Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

For a change, THE place to be Wednesday night is in Hallandale Beach: Vote tonight at 6:30 p.m. re The Related Group's 31-story Beachwalk hotel-condo project. YES to building a hotel, NO to 84 more condos and ceding de facto control of North Beach to Related

 Rendering from The Related Group
We say YES for a Beachwalk Hotel, NO to 84 more condos! And an emphatic NO to turning-over de facto control of North Beach to The Related Group, so they can create a boutique-style beach there that caters largely to their clients, not the taxpayers of this city who've had to watch in dismay as the beach has continued its decline under Joy Cooper and Mark Antonio
Obviously you're the best judge of how you spend your own free time, but IF you're free on Wednesday night for a bit, it wouldn't be the worst idea in the world if you came to Wednesday night's City Commission meeting in Hallandale Beach at 6:30 p.m.

You can not only be an eyewitness to the longstanding dysfunctional democracy we have here, but also watch and see if the Commission actually gives in to their own worst instincts -to act without thinking things through- and decides whether or not, in exchange for, essentially peanuts, in order to get another new hotel in the city which EVERYONE wants, including me -something The Related Group could already legally build if they wanted to, without the Commission voting- the city will hand over de facto control of the public beach called North Beach, so they can make it a boutique beach that caters largely to the TRG residents and hotel clients for their three properties located within four blocks of the Hollywood- Hallandale Beach cityline. 
Oh, and they'd also have control of the public parking garage, too.
Both for thirty years. 

So why not just encourage them to build the hotel that everyone supports -and which they can already build without the City Commission weighing-in-? There is no shortage of condos in this community, so why are we going to add to the hundreds and hundreds that the City Commission has already approved but which have not been built yet? Greed. 

Above and below are renderings offered by The Related Group at the June 6, 2012 HB City Commission meeting.  

On the renderings offered up by TRG, they show an idyliic view of North Beach under their control, but neglected to show the large physical footprint of the 41-story hotel -Beach One Resort- that would be occupying most of the skyline on the right side of this rendering. Why the obvious deception?
They also completely failed to explain where all the myriad customers would park when the city's North Beach Community Center -under the Water Tower- had an event on the weekend at the same time that the restaurant was busy and there were lots of people at the beach. The public garage they'd be in charge of only has 91 spaces. Where's the answer to that?

In my own opinion, and that of many other HB residents who pay close attention to what happens here, that sort of bad decision re the public beach WILL permanently and negatively affect the Quality-of-Life in Hallandale Beach. Unfortunately, the evidence is already clear that Mayor Cooper, the same woman who genuinely believes the taxpayer-owned North Beach Community Center, the one she has never held a meeting about, just steps from the beach should remain closed to actual taxpayers unless they pay to use it, has no problem with any of this.

She will, of course, publicly claim to have some concerns about the parking situation along Diana Drive, the two-lane residential street south of the project, just so she can feign concern for the residents who will get a new 31-story neighbor, but she'll still vote yes anyway.

Attorney Debbie Orshefsky will smile and say something non-committal and the mayor, as usual, will act like Debbie and Related are actually doing the community a big favor, when the truth of the matter is that they're the ones who need the city to NOT follow their own rules, their very own Master Plan and any semblance of common sense for this project to get approved. 

 Attorney Debbie Orshefsky at the First Reading at Hallandale Beach City Hall. June 6, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier.
The Second Reading re The Beachwalk is tonight at 6:30 p.m. at 400 South Federal Highway

Yes for a Beachwalk Hotel, NO to 84 more condos!

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