February Council – Unanimous Council Opposition to Beeline Flyover

NOTE: Video of this meeting has been provided by Steve Tarr. See part 1 and part 2.

Even when the City Council meetings are well attended, very few in the audience stay until the meeting is adjourned.  Thus there was hardly anyone left to hear the final discussion of the evening about the proposed flyover at Beeline and Northlake, prior to adjournment.

(Listen to the meeting audio at timestamp 2:18:34)

Councilwoman Marcie Tinsley interrupted the motion to adjourn to propose a statement of solidarity for Councilman Eric Jablin who is going to the next meeting of the Metropolitan Planning Organization as the Council’s representative.  The meeting is expected to discuss the proposed Northlake flyover of the Beeline Highway and railroad tracks, and she wants Mr. Jablin to be authorized to convey the Council’s unanimous opposition to the proposal. As the flyover is intended to accommodate the increased traffic as western development picks up, this will signal their opposition to western growth as well. The vote was unanimous to give Mr. Jablin this authority for the MPO meeting, and staff was directed to bring back a resolution at the March meeting to formalize their opposition.

Ms. Tinsley explained that they don’t want to encourage western growth, and that there had been a lot of talk back and forth with PGA National residents over this. She stated that they do want to encourage proper buffering like DOT did for neighborhoods next to turnpike in the past.

Councilman Joe Russo moved to have Mr. Jablin lodge Palm Beach Gardens’ objection to the  flyover, which he said has been lodged before.  Joe wants the formal Resolution to go to elected officials, to MPO, DOT, etc plus have work done to justify the really good reasons why it shouldn’t be done.

The state plans to widen Beeline, which has a special designation, to the north and to the south.  DOT wants a flyover at Northlake as part of the project, to improve traffic flow on both roads, and accommodate the expected increase in passenger rail traffic crossing Northlake.

Presumably, when the resolution is discussed in March, the Council will further clarify their opposition to western growth, including Avenir.

The February 6th City Council meeting had a little bit of everything.  There were lots of good news stories among the Presentations:

  • The Dwyer High School Football team was honored for its State Championship in 7A Division Football.
  • The Mayor’s Annual Golf Tournament raised $27,000 for Veterans; the timing of the tournament coincided with the re-opening of the City Golf Course which made it all the more special
  • The annual Holiday Joy Drive in December collected toys for over 1600 children – many getting 3 or more gifts.
  • Police Chief Stephen Stepp presented the Annual Crime Report – a very positive story adding to what makes PBG a great place to live, learn, work and play. The report is available online.
  • Beth Kigel, President and CEO of the NPB Chamber of Commerce described the multi-phase effort with focus groups and surveys to develop a Brand for the 10 municipalities which comprise Northern Palm Beach County for future use by the Business Development Board
  • The Honda Classic is also instrumental in marketing Palm Beach Gardens  all year – not just during the upcoming event.  An excellent video highlighting the benefits of the city was played and will be shown during the event.

Public Comment:

  • A member of the PGA Corridor Association gave their monthly kudos to the City Council.
  • Steve Barnes, resident of Shady Lakes, described the significant increase in traffic on PGA Blvd and Military Trail.  There was significant discussion by the Council on lack of North/South arteries or reliever roads.  Councilwoman Tinsley said that the County will be implementing an automated traffic light system that should help a little bit with the backing up at signals but all agreed that East of the Turnpike, Military Trail was the major north/south route.
  • Ruth Peeples cited a 2005 plan for the regional park (that would have been the site for the proposed stadium) as a passive park with a nature center/visitor center like McArthur Park.  The Council advised her to speak to the County, and warned her that the BCC was unlikely to favor a passive park over a different designation.

As is usual, except when an agenda item is controversial, most of the audience left the room after Announcements and Presentations.   The Consent Agenda and all Ordinances and Resolutions in the Regular Agenda passed 5:0 with little discussion or comment.

Under Items for Council Action/Discussion:  The 40th Terrace and Sunset Drive project is still awaiting more responses from the property owners in the area.  Councilwoman Tinsley asked that rather than wait for the minimum number of responses to be received, why not schedule the next step – a Workshop.  After a bit of discussion among the Council and City Manager Ferris – they decided to give it another month and schedule the date for a workshop at the next City Council meeting.


One Response to “February Council – Unanimous Council Opposition to Beeline Flyover”
  1. Robin Deaton says:

    The problem with the motion that my opponent made is that it was done at the very end of the meeting, after most people had left, and it wasn’t even on the agenda. Residents were not made aware that this item would be discussed, thereby precluding public comment and input. This kind of secrecy is what residents are telling me they are tired of.

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