Special Workshop on All Aboard Florida – Thursday 2/26 at 7pm

The City Council will be having a Special Workshop this Thursday, February 26th at 7pm at City Hall. The presenters will be representing All Aboard Florida.

In November, 2014, Mayor Premuroso sent a letter to All Aboard Florida with several question specific to the City of Palm Beach Gardens concerns with the project.  On January 2nd, 2015, the Mayor received a response letter from All Aboard Florida, which none on the Council considered as adequate in addressing the City’s concerns.  They directed City Manager Ferris to set up this workshop where they hope to hear direct answers to their questions.

The agenda for the workshop can be found here.

Update:  Here is an article on the workshop in the PB Post.  Note that since this is a workshop public comment will not be permitted, but comments/questions can be submitted by card before the meeting.  Also the workshop will be streamed.

Signs, Traffic and Trains just some of the topics covered

SAVE THE DATE – FEBRUARY 26 AT 7PM CITY HALL – ALL ABOARD FLORIDA WORKSHOP specifically to answer the questions asked by Palm Beach Gardens in this letter by Mayor Premuroso.   It is hoped that the AAF spokespeople will address only these specific questions and not make another general presentation.

The City Council meeting had technical difficulties on February 5th.  The displays were down, so minimal physical visual aids were used for each of the agenda items. The presentations for the items will be made available on the City’s website on Monday.  Nevertheless, a lot was covered in the meeting.

February 5, 2015

Throughout the meeting, as at the last two, members of the Council lamented the passage of term limits either overtly or indirectly. It was also assumed by all on the Council that Councilman Levy would obviously be re-elected and become the sole pool of knowledge and wisdom in the coming years.

All Ordinances and Resolutions passed 5:0.

  • Human Signs – While 4 people spoke against the proposed changes (Iris Scheibl, Jamie Gonzalez, Julie Poos, and Susan Cohen) 3 of which were small business owners or potential owners who depended on sign-wavers for consumers to find their stores, the Council was unanimous and adamant that Human Signs posed a significant danger to the public and were causes of accidents waiting to happen and must be stopped now. They did request that staff contact those who spoke and other potentially affected owners to see if a timeframe compromise could be reached somewhere between 12 days total and 365 days – which was definitely out, and that 2nd reading should reflect that change. (One of the speakers mentioned that Frank Cerabino had written a humorous piece on the subject entitled Curb on Human Signs is Aimed at Hiding Poor.  Perhaps he was the one who truly got to the heart of the matter…)
  • Gas Station Signs – staff worked with the gas station owners and came up with signage that they (and the Council) believe meets the goal of informing the customers without the clutter and confusion of the County passed ordinance requirements. They will bring it as an Ordinance for second reading in March, in order to have passage by April. It was suggested that the County look at the City’s solution and perhaps adopt the modifications into the County’s ordinance.
  • Fire Station No. 2 replacement – staff presented all the paperwork and forms as if they were a non-governmental entity. All were congratulated on their team working relationship.
  • Nativity Lutheran Church was granted a two year time extension on their modular buildings and complimented on their fine landscaping and maintenance of those buildings, as well as their good works.
  • The Central Gardens PCD plan to replace a 57,500 square foot retail center and 40,784 sq ft office building with a 140-bed Assisted Living Facility was hailed as a marked improvement as it would significantly reduce projected traffic on the Central Blvd/Hood Rd intersection by 54%. The requested 75 parking spaces would also be significantly less than the 200-250 spaces required for the already approved retail/office complex.

Comments from the Public included:

  • Kevin Easton and Carol Courtney from the 40th Terrace/Sunset neighborhood, expressed their frustration with continued issues and perceived poor communications
  • Sal Faso of the North County Neighbohood Coalition (NCNC) described an upcoming vote (2/11 at 9am – see agenda here ) by the Solid Waste Authority (SWA) to import expired pharmaceuticals from out of state to be burned at the new incinerator.  He was asking that the City speak out against importing the trash.  While the Council did not pass any kind of resolution, they volunteered Council member Levy to attend the meeting and express technical objections to the proposal.
  • Drama was anticipated – at least by media with respect to Avenir – which was not on the agenda.  Former County Commission Karen Marcus and Jupiter Inlet Colony Commissioner Chip Block, along with others opposing Avenir were planning to speak but did not do so. But Jack Weir spoke on behalf of the project, and Rosa Schechter of Avenir Holdings invited the Council to visit the actual site and observe how degraded it is.   Tony Doris covered this in his article Marcus Holds Fire on Avenir .

Next City Council Mtg on Thursday February 5th at 7PM

The next City Council Meeting will be this Thursday, February 5th at 7pm at City Hall.

The Consent Agenda includes:

  • Lease/purchase of a Medium Duty Ambulance for $319K as a Reserve Rescue Unit replacement for Fire Rescue
  • Lease/purchase of a 100′ Aerial platform Truck for $1 Million. “The Fire Rescue Department currently maintains an aerial platform truck for emergency response purposes and as backup for the frontline vehicles. The aerial platform truck is the only 100-foot aerial in the Fire Rescue fleet.”
  • Approving the plat for Cimarron Cove Planned Community Development (PCD) – this was last discussed by the Council on 9/3/14 approving the site plan.
  • Changing the dates for the July and August City Council meetings due to adjustments around July 4th – (so save the dates Wednesday July 1st and Thursday August 6th)

The Regular Agenda includes:

  • Ordinance 1, 2015 is intended to amend sign code to regulate human signage.  You’ve seen various businesses with sign wavers and spinners.  The PB Post covered this proposal, initiated by the City based on the premise that “Human Signs”, if not properly regulated as to time, place, and manner, distract drivers and impede pedestrian traffic in the public rights-of-way and pose a significant threat to public health, safety, and welfare.  This may generate some public comment.
  • Ordinance 3, 2015 – creating specific signage requirements for gas stations in Palm Beach Gardens.  The City chose to develop it’s own requirements after PB County passed an ordinance last year; the latter was met by objections by local gas station owners.  Those same owners approve of the proposal described in Ordinance 3.
  • Resolution 2, 2015 would permit Nativity Lutheran Church (located at nw corner of Holly Drive and Plant Drive) a 2-year extenion for existing modular structures.
  • Resolution 7, 2015 is a request for site plan and major conditional use approval for the replacement of PBG Fire Rescue Station No 2 (RCA/Campus Drive) – which was discussed by the Council last year.
  • Resolutions 8 and 9, 2015 – regard amending the Central Gardens Master Plan and approving a site plan for a 140-bed Assisted Living Facility withing Parcel B.  Central Gardens is located at the intersection of Hood Road and Central Boulevard.

The agenda (with links to full detail) can be found here.  Check the agenda to see if any additional items have been added before the meeting.

See a summary of the January meeting on the PBG Watch website.

We get the government we deserve – and it’s up to us to watch what they do.  Hope you can make it.  If you can’t make the meeting try and watch live-streaming or on-demand.