Briger Deed Restrictions Irks Council

While not on the agenda for the July 1, 2015 City Council meeting, the topic of the Briger Tract deed restrictions surfaced as a theme several times during the meeting.  All on the Council were troubled by the less than thriving Scripps spin-off results and the deed restrictions which seem to be interpreted more narrowly than the Council thinks is required. While the ideal situation would be to have bio-tech companies fill the zone, the Council all felt that technology companies with high-paying jobs, should qualify for inclusion. Otherwise, many of the occupants of the residential areas in the tract will have to commute, thus creating traffic issues. And the area will remain under-utilized. See the Palm Beach Post’s summary of the discussion here.

July 1, 2015

Resolution 27, 2015 set the maximum operation millage to a flat 5.67 and set the first public hearing to September 10, 2015. The Council directed staff to come back in September with as low a property tax rate as possible. Council member Russo said he wanted to see homesteaded property owners pay not a dollar more. Council member Premuroso was still working on the amount millage should be lowered. Council member Levy pointed out that the working assumption had been that property valuations would increase  by 3% this year. Since the valuations increased 7.8% he felt the delta should be given as tax relief to the property owners. See the Palm Beach Post summary of the discussion here.

Kayla Abramowitz, the 13 year old winner of the National Young Entrepreneurs Acaemy (YEA!) Saunders Scholarship, was introduced by Beth Kigel, President and CEO of the Chamber of Northern Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce. Kayla’s non-profit has received local and national awards. Mayor Jablin also presented her with a placque.

Public Comment included a brief update by resident Barbara Grossman on marine issues with All Aboard Florida raised by Martin County, and safety and code enforcement issues with property on Flax Court raised by residents Robert Mandeville and Gary Pitchford.

The City Manager report included:

  • An update by Fire Chief Michael Southard on the brush-fire at Central Blvd and 117th, describing the evacuation of the campers at Timber Trace to the Emergency Operations Complex, and explaining the plans for containing the fire.
  • An update by City Manager Ferris on the Drainage Projects in Gardens, Mirasol and Lilac Parks – completed on time and on budget.
  • Candice Temple, Media Relations Manager, described the City’s new website. The Council expressed some consternation when noticing that the City’s Municipal Golf Course had been renamed to ‘Sandhill Crane Golf Course’ without any input or vote on their part. Ms. Temple replied that it was a marketing decision, but the concensus was that such decisions should get Council review. Otherwise, they were please with the new look and feel of the website

All Ordinances and the Consent Agenda passed 5:0

City Attorney Max Lohman said that he’d filed papers against the PGA Waterfront Project and that a hearing on the Sunset and 40th Terrace eminent domain proceedings had been set for around Labor Day weekend but that the rest of the project up to the property line was proceeding on target.

Since the City Manager’s performance, contract extensions and salary were already discussed in April, the Council moved to have the text of that discussion put into the record to satisfy the annual evaluation requirements.

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