ..then finally decided to go forth …good thing as she arrived about a half hour late…Chair Paul Novak did the role call and all the other members were present with the exception of Helen Wetherington ..Also in attendance were the Town Manager back to continue on with the Master Plan revision workshop and Director of Development Jeff Bowman who is also the liaison for the committee as of a few months ago…For some reason after the minutes were accepted and before TM Hoffman began her presentation/exercise she asked Paul if she “address Marjorie’s question”… Marjorie Evans former candidate from the north for Commissioner and long and continually absent member of this committee appointed by Comm. Clottey …wanted to know why the TM was there!…Marjorie Evans showed with her ignorance asking this question and many others throughout the meeting as she hogged the mike ….that she has not changed much since she walked into Jarvis Hall for the very first time as a longtime resident to declare her candidacy for Commission (no matter that it was not allowed) …devoid of any knowledge or participation in Town issues that she is still devoid and should not remain on the committee….in this writer’s opinion… The TM explained the background of the Commission’s desire for her advise the committee on the revisions needed for the 2005 Master Plan and aid in a consensus from the committee to bring to the Commission as we move forward in the process …Paul asked Marjorie if that “helped?’…TM Hoffmann went on to discuss the speakers they had agreed they wanted to come in to hear about urban planning and she stated the Comm. advised they wanted the speakers delayed until January (actually they did not..it Comm. Clottey and no consensus)…Ms. Hoffmann also stated the speaker would not only address the committee but would come to address the community as well on Jan. 7th from 4-6 pm followed by a guided “tour” the next day on Sat.the 8th at from 9am-noon.. The speaker will be David Suchor who wrote a book on urban planning “City Comforts”… http://www.amazon.com/City-Comforts-Build-Urban-Village/dp/0964268000 … TM Hoffmann stated she chose him due to being easy to understand when most such authors can be esoteric…She also said she was willing to get copies if desired …She said she had the two dates but could get other dates if it was not going to work…the committee as a whole had no problem…except for Marjorie… She stated she would not be there ..Paul actually was going to change it to accommodating her …(ugh)…but the next weekend she could not commit to either and told the committee/Town to go ahead…(double ugh!)… With that it was set unless a problem arose from P & Z the next night…The acknowledgment of it being a Friday afternoon/Saturday morning brought forth the question from TM Hoffmann about it bringing enough people to attend…Paul joked that nobody works on Friday afternoon and the TM “zinged” him back they must not work for government…All thought people could attend one or both…Note to TM …send a personal invitation to the neighborhood associations/ both Town PACS CIC & UOT/ business owners & renters as well as condos and hospitality stakeholders to attend… The second in the “series” of these speakers will come in Feb. with Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk .. http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&rh=i%3Astripbooks%2Cp_27%3AElizabeth%20Plater-Zyberk&field-author=Elizabeth%20Plater-Zyberk&page=1 …who is willing to come back according to Sandra Booth!…This one also calls for invitations due to what this writer saw first hand a few years ago!…

That settled it was time for round two in the exercise of getting consensus from the MPSC for the revisions to the 2005 Master Plan… Last time the TM stated they did an exercise for design…the big picture…This time they were going to do another one to “get in the right frame of  mind” ..She asked them to take a few minutes to think of a place in LBTS that makes you feel “comfortable”….What goes on there that makes that so…She did not want them to identify it…just to describe what you like and enjoy… BC- just for the record watching this process for the 2nd time…I am not an “exercise” type of person…I really don’t like em’ and feel they just eat up time while the participants..at least these participants for the most part look like they are trying to accommodate what is required of them …sort of like a college essay or job interview…After the time of pondering was reached …The TM asked for anyone to begin…a lull was seen as it was in round one last month until Sandra Booth spoke up about a place she likes to go for the openness…extreme amount of beauty…a lot of things to do…to look at people and children…even a Tai Chi class…repeating again its openness …as well as social openness… The TM responded about the physical characteristics..details…design and layout…Sandra spoke of it being open to observe and explained a group from Childrens Diagnostic Center were there to look at the ocean…the Tai Chi class and the beauty of the surroundings…It’s her “home” speaking of the town…The Tm asked if it was a structure and Sandra said no…Vice Chair Edmund Malkoon spoke as well on his place having natural landscape dunes..breezes ..turtles at night…a sense of peace..The TM said it was very open…not a structure..and there was a connection to nature …Ken Kugler said his place was similar to the other two..observing the beach…feeling the breeze..and a bench in the shade…The TM asked what about a structure…Ken responded under one…there was overhead shelter with a view..The TM asked how big…Ken described from where he was sitting to Jeff Bowman which was about half the width of Jarvis Hall…TM Hoffmann stated what they all had in common  and asked if anyone came up with something not connected to the beach..Paul spoke about a building he goes to 3 or 4 times a week …it’s connected to the community …he helps them and visa versa …the people there participate in the town (this was not what we all assumed…so Paul must have been amused as he offered this one up for the exercise)… The TM spoke of social interaction..sense of community..a building…design of S. Fla. …Paul responded it is a place where he can get a lot of business done and the nature of the building was designed to do so..Marjorie spoke next  and seemed to stumble about not being able to say the place …then said her place was outdoors…with a clear view …a cup of coffee..watching people…watching children….seeing the sea…The TM said to relax…Marjorie said it is a part of LBTS that was there before her time and would be here after her time…It reminded her of LBTS years ago…Then they were asked to reveal the place they were talking about…Sandra said it was the bench between Aruba and Village Grill on Commercial Blvd…Edmund said it was behind Sea Watch Restaurant…Ken said it was the Pavilion…Marjorie said it was the Pier and Paul went last to say his was SunTrust Bank!…All responded they thought it was the Chamber…(as he intended us to think we are sure)… The TM said some things are characteristics of good design…urban design…to keep in mind and to protect as well as emphasize… With that over (one more of these to go in Dec.) …

The TM said it was time to get to the “nuts and bolts of the plan”…using the same format..(see agenda post/backup on Town website for printed version … link below)….She addressed the backup and spoke of the prior meeting and the consensus reached …(prev. post)… She described the color coding that showed what was agreed upon in the revised 3 nodes and asked if the members had any problem with it…Bob Eckblad asked about the downtown center node stating there was no mention of the Basin Drive marina and the development…Marjorie not being there for the last meeting said she needed some clarification …that it was really ugly and there is no ability for people to get outside…she went on to divert attention from the matter at hand to talk about the shop a man has over the bridge that she never noticed until the Town did the outdoor market..BC- perhaps Ms. Evans should recall that each time she brings up the failed green market she has the former CIC leaders in 2008 -2009 to thank for that loss to the town…OOPS!… The TM stated they were talking of A1A to the bridge …Marjorie said it really needs work…The TM said that was Bob’s point…Marjorie than said what does that mean?.. Bob Eckblad informed Marjorie of what is contained in the 2005 Master Plan that opens that area up to walk to businesses etc… Sandra agreed with Bob about that Marina area and stated she asked for this at the last meeting (she had no consensus at that time)…She spoke of it being an asset and a secret area to most..The TM said Bob and Sandra were stating they wanted that area made clear and this time consensus came from the group… Town Manager Hoffman went on to the next item community identity…landmark features…She spoke of the fountains included in the 2005 version and spoke of the downside to having fountains…maintenance and expense …It also did not go over well as a result..Ken stated it is a major consideration to show you’ve arrived in town…He spoke of what he saw on the west coast with arches..and we could have something similar with smaller arches at the north/south entryways.. BC- Ken must not have been around in the days of the pavilion contest when Interior Digs came up with the first winner of the pavilion contest…the arch!… It was overturned when then-Comm. Jim Silverstone did an about face after facing the CIC after his vote…using a lame excuse to vote for the Art Institute student winner Ed Forbes pavilion …which ended up not to be anything like his winning entry with the exception of the roof courtesy of former TM Colon acting unilaterally to make it the shell it became..(prev. posts)… Ken stated he just wanted something more than the sorry flagpoles we have now on Comm. Blvd…. Marjorie said she likes the Town logo… The TM said there were two aspects to this …a signature arrival point and then a particular feature that is repeated throughout the town…bringing up the contentious pelicans that were to be installed and were tossed out after the 2008 election…BC- at that time former TM Colon had gone ahead and ordered a monument style entry on her own for the Comm. entry…It never came back to the Commission or arrived in town…Next came Comm. Silverstone who asked for a flag…not flags …and the unilateral action of the prior administration to pay for the costly bases in the budget for the ill-fated pelicans and sticking flag poles (2) with too small flags in them… The Comm. tried to spruce the blunder up with a town flag inclusion and the town logo on the bases which were said to wrap around …but ended up also too small and definitely not what we thought we were paying for…Paul brought up the pineapple as a theme …He stated he has them at his hotel..they are said to be a good luck symbol and his guests comment on them positively… The TM stated she would capture these ideas for future use…and that there was agreement the entryways are not ok…BC-pick a year they were?…She said the next item which was to capitalize on the seaside/waterfront location/history & resources were “a no-brainer” …asking for any disagreement…finding none she moved on… She spoke of a maritime character or an alternative… This gave way to Ken speaking of what maritime meant to him…boats and LBTS is not a boating community..it’s a seaside village..TM Hoffmann stated maritime it reminded her of old New England fishing villages..She asked for a more descriptive word and received three members responding …”seaside village”…BC- Surprise!… not!….Paul then stated the Chamber had come up after time and expense Florida’s Beachside Village The TM asked change it to seaside…Paul said it was originally seaside but changed to beachside for some reason he could not recall… The TM informed them that Delray Beach uses seaside and Paul said that may have been why…Basin Drive was then brought up once again as a secondary waterfront destination …for gathering…The beach and El Prado were addressed at the previous meeting making this a third waterfront destination…Edmund asked about the intercoastal not being mentioned and Paul stated that previously the plan was to pull out the buildings from Basin to Comm. Blvd. …Marjorie added there was access to the intercoastal in BelAir…The TM asked if intercoastal access should be used and Paul stated there is no access to the intercoastal (in the south end)… The TM stated you could buy a parcel of land for that use…Marjorie liked that idea and said it would encourage people to come…BC- Huh?… Ken countered and said boaters don’t typically dock …Marjorie said they could pull up to LBTS and dock to visit the Blue Moon…BC- don’t they already?… Ken again said boaters don’t stop…Bob said they stop at a marina and we have that asset.. The TM said a day dock at the Basin Drive … She summarized the next group of items …an interpretive center…coral reef…destination..exhibits…seaside theme …Edmund said it was one-stop shopping..he liked it.. Helen talked of partnering with a university and Sandra said groups would come for this…There was consensus …The TM spoke of diver access and the Chamber highlighting it..She spoke of an area for access …the pier…Edmund told her of the restrictions within a certain distance of the pier preventing diving…Paul spoke of El Prado and how far what we have to look at underwater extends… The TM stated there was a need to tell beachgoers about the reef and diver access…signage She brought up the underwater park included …Edmund said we went trough this but forgot what happened…BC- the Comm. went for it and Cry of the Water  /Goreau/Furth tried to get it through Broward County for a grant…they were turned down… The pier owners were none too pleased with the idea…The TM said she knew here was discussion and they needed to offer more rational to the county/state to do it…BC- note to TM have staff pull up the grant application and the response…or Google it… The TM spoke of the dockage in the north…Edmund correctly informed her the residents in the north didn’t want it…The consensus..”scrap it”…The next item the promenade…Ken said at the beachfront…Paul said nowhere to do it on the intercoastal…John Panitsas was encouraged to join in and added it won’t be easy…the TM said “going…going … gone”…Build inter- model transportation…parking garage..meaning buses…cars and bikes…Edmund asked if this was by Benihana…The TM said Benihana owns their parking lit while the town owns the landscaped area by it…but she was not sure it was large enough to accomplish what would be required…the group said no to the plan… Talk turned once again to the water-taxi coming to town and having a stop at Basin Drive for it…John asked about the space by the bridge and having step to the intercoastal by the medical building…The TM went on to talk of banners that look like sails…the appear in the 2005 Master Plan (as they did in one version of the pavilion at that time) … Ken spoke of a beach front village once more… Marjorie stated we really didn’t have a whole bunch of beach front…Huh?… The Tm said light standards rather than banners …Ken added street furniture…and Ms. Hoffmann let everyone in on the return of the bif fish bike rack that was relegated to the west warehouse by the prior administration…It will be spruced up and returned to town…The Manager asked about us being a high-end destination as stated in the 2004 Goodkin Feasibility Study… BC- no one could remember the year…excerpts and an overview will be posted soon on this site…as it was a PRR I made…after which the TM received a copy as well as the Commission and in it is much of what is being asked and was answered…The TM said the committee needs to get copies as well….Marjorie said Pompano Beach was trying to be high-end and lost it…we are not Los Olas she stated we are families not Amy Vanderbilt…real people…Ugh!… Paul then stated what he has before and this writer posted previously that his son said we are hamburger not steak and sizzle…BC- Readers may recall from the last election the photo of candidates Sasser and Evans when I used this statement …good thing  the voters knew the difference!… Paul went on to say we’re not Pompano and we can make it happen in LBTS from the bridge to the ocean… Marjorie said high-end to her meant inaccessibility …the Ritz Carlton ..BC- this statement from her says it all really doesn’t it… Paul said tourists who come to his hotel say they like the height limits and don’t change it…Ken said upscale …casual…not the McDonalds of communities (thus the burger title of this post…continuing on with Paul’s remark below) …not fancy schmancy …Marjorie said right now people come here because it’s cheap …change El Mar Drive and Commercial…raise the level …don’t over the top ..California not T-shirt shops ..The TM said we need adjectives…Paul spoke of Carmel …Pacific Palisades as being upscale…pricey and quaint…He added we can’t have that here an 8 unit hotel “ain’t gonna make it anymore”…Bob said he was somewhat opposed to very upscale and used Vero Beach as an example …Marjorie asked to speak yet again and the Town Manager said we need to hear from others…Marjorie then said she was “gonna speak again anyway”…and proceeded to make an idiot out of herself in this writer’s opinion by going back bring up  the back-out parking on A1A!… The TM said they were talking about design issues and asked who their market was…Marjorie could not contain herself…she said they go hand-in-hand…Paul said the market changes with on/off season..The TM asked how we attract both… Marjorie said “I don’t think we clearly know that yet”…Paul said we need to clean up…It’s the whole enchilada …adding there’s a lot of hotels on El mar he wouldn’t stay at… Marjorie said she agreed…Paul talking about what we want to be spoke about the new business coming in to the old Burger King location…it will be gourmet burgers…(2nd burger reference)…The conversation turned to stores and the TM spoke of the plans for retail/restaurants at basin Drive…Edmund asked about the kiosks…which are shown in the 2005 Master Plan…The TM asked do they want to focus on that…The consensus was yes …Helene asked why we don’t rent boats…Is there a rule against it she asked…Yes was the answer…Helene went on to talk about a glass bottom kayak…The TM said this item was coming back to the Commission and there is a workshop set in January …(prev. post) …The TM said they would put this as an implementation point..She also informed them the Town had applied for a grant for signage..Edmund asked where it would be located and the TM said it was not defined…Marjorie asked about historic landmarks like the pier..Edmund added the Demko House which he brought up to the Commission for the town to purchase not too long ago …BC- Ms. Demko herself came to a previous Comm. to ask the same…and Mayor Parker in the past wanted the town to take over the pier…no takers on any of the commissions… The Town Manager said they would put it under community identity.. .. (this too was addressed in either 2004 or 2005 and did not fly as an agenda item) …Helene asked about a rental place such as a historic structure to have special occasions and we have none here..Marjorie said she sees weddings at Sea Watch …The TM spoke of the community center component …and also of the Commission stating the branding of LBTS was a top priority at the meeting they had the evening before …(prev. post)… She went on to the node addressing three parking garages…originally stated for both ends of El Mar at the large hotels and El Prado…Marjorie being out of the loop with the what has been happening with the Commission as well as P & Z piped up again to state we need to organize our parking!.. John stated he had asked previously why a parking garage could not be built with 3 more stories in that El Prado lot…The TM asked how efficient it would be to make it larger…John said a developer could do it…Marjorie said they needed to get rid of some of the parking stating it’s “scattered all over”…BC- guess she did not check with Marc Furth who has advocated for more surface lots and areas on streets for parking…OOPS!… The TM asked about Bob’s previous plan for the Chamber area..asking him to repeat it…Bob said he was looking at that area for zoning to allow restaurants…retail and for a developer to do it …not the town…The TM asked for other thoughts on parking and Sandra brought up the Deerfield parking garage on A1A …Sandra said LBTS needs to get back to mixed use for everything …She likened it to Mack’s Groves …live upstairs and work downstairs… Paul added the man that built that garage lives in Sea Ranch (actually we hear he lives in Lighthouse Point) …and he was up to do it back when it was being discussed and might be up for it again.. Edmund said another way to promote the west side was a bus shuttle to the beach…The TM said that was in the Master Plan..Paul said to build on A1A will not bring people to go west…The TM said that brings back the discussion of a garage by the bridge…a desire to have it another area…BC- This writer was told long ago by John MacMillan he had a plan for a parking garage where the too tight condos on Bougainvilla south of Commercial Blvd. were built near the water …to allow for that location and the water taxi…Hmmm…. Ken who lives at Minto added a parking garage at El Prado was not necessary and stated as he has in the past the idea of vistas of the ocean from Town Hall…He wrongly stated the last Commission strong-armed for a parking lot…(it was not the last Comm.) …Marjorie also wrongly stated it was never supposed to be a parking lot…She then went on to insert foot-in-mouth and state we need someone to look at parking  and traffic flow…BC- can someone please tell me why people put their names in to be on committees/boards and run for office if they are not going to keep current on what is happening as well as make it their business to see what has happened in the past?… The TM stated multiple surface lots may not be the most efficient…Edmund said there needs to be support for business west of A1A …The TM said economic support…On to number 8 hospitality and to limit town house development..the response was yes…the other items were already voted out referring to the backup…The TM said there was one more topic and inquired if they wanted to continue… Paul asked Diane Boutin to come up and speak again at the podium…She stated the group was focusing on some of the most important issues …but they needed to not forget the market ..She talked of the in-season cost for hotel rooms between $260-$290 and $120-$175 in the summer…She said before building parking it is important to hone in on your market…She reminded them all there are 5 timeshare establishments in town (she is associated with one) …She then broke down the clientele that arrives in town throughout the year after being asked by the TM if we are upscale…Diane stated middle class…She brought up the number of full-time and snow bird residents… She spoke of the winds coming off the ocean at certain times of the year that would impede some activities as well as the heat …Diane added the redevelopment she observed in Key West and said we are not a “full class Marriott”…we are mid-range..The TM said we need to protect and enjoy the environmental components ..She said the portals are done..preserve the vistas…speaking of the view to the ocean left between developments …using Oriana as an example …OOPS!…BC- The TM was at a disadvantage not being privy to the fight with Oriana for some views…She went down the rest of her items stating 3 was done…4 visited and not anything to write home about which then led us back to A1A beach access in the north…Marjorie brought up when she went around as a candidate and finding that some who live west on A1A had to party for access to the beach.. The TM said there was public access at the Cristelle and Sea Watch…Jim Rogers stated it was not for the public … Edmund brought up the Europa and the loss of access…BC- again no history was provided to the TM on this issue addressed by 2 town attorneys and the finding that we can do nothing..as well as the desire from the north that access to the beach be for residents and locals…Portals are for residents and those staying close by in the south as well…that was addressed prior when the talk was about sidewalks west to east on the side streets…Outside visitors are to use Comm. Blvd and El Prado to be close to town and the businesses… The TM said mark #5 off…Next up was another “stinker” …to develop a beach promenade… ..or boardwalk on the beach….Ken spoke of a huge boardwalk…Bob said going north from the pier but it made no sense to go south…John said we should have a promenade to connect the portals…Sandra spoke of the maintenance and of High Noon (Paul’s hotel) being impacted with guest rooms being close to the beach… Paul spoke as he has in the past of riparian rights….Edmund/Paul/Sandra/Jim/Marjorie all voted no…Bob/Ken/John/ Helene voted yes … John said there was resistance from hotels/condos…The TM said she would report the response to the Commission…BC- The previous Comm. already voted down the boardwalk as well as the small piece behind Oriana…the only one pushing for it was the former TM..(prev.posts)… Bob added he was talking of a sidewalk rather than a boardwalk…The TM said the shoreline -dune has occurred ..#7 is happening…and asked about #8 interpretive stations  at the beach signs…The group responded no…The TM said that concluded the night’s work and thanked them…This time the group thanked her…

Paul acknowledged that the next item on the agenda was Bob Eckblad’s plan..Bob said he was premature putting it on …stating his intent was to have the committee/residents do the same …He stated it was getting late…Paul said it was a good plan and much had been covered in the discussions made this evening …He inquired if there was any other business …seeing none they adjourned…

BC- it is my understanding the MPSC will meet in Dec. to conclude these “exercises” … Where they go as a committee from there is still not known…Hopefully, clear direction will come from the Town Manager and the Commission in order to enable this group to succeed in moving forward on the revised Master Plan for the future of LBTS…

Link to Town Website …both backup/video of the meeting are archived… http://www.lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov/

more to come…

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