Sometimes the most important comments to a neighborhood are made in the Comments at the end of the meeting.
It was announced at the end of last night’s meeting that the proposed “G Resort” for the Yawt Property on the east side of town, just over the tracks from Five Points has been withdrawn. This means that the resort will not be built, the plans have been canceled. For the owners of the Yawt Property, the liens on the property due to non compliance of code will continue to apply and interest will continue to be charged at a rate of 8 percent.
Unfortunately for Wilton Manors and the neighbors on the East Side, the Yawt property will continue to be a wart on our city until someone comes in and cleans up that land. It does not look like the owners will do so. The intent of the City will be to watch over the plot for additional code violations and to prosecute them fully when they have a chance. Old violations have been “settled” and can not be expanded, but new ones will be applied. I would be surprised if Code Enforcement has not already been over there having a look around.
The Planning and Zoning Board (PnZ) has approved an amendment to the specification of the sidewalks for new construction in the city. It is the intent of the Mayor, the Commission, and City Government to have Wilton Manors become an “New Urbanist” oasis of safely walkable shaded streets and the new PnZ amendment will be a great help to achieving our goals.
Wilton Manors has granted the permit to Wilton Manors Main Street to proceed with the street closing for “Wicked Manors” on Saturday October 30 and into Sunday Morning October 31. The party has been a Halloween success for our city for the last couple of years, and this year will be no different. Come in costume or not, you can enjoy our city. The hours will be announced later. Alcohol will be served until Midnight when Music will stop, at 1AM the street will be cleared and 6AM on Sunday the Drive will be open for traffic.
The status of Old City Hall is that a workshop was to be held to define what will happen. The City Staff is instructed to make a plan to be presented to the Commission prior to any action. The recommendation from the Commission is that any buildings on the corner where old City Hall stands is to have ground floor commercial space. For now, Commissioner Green is suggesting a temporary paved lot that will be built to last 2 to 3 years that would be up to the minimum of city code. Mayor Resnick instructed that Lanier be consulted on this matter. The idea is to place a lot there to hold the space until we can get construction going on any other permanent expansion on that plot.
On top of Old City Hall there is a Fire Siren that was well loved by the residents that were here when we had a Volunteer Fire Department. If the Siren on top of City Hall went off, it would be so loud that it would stop business in City Hall, including the Commission Chambers until it was done. This gave us some of that quirky Small Town Charm that a larger city would lack. There was a discussion of it being given to Fort Lauderdale for their Fire Museum and Commissioner Scott Newton has said that there was no reason why we should give it to Fort Lauderdale. As the President of the Wilton Manors Historical Society, Diane Cline said, “we have given too much of our history away and lost too much to Fort Lauderdale” in the past to want to lose this. With Commissioner Newton’s insistence, we will find a home for our siren.
There was a long discussion of our park system here in Wilton Manors. The plan had been presented and the information was well received by the Commission. There is a list of ten items that should be followed so that the residents will get the most out of the park budget dollars. In a tight budgetary era, it will be difficult to implement any changes, but now the Commission knows what the people here would want first if they are to improve the park system.
Tying together with the long discussion of the park system, there was another detailed discussion of the Two Lane Initiative and how it fits with the Old City Hall site. If all the pieces fall together with grants, the majority of the Two Lane Initiative can be done without local taxpayer funding. There are some grants that the city can apply for that will allow some significant work to happen if we get matching money together. The minimum amount that we can apply for would be 10 million dollars, and that would require that the city have a matching fund of 2 million dollars. The Commission has instructed the City to work toward applying for these grants and to do so with the help of Wilton Manors Main Street since there is not enough manpower on the part of the City government to achieve this goal without Main Street’s help.
That being a summary of what happened, there are a lot of pieces that got glossed over. I will endeavour to complete these and your knowledge of them over the next few days. It all ties together nicely.