Progress on 117th Ct, Quiet Zones and Avenir Approval with Undercurrent of Distrust on Other Issues

The Council Meeting was kicked off by a 7 year old ‘Mayor for the Day’ who led the Council in the Pledge of Allegiance.


  • All Aboard Florida Quiet ZonesCity Engineer Todd Engle said that the City has 6 crossings, and the majority of the improvements will be to install more exit gates. The Council was pleased with the progress, especially after many years of seeking quiet zones for the FEC trains through the City.
  • 117th Street Ct N Conveyance
    • City has been trying to acquire the right of way since 1994
    • After approval by the City, the documents will go to School Board for approval in June.
    • Have to coordinate design and construction with School Board and has to be completed within 18 months, with the objective to improve the traffic pattern for the two schools and provide a dedicated lane direct to City Park.
    • Estimated cost 2.2 million. Mayor Tinsley pointed out that there may be an opportunity to get Federal funds (after the design is completed) to offset some of the expenditure.
    • Construction begins as soon as deed is processed- potentially early June and all road work will done before school starts
May 5, 2016

Public Comment:

  • Corey Jones Shooting – Michael Marsh of Vero Beach pleased with the responses by the City and pending implementation of body cams
  • Shady Lakes Expansion – Three residents (Israel Balderas, Kathy Beamer and Barry Mendelewisc) spoke on various aspects of the proposal.  Given the progress on 117th Ct N – why not wait until that plays out before implementing the Shady Lakes Expansion which the residents don’t want.  Request for another meeting with residents on both the 117th Ct N plans and updated plans for Shady Lakes – especially since berms and noise abatement still seems insufficient.
  • 10 Acre Congregate Living Facility (CLF) on Northlake Blvd – Matthew Kamula, resident and HOA President of Osprey Isles brought to the Council’s attention plans for a ‘sober home on steroids’ (by Council Member Levy).  This would be a 125 bed drug/alcohol detox and rehabilitation center.  While the property is not in the City Limits, it is right next to the City, and adjoining/nearby subdivisions were not informed nor their positions sought on its development, prior to County approvals.  In later Council discussion, the Council asked staff and City Manager Ferris to look into it and make sure the City’s position is known and presented.
  • PGA Blvd Bicycle and Traffic SafetyJoe R Russo mentioned Sarah Peter’s article on problems on PGA Blvd, discussed recent accidents and recommended that PGA Blvd be reevaluated for bike and pedestrian traffic, asking the Council to bring the issues to FDOT’s attention.
  • Fire Station 64 – several residents spoke, led off by Abbey and Matt Baker – about the continued delays in increasing staffing in station 64.  The perception was that the City just didn’t want to spend the money, was putting residents at risk, and was just using the out-sourced study to delay action.   City Manager Ferris, responding during the City Manager’s Report, said that there are so many issues with station 64 staffing. The city has never put anyone’s life in jeopardy. Based on level of calls budget decisions were  made. Call volume has not warranted adding staffing back in. The City increased staffing at station 65 and relies on 65 to augment 64.  The primary issue remains being geography – adding 2 to the staff won’t speed things up.  Perhaps the station and others are in the wrong place? Perhaps with Avenir and Alton and new ALFs, other changes need to be made. So the evaluation and study needs to be done.  It’s not all about money – it’s about justifying expenditures. It is his responsibility to justify what he’s doing to the Council.  He needs a plan and a strategy. There is no evidence of a lack of level of service problem – evidence of success. There is a city-wide response system for  both the fire/rescue and police dept.  Council Member Levy expressed concern about the growing level of perception of a problem by the residents.  Mayor Tinsley described accolades received by the fire/rescue and police departments.  Council Member Marino asked the residents for patience.
  •  And at least three references were made to what was perceived as an arrogant and  inappropriate Letter to the Editor in the Palm Beach Post written by a Council Member criticizing the positions of a resident.  The residents also mentioned the Council and staff’s arrogant and condescending attitude towards residents who disagree with them.

Public Hearings

  • Site plan approval for Alton Recreation and Fitness Facility – approved 5:0
  • Avenir Ordinances and Resolution – approved 5:0 Summarized in this article in the Palm Beach Post.  The majority of those speaking had spoken in the past in support of the project.  There were also several comment cards placed in the public record.

City Attorney Report

  • Max Lohman mentioned that there were multiple lawsuits underway but since he had already discussed status with the Council 1:1 there was no point in giving a report. (Editorial Comment – THIS IS NOT TRANSPARENT GOVERNMENT – while Mr. Lohman may not want to go into the details and positions – he owes it to the Residents of the City to be aware of lawsuits. The Council should have admonished his comment and request that he give a brief summary to the residents. WE PAY HIS FEES!)

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