A common sense public policy overview from David in South Florida, offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt./public policy, sports and pop culture of the U.S., #SoFL and Europe, esp. the #UK, #Sweden and #France, via my life in #Texas, #Memphis, #Miami, #IU, #Chicago, #WashingtonDC & #SoFL. In particular, #Broward & #MiamiDade County, and the cities of #HallandaleBeach, #HollywoodFL & #Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln.

Photo in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A, September 2008; March 2018 photo below of HB's North Beach and southern Hollywood Beach, looking left-to-right, looking north, HYDE Condominium, Etaru Japanese Robatayaki restaurant, and Hollywood Beach in the distance, with umbrellas. All photos by me, © Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Again? Hallandale Beach City Commission grants ANOTHER deferral for Chateau Group LLC's twin 40-story retail/condo project on US-1 and Hallandale Beach Blvd.

All original photos on this page by me, South Beach Hoosier. (c) 2016 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

UNStudio in The Netherlands and BC Architects are listed as architects of record for the project.

Today I've got the latest installment of my regular series of blog posts about what's going on in Hallandale Beach with the Chateau Group LLC's Chateau Square project that would erect TWO 40-story buildings with a large retail and hotel complex at the corner of U.S.-1 and Hallandale Beach Blvd., which could actually make the city's notoriously-bad and gridlocked traffic even worse.
Especially during the annual invasion into southeast Broward County by tens of thousands of Canadians from Ontario and Quebec, known around here as "the season," which has just begun, as suddenly, like every year, nearly one-third-to one-fourth of every car you see in Hallandale Beach or Hollywood east of I-95 is from Quebec or Ontario.

On Wednesday night at 6:30 PM, after many months of delays, the Hallandale Beach City Commission was scheduled to debate the matter for the first of two required votes on the project that so many Hallandale Beach residents are gravely concerned about.

Well, would you believe that last night, at a sparsely-attended public meeting of the 
Hallandale Beach City Commission, they voted to grant yet ANOTHER deferral for 
the Chateau Group LLC's proposed twin 40-story retail/condo project on US-1 and Hallandale Beach Blvd. 

By my count, this is at least the third deferral for this project of its first of two required readings by the HB City Commission.
After all these years of attending meetings at HB City Hall, and the routines that take place before and during the meeting, I should have guessed that something was amiss when I didn't see developer attorney Debbie Orshefsky working the room before the meeting started.
But I was busy talking to people myself, as usual.

No reason was given for the request for the deferral by the developer and no date was given as the next opportunity for Chateau Group LLC to persuade the community and its elected officials why they should change the rules for them in such an egregious way.
I'm already following up on what I'm hearing about the real reason for thems seeking the deferral, but can't share with you what I'm hearing - right now

As many of you know, last night was also longtime Hallandale Beach City Commissioner William "Bill" Julian's last meeting as a HB Commissioner, something that I have wanted to say and write for many, many years.
Rather deliciously, Julian made a motion to delay the swearing-in ceremony for newly-elected Commissioner Anabelle Taub, who convincingly defeated him, until December 7th. But he lost on the motion 4-1, so the big day remains Monday November 28th.

A day to finally breathe the sweet air of freedom that many of us thought -worried-

might never come! The end of the reign of Joy Cooper's Rubber Stamp Crew! :-)

The Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino sign on the south side of Hibiscus Street, across from where the proposed project is situated.

Even from a cursory look at the photos you can see how completely incompatible two 40-story buildings on that corner would be, and the disastrous effect it would have in a city where Hallandale Beach Blvd. is the ONLY East-West street that runs throughout the city, connecting the beach to I-95.
On a very intensive street that already receives THE lowest possible rating from FDOT.

Here's the Traffic study for the Chateau Square project 

It was NOT available to the public before or during the July 31 HB P&Z Advisory Board meeting, which means the public could NOT ask pointed questions about its finding to the developer, their attorney or traffic consultant during the meeting

But now, whenever the meeting is finally held, you will have the numbers to use as you wish.
Based on what I heard at the meeting from the traffic consultant, the traffic numbers 
are very troubling and negative for HB residents and businesses who are looking at 
a much worse traffic/gridlock situation than even now, if the city allows something 
to be built as planned in the busiest place in the city -and at twice the current height 

And to quote myself, "the folks over at Gulfstream Park next door don't like it, either!"

Unless someone on the Hallandale Beach City Commission does something quite unexpected, and actually pushes back against this plan and proposes a reasonable compromise, with meaningful traffic remediation, this impractical plan may well become one of the final albeit GIANT nails in the coffin of this city's Quality of Life, and people's 
ability to move around in this city, which is already very difficult at more times of the day than one would think possible for the number of people living/working in the area.

I don't have to remind you that Mayor Cooper likely sees this project as further 
confirmation of her poorly thought-out ideas about development, where buildings 
and the revenue they generate for the city are more important than people or neighborhoods, which she has demonstrated time-after-time since she has been in office, despite the facts on the ground and the mood of the citizenry.
But when has she really ever listened to anyone else and changed her mind?

So, given everything that's happened of late, with the decisive defeats of pro-development Commissioner Bill Julian and Alex Lewy, longstanding members of Mayor Joy Cooper's 
Rubber Stamp Crew, where exactly are her developer friends and their plans for higher 
density projects near the FEC tracks, something that would actually be smart and which I and most other people in the area would support because of the proximity of the future Tri-Rail Coastal train? 
They are MIA, just like last year and the year before that and the year before...

No, unfortunately, it's going to take more than a few positive election results to turn Hallandale Beach around. 
But a good place to start is to kill any thought of making the city's busiest corner the home of two forty-story towers that would literally strangle the ability of residents and visitors alike to navigate their way in and thru the city.

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