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.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper's old threats & lawsuits re-emerge as Hollywood's Beach One Resort sues over its access to the beach, the latest shoe to drop in The Related Group's Beachwalk project that'd make HB's North Beach a de facto private beach for The Related Group's properties, NOT a public beach for HB residents


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Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper's old threats & lawsuits re-emerge as Hollywood's Beach One Resort sues over its access to the beach, the latest shoe to drop in The Related Group's Beachwalk project that'd make HB's North Beach a de facto private beach for The Related Group's properties, NOT a public beach for HB residents


We all knew that it was only a matter of time before we got more facts about this heretofore mysterious lawsuit regarding access to the beach that was obliquely referred to last week around town and at the City Commission meeting on The Related Group's Beachwalk proposal, didn't we? 
And now the South Florida's Sun-Sentinel's Tonya Alanez has assembled some of the latest relevant facts to better connect-the-dots that should cause quite a ripple when you look at the big picture...

South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Beach One Resort's newest buyer sues Hallandale over beach access
By Tonya Alanez, Sun Sentinel
7:34 p.m. EDT, June 13, 2012

HALLANDALE BEACH—
The city has never embraced Hollywood's proposed Beach One Resort on Hallandale's northern border and has twice sued over congestion the project would bring to a high-rise heavy section of A1A.

Now, it's Hallandale's turn to be sued over the 41-story hotel/condo.

The dispute, this time, revolves around beach access.

Although the plot of land for the proposed Beach One Resort at 4111 S. Ocean Drive is in Hollywood, the beach directly in front of it is part of Hallandale's North Beach Park.

Because a Hallandale park-improvement plan would eliminate an existing 20-foot right of way dedicated to beach access, developer — Mazal Tov 11, LLC — which is buying the resort property for $15 million is suing Hallandale and the former developer.

Beach access for the 477-room hotel/condo is "an essential term of the contract" and the spat is hanging up a planned June 15 closing on the property, according to a lawsuit filed May 30 in Broward Circuit Court.

"The seller [Beach One Resort, LLLP] possessed actual knowledge, or should have known, that the city of Hallandale Beachintended to close beach access to the property, but misrepresented and concealed this fact to the seller," the lawsuit says." The buyer would not have entered into the contract or made [$2.2 million in] payments if it knew that the property did not have beach access."

A Mazal Tov spokesman, Marc Schmulian, indicated that a resolution may be in the works.

"We're working very hard to get this thing resolved as quickly and amicably as possible," Schmulian said Wednesday.

The Hallandale City Commission met in executive session June 7 to discuss the lawsuit.

Hallandale officials, through city spokesman Peter Dobens, declined to comment on the pending litigation.

Olga De Los Santos, corporate counsel for Beach One Resort, didn't have much more to say: "We are under strict orders not to comment on pending litigation. Regretfully, we can't comment."

Beach One Resort, slated for a 1.6-acre lot at the northeast corner of South Ocean Drive and Hallandale Beach Boulevard, has long been a source of tension between Hallandale and Hollywood.

Hallandale Mayor Joy Cooper attended an October 2008 Hollywood commission meeting to complain that the project would bring problematic congestion to an area already dense with high-rise condos and luxury hotels, especially in front of an adjacent Hallandale fire station.

At that meeting, Hollywood city commissioners unanimously approved zoning changes to allow the developer to move forward with the project, which is expected to generate $1.2 million a year for the city.

Hallandale officials hurriedly filed two lawsuits against Hollywood and the developer, objecting to the project, the effects its traffic would have on the fire station and claiming some Hollywood commissioners were biased against Hallandale Beach.

One of the lawsuits was dismissed by a judge and the other was settled when Hallandale and the original developer agreed on a valet-parking plan.

Mazal Tov is also suing over that valet agreement, saying the seller "actively concealed" it. Had it been disclosed, Mazal Tov would not have entered into the contract because it "burdened the property in perpetuity," the lawsuit says.

That agreement calls for Beach One Resort to provide mandatory valet parking when its holds special events drawing 400 or more guests; its purpose was to ensure that event traffic would not spill onto A1A or impact the neighboring fire station.

Construction has yet to begin on the project which is designed to include a restaurant and lounge, fitness facility and meeting space.

"The concerns raised by Hallandale, we have sought to address and the developer has sought to address, and, we believe, has been resolved," Hollywood spokeswoman Raelin Storey said Wednesday.

"I think we're past that issue now, and we hope that the developer and Hallandale could work out any other issues that remain."

My previous posts on the Beach One Resort project from 2008 are below.
Yes, back in the days when Mayor Joy Cooper was making her wild threats against the City of Hollywood and was threatening to charge an entrance fee to access the public beach -North Beach- near the Beach One Resort property, something she has neither the legal power or authority to do, of course under the Florida Constitution.
Is there nothing Mayor Cooper won't say or do or threaten in order to get her way?

For the record, since facts really do matter, esp. in this case, at the 2008 Hollywood City Commission meeting where the plan was unanimously approved, the public meeting where 
a.) Mayor Cooper, then-City Manager Mike Good, then-City Attorney David Jove & Company arrived having completely failed to do their basic homework, and actually know the relevant rules that applied next door in Hollywood. Yes, Jove being Jove!

Foolishly, this crew thought they'd just show-up and be given preferential treatment and be given special rights at the meeting that actual Hollywood citizens didn't enjoy -to speak for fifteen minutes instead of the three minutes allowed during public comments- until Mayor Bober set them straight on the rules, and

b.) the meeting where I publicly spoke in favor of the Beach One Resort project, having attended most of the previous public meetings on the issue, where both the developers and the city staff were friendly, forthcoming and professional, something that can't really be said here in HB the past few years, where the city has attempted to keep public information from the public about development issues until the last possible moment.

It was at this 2008 meeting that a very interesting and telling fact emerged that was NEVER publicly mentioned again at Hallandale Beach City Hall.
And a most delicious and telling fact it is, too.

When the clueless HB crew were clearly losing their cool and their argument, they complained that Fire Chief Sullivan never received some pertinent documents from Hollywood to look over, but without missing a beat, it was quickly pointed out that the docs in question had in fact been sent to Good, who had, in fact, received them.

You see, it really wasn't the City of Hollywood's problem that then-City Manager Mike Good, the person in charge, never gave those particular docs to Chief Sullivan.
He had them, but for whatever reason, he chose not to share them with Sullivan.

Yes, incredibly, the Cooper Crew actually wanted to complain about something that the City of Hollywood had absolutely no control over, and then fumed about it.
Really.

Tell me truthfully, is that not THE perfect fact to explain to people who don't live here how things are routinely done at Hallandale Beach City Hall?
Not just poorly and unprofessionally, but incompetently and sometimes, as we've previously, discussed, perhaps even illegally as well.

Naming Names Herald-style -Beach One Resort Hotel in Hollywood Passes Round One

Beach One Resort's Approval in Hollywood Provokes Wrath and Harsh Words at Hallandale Beach City Commission

Cleavage Grows Larger b/w City of Hallandale Beach and Hollywood After Beach One Resort Approved

If Mayor Cooper, former City Manager Mike Good, Fire Chief Sullivan -and then Asst. City Manager Antoniowere genuinely so concerned and serious about the public safety of HB residents and visitors when saying that the Beach One Resort shouldn't have been approved by the City of Hollywood for that site next-door to the iconic HB Water Tower and the HB Fire/Rescue station below it, then how come they, the so-called leaders of the City of Hallandale BeachNEVER made arrangements to erect even a single Fire Truck warning sign, like the one above -commonplace in all parts of this country!- placed ANYWHERE on State Road A1A/Ocean Drive and east-bound Hallandale Beach Blvd./State Road 858 as you approach the Fire/Rescue Station in question, to warn drivers and pedestrians?
You know, as is done everywhere else in this country routinely?
So much for their genuine concern about public safety and attention to detail! 
Then and now!

Folks, they never erected one prior to that 2008 Hollywood City Commission meeting and four years later, nothing has changed at that intersection and immediate area -there's still NO WARNING SIGNS there of any kind!

Yes, actions really DO speak louder than words, and by that measure, it's yet another example of the City of Hallandale Beach saying one thing and doing quite another.

Above, another classic 2008 photo of mine highlighting the city's inability to do something right and their lack of attention to detail -this is the city's first "warning" sign that you see about surveillance cameras at the beach. 
It's on the back of a a west-bound Stop sign that's on the opposite side of the street as you are driving east. And as you can see is frequently obstructed by palm fronds.
But of course, courts have already ruled that if the public can't see a posted warning or road signs, they're really NOT posted. 

Yes, that so-called "warning" is still there, and the city has never posted any other more-visible warning signs at the entrance.
It's one of dozens of facts and problems about the beach and this city that I told HB Assistant City Managers Jennifer Frastai and Franklin Heileman about four year ago, over the course of nearly an hour, in the conference room of the City Manager's office at City Hall.

Frastai has NEVER done anything about any of the dozens of matters I brought to her attention that day, including the ones related to public safety, most of which are still all around us today. 


Frastai also NEVER followed-up with me as she said she would, despite my giving her multiple email addresses and phone numbers she could reach me at. 
As almost everyone in this city who is paying attention knows, I'm one of the easiest persons to reach in this city, but somehow, she couldn't be bothered.
Which is why Jennifer Frastai simply can't be trusted -there's no logical follow-up.
Above, in this July 2008 photo of mine, you can see one of two kids playing on top of the OLD dirt mound on the Beach One Resort property. 
Given how often it rains here, I guess it's a good thing he didn't get swallowed up by any sand that wanted to channel quicksand, huh?
But what about the dirt mound that's there NOW?

The present dirt pile on The Beach One Resort property at at 4101 S. Ocean Drive in Hollywood. May 11, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier.


The present dirt pile on The Beach One Resort property at at 4101 S. Ocean Drive in Hollywood. May 30, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier.

Above, a June 2008 photo of mine from near the Hollywood-HB border on the beach, looking south. What do you know, there's one of the filthy and rusty pipes that the HB Dept. of Public Works has left in the middle of the public beach for years!
Yes, Mayor Cooper, her Rubber Stamp Crew and City Manager Antonio sure have a very strange and unusual way of showing HB taxpayers and visitors to the area how much they really care about the public's beach, don't they?

Yes, four years later, they're still there: both the rusty pipes and the very people responsible for being so careless and callous about an invaluable resource -the public's beach.

Above and below, both from June 2, 2012: At top, my friend and fellow Hallandale Beach civic activist, Csaba Kulin, at a place that ought to be one of the city's crown jewels and a natural meeting place for the whole community -but isn't: the City of Hallandale Beach's very poorly-maintained North Beach park, with the iconic HB Water Tower and The Beach Club condo towers to his right. 
Below, with The Apogee development in Hollywood right behind him, currently under construction.

Above and below, proving the maxim that rust never sleeps. 
But at the City of Hallandale Beach's poorly-maintained and dirty North Beach, it also never moves. May 30, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier.





The public beach, especially in a city that is as small as ours, is an invaluable natural resource to this city's present and future residents.
Unfortunately, it's a resource that Mayor Cooper has already clearly indicated thru both her words and deeds that she's perfectly willing to cede de facto control over to a developer for mere peanuts, in order to get The Beachwalk project approved next Wednesday night.

FYI: On Saturday I'll finally be posting "Part 2 of 2 re The Beachwalk project in Hallandale Beach -Initial comments & ruminations on Wednesday night's HB City Comm. meeting; calling out Carole Pumpian, crony capitalism mercenary"


1 comment:

  1. I went to this beach once and never again. I would rather drive to Hollywood boardwalk and spend money there and have my kids play in the sand and enjoy plenty of showers and clean beach.
    Maybe it's time to get up and sell and move from this town. All I see is our town being sold piece by piece to developers with absolutely no regard to the residents.

    ReplyDelete

What a night we had! #HollywoodFL based photographer/entrepreneur Esther Chuang with a very elated Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy at his Victory Party, held at Leo Anato's Atelier3/AT3 on Harrison Street & S. 19th Avenue, Hollywood. AT3's great environment and the amazing variety of food prepared by chef Kevin Dreifuss, former owner/chef of ENDS MEAT restaurant, was SUPERB! November 2016

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