Published On: Wed, Nov 9th, 2016

Residents Speak Loud and Clear: City-Owned Waterfront Land Must be Kept for Public Use

For years, the development of the Wildflower property has been a hot issue in the City of Boca Raton, and last night its resident made their voices known as 43,565 residents voted on the referendum to keep city-owned waterfront property public.

photo by: Veronica Haggar

photo by: Veronica Haggar

The referendum passed with 66.91% (29,149) of the residents saying Yes, and 33.09% (14,416) saying No.

The adopted referendum will apply not only to the Wildflower property but all city-owned land adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway.

The referendum was written as part of a citizens’ petition after Boca Raton City Council did not approve the proposal when it was brought to them in August.

“The Boca Raton question [is] perhaps the City’s most important grass root movement in decades,” said BocaWatch publisher Al Zucaro. “Residents have responded to the City Council’s desire to hear what the residents want.  Residents have spoken with a resounding voice.”

Back in August, in a 4-1 vote, the Boca Raton City Council decided to postpone a decision that would have made the former Wildflower property labeled for only recreational use. Rather than make a decision, the council decided to give the voters the power by putting the decision on the November 8th ballot.

During the August meeting, Robert Weinroth said that the vote is the only way to get this decision resolved, “The reason that I think that this should go to a vote is because honestly, I don’t think that we know what the voters want, and I don’t think that this can continue until we do.” The other councilmen echoed this, leading the decision that sent the referendum to the November ballot.

“The task now is to begin working with the City Council, our elected officials, for the ‘interpretation and implementation’ of this ordinance consistent with the political will,” added Zucaro.

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  1. This was purely a grasp for money by city council to cover debt and I am proud citizens shut this down by the power of vote. Please take a look at the videos of the zoning meetings from Boca city website in June and October for this discussion to be assured the outcome of this vote was completely justified. You will see chairman and vice chairman dismissing citizens concerns while using bias studies (traffic, planning, legal..etc) to prove “staff’s” so called recommendations to rent out this land they bought years ago. What is really concerning, council leaders and staff still seem to be in disagreement after vote is over, regardless their own citizens clearly do not agree with council’s majority votes to even allow this nonsense to take place on the ballot. This should be a wake up call for the city functions being voted and passed by what seems to be bias and unprofessional group currently leading our city council, who are clearly out of touch with Boca’s citizens. Has anyone thought about what relief this property could pose for the hazardous conditions presented daily at the boat ramp across the street, due to lack of space and parking? I will be sure to vote out all city council leaders and staff folks currently responsible for these decisions, as they have allowed overdevelopment of downtown while failing to acknowledge the real problems we already face. Fix the problems your citizens are upset about before attempting to trample public views for monthly rent from someone who has not a clue about Boca or what is really needed for quality of life. Proud to see citizens get involved and vote, particularly when current city leaders who are failing to serve their community are up for re-election.

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