Alton Projects Move Forward and Code Violation Fines Increase

The primary topic of the evening was development at the Alton site (Briger Tract): 3 Resolutions pertained to the site. Atlantico, a 353 unit luxury apartment complex garnered the most discussion, centered around potential parking issues. About 125 of the apartments will be one bedroom and will have a single parking space allotted to each – which meets code. Council Member Russo suggested that it might be inadequate since it’s unlikely that each of those apartment will have a single tenant, and couples would most likely have two vehicles.  United Technologies’ Intelligent Buildings Technology Complex was the other significant development project. Several aspects of the building itself will be a showcase of technologies offered by the corporation. All 3 resolutions passed 5:0.

Two opponents of the development, both residents of Lake Worth spoke against the project on environmental grounds; one about Alton in general, the other calling Unitied Technologies a ‘felon’. In both cases, Council Member Levy took issue with their statements and rebutted with facts as he knew them.

October 8, 2015

Ordinance 13, 2015 also passed 5:0 on first reading. The ordinance significantly increases the code enforcement fines that can be issued by the Special Magistrate, allowed by statute for municipalities exceeding 50,000 in population. Resident Kevin Easton commented that such fines are more punitive than helpful/beneficial and could be subjectively applied, and said that most residents want to comply with code. Council Member Levy disagreed saying that no everyone wants to be compliant. He cited as an example foreclosed properties where banks aren’t paying attention; he also said that the magistrate needs all the tools he can get.

During Matters of Public Interest, David Levy mentioned that one of the topics at the last League of Cities meeting was the upcoming Sales Tax surcharge proposals for the 2016 ballot. Many of the cities are eager to see an infrastructure sales tax passed because the municipalities are have maxed out the 10% millage rate allowed by statute and are looking for other sources of revenue. Palm Beach Gardens would net about $3.8 million/year from the tax which must be applied to infrastructure improvements. Yet, since the tax would have a sunset provision, the City wouldn’t decrease property tax rates. The Council decided to stay neutral and not take a position at this point.

During Public Comment – Bob Jaeger, resident and President of his HOA directly across from PGA National Park, spoke about excessive speed limits on Northlake Blvd in the area and fatalities that have occurred. He understood that Northlake is a county road, however the Council was sympathetic to the concern – which wasn’t new – and suggested that perhaps he get with the Chief Stepp to discuss enforcement.

Kevin Easton, resident, asked about project status on the Sunset Drive water project. The Council was visibly irritated and Mayor Jablin retorted that the project would have been much further along if not for actions by Mr. Easton. He asked that Kevin speak with the City Engineer and both left the chambers to meet.

All board appointments and re-appointments passed 5:0 as did the Consent Agenda. Council Member Tinsley spoke about All Aboard Florida at the end of the meeting.

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