| Letters to the Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 11 August 2016 by LeslieM

RE: NO Deer Trace

Dear Editor:

The Deer Trace Project has been denied/rejected by the Planning and Zoning Board. Why are we entertaining this again? Please read the minutes from the May 1, 2014 Planning and Zoning Board Meeting. [Over 300] apartments on Dixie Hwy between 14th and 15th Street? This is so incompatible. Wrong location. Do we not trust the judgment of the Planning and Zoning Board? (Search Application 13-R-169 on City’s website). [Editor’s Note: The P&Z Board makes suggestions to the commission. They did recommend denying it. But, the city government, on 1st reading, voted to move ahead. They have to do a second reading, which is also to be a Public hearing, on Aug. 23.]

I live in the neighborhood and do not want a rental community of this size near me … too many apartments, too many people and too little space; drama and trouble. Of course, all the usual trappings of traffic, crime and environment, etc., also apply. I think this density ratio will exceed any other in the city. Would you want this in your neighborhood?

Do you really think professionals will want to live in this location with 300+ other tenants around them – and pay $1100 – $1500 per month? What happens when they can’t rent them all? Lower rent and allow “another element” to move in? We may be left with a rainbow monstrosity greeting the new trains – All Aboard Florida and Tri-Rail Coastal Link.

And about those flex units, what will be left for other projects?

I do want to see Dixie Highway developed and that can be done with fewer apartments and more businesses as the DBR [Dixie Business Residential ] currently allows. Many in the neighborhood appreciate the new Dollar General and not having to cross a major intersection to get there. It would be nice to have a bank, pharmacy or restaurant near as well.

— Cheyenne Stubbs

Deerfield Beach

RE: YES Deer Trace

Dear Editor:

A proposed 60 to 100 million dollar development project called Deer Trace Residences on Dixie Hwy, by H&S Development Group, Inc. was unanimously approved by our city government and now some of the commissioners are trying to stop this development project. This project will not only beautify and bring security to the area, it will trigger growth, and will bring needed housing. It will also create jobs that will be first offered to qualified residents of Deerfield Beach, and bring in much needed tax revenue into our city.

This type of beautiful, clean, modern housing development revitalizes neighborhoods, decreases crime and improves communities. Our city is in desperate need of projects like this. Our neighborhoods are deteriorating because of lack of city revenue. This project alone would give the city approx. $450,000 per year in tax revenue, and close to $400,000 in one time impact fees. This, in turn, would lower our taxes.

Reputable investors who are willing to invest multi-millions of dollars to improve our neighborhood should be welcomed and not harassed by some of our commissioners. Again, our city has one of the highest tax rates of any of the major cities in Broward County, with one of the lowest property values, highest millage rates and deteriorating infrastructure.

Neighboring cities have clean streets, well-maintained infrastructure, low crime rates, better schools and lower taxes than Deerfield Beach. We have to better our city. Do not allow our city to become like many other once great U.S cities that are now deteriorated.

This is the greatest opportunity for the City of Deerfield Beach and District 2. Do not let this opportunity pass by. Contact the elected officials to support the Dixie Hwy. Deer Trace Residences Development and to Vote “Yes” on Aug. 23 for Deer Trace.

— H&S Development Group

[Editor’s Note: For those with questions or concerns about this project, attend the Talk to the Mayor event, which will be held Aug. 16. See Pg. 15 for details. Look for more on this topic soon in The Observer].

RE: Trash on beach

Dear Editor:

Why do people dispose of trash/garbage/litter on the beach? Who is doing this? Is it the young who are ignorant to laws against littering, or is it young adults who are just interested in partying without cleaning up afterward? Or is it tourists? Or is it just careless individuals?

I remember back in the day of elementary school where we learned about littering and how bad it is for the environment. Teachers drilled this into our heads. Don’t people care anymore?

Examples of items found recently on our beloved beach: numerous beer glass bottles, plastic bottles, cans, bottle caps, straws, lids, plastic silverware, cups, balloons, food wrappers, toys, clothing, pizza boxes, Dunkin’ Donuts box (complete with donuts for the taking), cigarette and cigar butts, condoms, diapers. These items are not only harmful to fish, birds and turtles, but also dangerous to humans (i.e., broken glass, rusty bottle caps).

This social problem, unlike many others, is very easy to solve. Just stop doing it!

But in the meantime, you can help. Whenever you go to the beach, take along a plastic grocery bag and pick up whatever you see in your immediate area. If everyone does this on a daily basis, it would surely help. And if you do not have a bag, get a little bit of exercise and use the numerous trash containers already there.

And to those who say, “The litter is everywhere.” Well, that’s just it; we want Deerfield Beach to be exceptional and pristine. Deerfield Beach is truly a special place. Keep Deerfield Beach as our paradise!

We appreciate your assistance.

— Phyllis Mavrikis and Ellyce Plotkin

Deerfield Beach, FL

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 21 July 2016 by LeslieM

Hurricane Season 2016

Dear Editor:

Hurricane Season is here once again and I would like to take this opportunity to offer a word of caution to the residents of Deerfield Beach.

We have been fortunate these past few years to have escaped the wrath of a hurricane; it would be foolish to let your guard down [now]. Just a few months ago, we saw the damage that severe rainstorms left behind in some of our neighboring cities. We must remain as vigilant as ever in our preparation.

Go to the city website and under the Residents tab check out the Broward County Hurricane Preparedness Guide for 2016. There is very important information in the guide, such as checklists of items you should keep stocked in your home in case of a hurricane and a list of shelters in your area. Under that same tab, register for CodeRed, the City emergency notification system. These tools will help to protect you and your family in the event of a storm or other major crisis.

It is always better to be prepared, my friends! Keep your family safe this season.

Jean M. Robb, Mayor

Deerfield Beach

Check out the Observer’s Hurricane Center including the 2016 Hurricane Update!

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 15 July 2016 by LeslieM

RE: SW 10th St. Improvements

Dear Editor:

There was a notice in our building that a meeting would be held [regarding the SW 10th St. improvements] on Sat, June 18 in our [Century Village] clubhouse party room at 10 a.m. No meeting has ever been held in Century Village. Nothing was set up for a meeting when we arrived. There had been no notice of a change of location either on our condo bulletin boards or in the clubhouse. I was later told a bus was sent at 9:15 a.m. and was in the parking lot until 10 a.m. No one told us about that either. [The meeting was held at Deerfield Beach High School]. Do you really think anyone wants to hear from the residents that face SW 10th Street?

We hear specious arguments from those who go-along to get-along — how necessary road widening is or even an overpass. Normally, there will always be increased traffic. Does that mean it has to be dumped here? It already seems that trucks are being redirected here. We are a community of retirees and handicapped, with an assisted-living building across from us. We, the most vulnerable, live with enough dirt and noise as is. I wonder if our wood storks will continue to find this place a haven. We certainly won’t.

As to the sidewalk being proposed, most people here won’t cross Hillsboro. They think it too dangerous. Some won’t even cross Military Trail because of those drivers in FL who only recognize lights at intersections and pedestrians, not at all. Other than a few bikers, who do you think would cross 10th Street with additional lanes of traffic?

I find it unconscionable that new projects are being funded when the country’s bridges are in such disrepair. Why isn’t anybody talking about our abysmal transportation system?

Shirley Scimone

Deerfield Beach, FL

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 07 July 2016 by LeslieM

RE: The calculated demise of East McNab Road

Dear Editor:

Broward County and Pompano Beach Commissioners are attempting to implement a program called “Complete Streets.” It would cut down over 40 native trees, pave over grass swales and create two 5 ft. bicycle paths. Bicycles and pedestrians have coexisted on our tree shaded neighborhood sidewalks for decades, without incidents. In addition, with the proposed wall to wall asphalt, no storm drainage and losing natural soil percolation, flooding will be inevitable.

Ironically, the “Complete Street Manual” states that its intent is to contribute to walkable, livable neighborhoods which aide in building a sense of community pride and improved quality of life. How does 10 ft. of ugly asphalt accomplish this?

Please call our Commissioners and attend the July 13 meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. at E. Pat Larkins Community Center, 520 NW 3 St., in Pompano Beach.

Daniel O’Brien

Pompano Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 23 June 2016 by LeslieM

RE: SW 10th St.

Dear Editor:

I attended the two hour meeting of the COAT/MPO [Community Oversight Advisory Team/Metropolitan Planning Organization] on Saturday at the high school. There is some history that should be noted. The changes in the 10th street corridor were first addressed when I was mayor in the 1980s. At that time, to be elected a county commissioner, you had to run county-wide, as there were no districts. Century Village had 16,000 registered voters then, so their political clout made sure that the proposal was defeated.

Along came Gerry Thompson, who engineered the Sawgrass Expressway that everyone claimed was a road to nowhere. Incidentally, it was first named the Deerfield Expressway. The future projection is that it will carry 75,000 cars. That was also built while I was mayor.

I listened today to the arguments for and opposed to the suggestions that were made in reference to what should happen to the 10th Street corridor. Although this proposal affects the citizens of Deerfield Beach the most, I am convinced that it will become a reality anyway and the quality of life for a great many of our residents will be adversely effected.

The [representatives from the citied affected] who spoke for the project will probably prevail. The best we can hope for is that the COAT can convince the MPO to give us a solution that we can all live with.

If I understood correctly, the MPO will meet on July 14 to make a decision. For your information, there are 25 voting members on the MPO with 13 alternates who may vote if anyone of the 25 is absent. The city of Deerfield Beach has just one voting member. I think you can figure what the result may be.

Mayor Jean Robb

Deerfield Beach, FL

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 09 June 2016 by LeslieM

RE: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Dear Editor,

Myself and my family lived in Coconut Creek since 1995. We sold our house last September and we are now renting on a closed golf course in a seemingly quiet little neighborhood call Crystal Lake. At first, I was not happy, but as I walked my dog and got to meet and know my neighbors, I grew to like the community a lot, even considering [purchasing] a home! It’s diverse, very friendly, [with] many dogs, new families moving in with children, lots of remodeling and beautification going on.

However, with all the crime, such as break-ins, robberies, vandalism, shootings, assaults, speeding cars, etc., and coyotes in the backyard and streets (yes, I know they were here before me), and the new gigantic cell tower that looks like a smoke stack in the middle of the new cemetery, I’m not sure I want to stay anymore!

People should know that there is valuable information in local papers, not to mention great coupons, good news, but also the bad news (crime watch). People must be aware. People need to have alarms, motion detectors and lighting. [Home Owner’s Associations] definitely should send out notices when there is a problem and also do a better job of screening potential renters. We don’t have enough police to patrol the areas 24/7.

I’m all for beautification of all these local towns, but perhaps the cities can buy less new fully grown palm trees and pay law enforcement more!

We need to take care of our families and neighbors and we should all read our local papers … for The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Oh, and let’s do a better job with the gigantic cell tower in the new cemetery (ugh). Perhaps, they can at least disguise it to look like a gigantic pine tree!

Nancy M. Kelly

Deerfield Beach, FL

 

RE: Utility Service Line Warranty program

Dear Editor,

Many of you have received letters about the Utility Service Line Warranty program administered by Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA). Please note this program was approved by the City Commission.

The program is voluntary and NOT mandatory for city residents, but for those who elect to participate in the program there is a small monthly fee. The services provided include the following:

– External sewer line warranty — scope is from the city main tap until line daylights inside the home, which includes the service line under the concrete floor

– External water line warranty — scope is from the meter and/or curb box until it daylights inside home, which includes the service line under the concrete floor

– In-home plumbing warranty — covers residential in-home water supply lines and in-home sewer lines, and all drain lines connected to the main sewer stack that are broken or leaking inside the home after the point of entry.

If you have any questions or need additional information, contact Vickki Placide-Pickard or Jonathan Price in our Community Development Department at 954-422-5810.

Rebecca Medina Stewart

City of Deerfield Beach

Public Information Office

 

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 26 May 2016 by LeslieM

Open Letter to City of Lighthouse Point

Dear Mayor and Commissioners:

The bridge on 36 Street is very old and in poor condition. Among all the many bridges in Lighthouse Point, this bridge is, without question, the most critical bridge in the city. This bridge provides the single and only access to: (a) over 1,000 residents in 400 single family homes, (b) to St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, (c) to Frank McDonough Park, (d) the dock for the City Police Boat at Fletcher Park, and (e) for business access to Cap’s Place. If this bridge is damaged, there are not any alternate routes for detours and no other access whatsoever for all these residents.

At the present time, there are substantial bumps in both lanes on this bridge going each way. The earth supporting the approaches has been sinking over time and these approaches are in need of repairs again. Even the concrete retaining walls supporting these approaches are cracked as recent pictures have shown.

Cary Winningham, PE, our City Engineer, has made recommendations for repairs and I believe our Public Works Dept. is planning repairs this summer, hopefully, well before the coming peak hurricane season.

In addition, there is that mammoth tree on the northeast bridge approach. Our mayor has spoken with the County Arborist who thinks this tree “should” survive a hurricane; however, [neither] this arborist nor our engineer will guarantee its survival.

Mentioning hurricane season brings up what I believe is a major hazard to that most strategic bridge for over a thousand of our residents. This year, on TV, we have seen the crazy weather all over our country, and South Florida has been lucky for many years. A major hurricane hitting the Pompano area would create extremely high hurricane winds from the north and northeast, the most likely directions to blow that tree down onto our bridge. If that bridge is damaged or blocked, all the Lake Placid residents have no access for emergency medical or police assistance, and their homes and the church have no fire protection whatsoever.

In addition, if you drive by, you will notice that this mammoth tree also surrounds and endangers the only electric power to our 1,000 Lake Placid residents, as well the resident, in the Town of Hillsboro Beach. While blocking this roadway, one lane at a time, to fix the bumps on the approaches, it would be the appropriate time to entirely remove that tree or drastically cut back all those big limbs to protect Lake Placid residents’ access and electric power to their homes, and to protect our old bridge until its complete rebuilding takes place.

Leo L. Bentz

Lighthouse Point

[This issue was presented at a recent LHP commission mtg. See more on pg. 4.]

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 28 April 2016 by LeslieM

No change to garage sales in Deerfield

Dear Editor:

I wanted to thank all of you [District 4 residents] who responded to my request for input regarding a possible change to our Garage Sale Ordinance. The response was tremendous. And I personally found it very helpful, giving me guidance as to what the community would like to see happen with this issue. In the end, the vast majority of people felt strongly that they did not want to see changes to the current ordinance.

At the April 5 Commission meeting, the City Commission unanimously agreed to not change the ordinance. The issues that were prompting the consideration for changing the ordinance will be handled through Code Enforcement.

Again, thank you for your feedback.

Bill Ganz

Deerfield Beach

District 4 Commissioner

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 21 April 2016 by LeslieM

Sell the Hillsboro Boulevard Fire Station property? NO WAY!

Dear Editor:

To paraphrase Hamlet: “To sell or not to sell that is the question”. The answer is simple … NOT!

This should never have come up, and the reason it did was to lamely justify closing the current fire station and building a new one as part of a municipal complex which would be part of the envisioned revitalized “downtown” Pioneer Grove.

Do you see the problem here? This is not a single issue. Close the fire station is one issue. Build a new fire station is a different issue. Whether to build a municipal complex could be the same or a different issue depending on the level of chutzpa of the parties involved. Sell the current fire station and land – a completely separate issue NOT dependent on the others.

The fire station is on a prime corner property [at Federal Highway and Hillsboro Boulevard]. Developers are certainly salivating over the chance to turn it into a commercial cash cow [including proposal for another gas station/ convenience store].

Some saner voices were heard at the last commission meeting, voices from the Florida International University Metropolitan Center regarding their preliminary findings of the City Economic Development Strategy Analysis. The picture they presented for Deerfield Beach was rosy; they pointed out the wonderful array of businesses and industry we already have, unlike other nearby towns.

They pointed out how valuable the appearance of our “gateway” roads were and how improvements to the beach and Hillsboro Boulevard will only enhance the desire of businesses to make Deerfield Beach their home.

It is very important to make a good first impression. Redoing Hillsboro Boulevard from Federal Highway to the beach was huge! Plans to improve the road from Dixie to Federal are underway.

With this in mind, it only makes sense that we would keep our only sliver of property on the four corners at Hillsboro and Federal and make it as attractive as possible. Picture four corners of gas stations and drug stores … is this the “gateway” the city wants to present to tourists and possible businesses?

A new fire station, if needed, must not be contingent on the sale of valuable city property. Go ahead, if absolutely needed, build a new station wherever the city determines it is needed. But do not think that the old station property needs to be sold to make that happen. I am not convinced we need a new one, and all the talk brings to mind that boys love new toys, not that they need them.

Selling the fire station will NOT give the city anything but a miniscule drop in the bucket worth of money to put toward the new facilities. As we well know, in Deerfield Beach, new buildings are not cheap… and to think that a new fire station … or an entire municipal complex … will come in at budget is magical thinking.

Renovate the old station, or turn it into a municipal center and keep the PAL program there; we don’t have a [community] center on the east side [of town], or something else that will be attractive and serve the public purpose. Don’t sell it; your grandchildren will blame you for your shortsightedness.

Bett Willett

Deerfield Beach

Relay For Life appreciates the support

On behalf of the Relay For Life of Deerfield Beach/Lighthouse Point and Hillsboro Beach, we thank these wonderful communities and the Deerfield BSO for the overwhelming support for our Relay which took place April 16-17. We could not have made this happen without our outstanding committee and our Relay teams.

Special thanks to the City of Deerfield Beach and Broward County Parks and Recreation for providing the many resources that contributed to the success that it was. We also appreciate the numerous sponsors and other businesses, including the Deerfield Observer that supported us. This was truly communities coming together to Finish the Fight!

Kenny Brighton,

Event Chair

Karen Hardy,

Event Co-Chair

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 14 April 2016 by LeslieM

Dear Editor:

This letter is in response to the Observer’s April 7 article “Code Enforcement Update” [see “Commissioner Battle presents District 2 update”, pg. 5]. According to Mr. Pita, Code Compliance Officer from Calvin, Giordano Associates, “We’ve been busy identifying abandoned and empty homes and boarding them up.” Apparently, Mr. Pita has not seen or refuses to see the large, abandoned Airstream RV situated on the beach at the NE 4 St. entrance. This abandoned “beach home” is not only an unsightly impediment to local beach visitors; it is an unsafe one as well. I can’t, for the life of me, understand why this eyesore has been permitted to remain on Deerfield’s beach to attract unwanted activities, litter and graffiti.

It seems as though Mr. Pita’s statement “[so] there is no question of selective enforcement – the same standards are applied to all” does not hold true for the owners of this vacant beach property. I am sure that if that RV were situated on my property in Deerfield Beach, Code Enforcement would have taken action immediately.

I’ve been informed that this matter is under litigation and cannot be discussed. However, my question is why did it have to go to litigation? If Code Enforcement had taken proper action immediately and done their job, all of this may have been prevented.

Are the laws so vague that politics will prevail?

Lorraine Kelly

Deerfield Beach

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