This Is our Village

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Hi all,
The following article from the Sun Sentinel, was sent by Peter Cruise.
Thanks Peter,
Dave Israel,

South Florida
Palm Beach County Zoning Commission denies Mizner Trail development proposal

By Rebekah Monson, Sun Sentinel

September 2, 2011
The county Zoning Commission on Thursday voted down a controversial plan to build 291 homes and townhomes on the former Mizner Trail golf course in Boca Del Mar, west of Boca Raton.

The commission voted 4-3 to deny the request from Siemens Group to re-designate the course for residential development.

"The biggest issue is competing property rights," Commissioner Bill Anderson said. "We should be protecting the property rights of the people who bought around this property."

Commissioners Robert Currie, Sam Caliendo and Mark Beatty supported the proposal. Commissioner Sheri Scarborough abstained due to a conflict of interest.

More than 100 people weighed in during the hearing, that lasted more than seven hours; 78 people submitted comment cards opposing the project, while 28 supported it.

Opponents say it violates Boca Del Mar's master plan, which designates the course as open space.

"A master plan was thought up that designated the open space as the heart of this community," said Mike Kaplan, a resident of the Woodbriar, which abuts the course.
Anderson said that Siemens Group was asking the commission to "magically convert" the land to be eligible for development to increase its value.

Other commissioners refuted opponents, pointing to a deed restriction that limits the land to golf course use until 2012.

"This is clearly a case of 'Buyer, beware,'" Commissioner Same Caliendo said. "It's quite evident that [the golf course] was coming to an end."

Several commissioners applauded recent revisions to the plan, but the smaller number of homes and improved plan for open space wasn't enough to sway the vote.
"I think you've gotten close," Chairwoman Sherry Hyman said before casting the deciding vote to deny the plan. "I'm not sure I'm totally comfortable at this point."

Hyman said county commissioners would have to determine whether the modifications were adequate, but she thinks the development will end up back in court.
In 2006, a judge rejected a different plan to develop the Mizner Trail site.

"I'm not sure what we do here today is totally important," she said. "I don't know what, ultimately, a court is going to decide."

The proposal will next appear before the County Commission on Sept. 27. or 561-243-6624
Copyright © 2011, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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