Hollywood Residents Opposed to High Rise on Public Land at Azalea Terrace

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Hollywood Residents Opposed to High Rise on Public Land at Azalea Terrace

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Surfrider Foundation Broward County Chapter started this petition to Mayor Mayor Josh Levy and

This petition is for residents of Hollywood (and those who love to visit/vacation at Hollywood Beach) opposed to a 30 story (347 feet high) private condo building being developed on vulnerable public land on the barrier island. Email the City now: 

mayor-commissioners@hollywoodfl.org 

3 acres of this public land has deed restrictions for "open space, park, recreation, and public purpose." The President of the Hollywood Historical Society, Clive Taylor, states that the land was given to the city 47 years ago with the promise that this land would remain open space to the public in order to allow a variance of higher density for The Summit condominiums on the neighboring property. The city only paid $10 for this land based on those restrictions. The higher density would never have been allowed if they knew that someday, the city of Hollywood would betray the deed and allow even higher density than what it was traded for. 1 acre of this public land was purchased with Land and Water Conservation Funds for the purpose of public recreation and would need National Park Service approval to make any changes.

There is a developer proposal for a 99 year lease on this public land between Azalea Terrace and Bougainvillea Terrace, extending from A1A all the way to the beach. The city should have told the developer that this land is not to be used for a private condominium, but they have not. In fact, the city is still trying to force the development on our public land, even though they knew about the deed restrictions.

Residents are concerned about impact to quality of life, and the citizens of Hollywood value their height/density restrictions. Obviously, construction would take a long time, leaving much of this area inaccessible during development. Most residents feel the "enhancements" are not worth it and would rather the city find other ways to make improvements to the property without adding a 30 story condominium high rise and changing the entire vibe of this quiet area. Many residents are concerned this will turn into yet another vacation rental nightmare. Commissioner Shuham and the City Manager have admitted that we do not need to allow this condo in order to make improvements to public facilities here.

Please contact your city commissioner to oppose violating these deed restrictions and violating the public trust. They should never build a private condominium on this land. A private condo tower is not public. The animated video tour simulation by the developer on 8/25/21 looked like downtown Miami. The city says the vote could be SOON, so now is the time to speak up, send emails, and oppose. You could just send a simple email stating that you are a Hollywood resident (it helps to state your address) and that you oppose a private condo tower on this public oceanfront land. 

Email the city: JLevy@hollywoodfl.org, CShuham@hollywoodfl.org, LSherwood@hollywoodfl.org, KBiederman@hollywoodfl.org, TCallari@hollywoodfl.org, LAnderson@hollywoodfl.org, AGruber@hollywoodfl.org, WIshmael@hollywoodfl.org, RStorey@hollywoodfl.org 

Find out more: https://nonewtower.com/ 

You do not have to donate anything to sign this petition (donations go to Change.org, not to this particular cause). Check your junk email for updates, and don't forget to follow the facebook page for updates and action alerts! If the city commission votes yes, residents may need to demand a public referendum to override the city commission's decision. This will require collecting a certain number of official signatures from each Hollywood district, so stay tuned for updates! 

More concerns on this project can be found in Hollywood Lakes Civic Association Newsletter on page 6: https://www.hollywoodlakes.com/ 

Recent press: https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/the-related-groups-proposed-condo-on-hollywood-beach-may-conflict-with-1974-deed-12984801 

Related Group's proposal can be found at HollywoodFL.org The City Commission can be found at: http://hollywoodfl.org/89/City-Commission  

If this is such a great deal/great idea, then why not let residents decide? 

Are you a Hollywood resident? Leave a reason why you love our beach and want to keep this green, open area free from new high rise towers in your "reasons for signing." If you don't live in Hollywood, please make sure you leave a comment about why you are signing and what you love about Hollywood Beach. Thank you! 

Watch this fantastic video- Clive Taylor explaining the deed restrictions on this land: https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=gvevQ2eUz2w&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1qlMd5FGXbU08zPGHX4kktXa6ojBoRv825AW5KaKkL3PXeiQe7QdH1H4c

Recent news: https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/the-related-groups-proposed-condo-on-hollywood-beach-may-conflict-with-1974-deed-12984801 

Sun Sentinel article here: https://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/hollywood/fl-ne-hollywood-tower-ss-prem-20210402-smwgro5f7jg4np5l5vizv5bazu-story.html 

FACEBOOK PAGE HERE: https://www.facebook.com/NO-private-condo-tower-on-Hollywood-public-beach-101689205539310

View our recent protest at the beach property, complete with citizen comments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0M8U24kyPk 

No New Tower website: https://nonewtower.com/ 

FAQ's and Resident Concerns: 

1.Where is the project being proposed?

The proposed redevelopment project is located at 1301 S. Ocean Drive on the barrier island. It is public land. This approximately 4 acre site is located south of Hollywood Boulevard on A1A, at Azalea Terrace/Bougainvillea Terrace. The property currently houses the Hollywood Beach Culture and Community Center, Harry Berry Park, an outdoor stage with a shade covering, mature dunes, public restrooms, and public parking. The property is a Certified Wildlife Habitat. There are currently zero private residences on these 4 acres, so 190 units would certainly add density.

2.Does the Deed prohibit redevelopment of the property?

Deed: The Deed, created on December 31, 1974, states in part that the Mailman Development Corporation conveyed the property to the City of Hollywood for "open space, park, recreational, and other public and municipal purposes."  

What was the intent of this deed? The President of the Hollywood Historical Society, Clive Taylor, states that the land was given to the city 47 years ago with the promise that this land would remain open space to the public in order to allow a variance of higher density for The Summit condominiums on the neighboring property. The city only paid $10 for this land based on those restrictions. The higher density would never have been allowed if they knew that someday, the city of Hollywood would betray the deed and allow even higher density than what it was traded for. It’s obvious that the proposal is in conflict with the intent of the deed.

Development/re-development can be very good for the city, but in the appropriate places. This is not an appropriate place.

 3. Is this a qualifying P3 proposal?

Public purpose: The State of Florida Public Private Partnership (P3) statute requires a proposed project "serve a public purpose.” 

It is not clear that the proposal is consistent with standards set forth in the Florida’s Public - Private Partnership Act, §255.065. That statute defines a “qualifying project” as 1. A facility or project that serves a public purpose, including, but not limited to, any ferry or mass transit facility, vehicle parking facility, airport or seaport facility, rail facility or project, fuel supply facility, oil or gas pipeline, medical or nursing care facility, recreational facility, sporting or cultural facility, or educational facility or other building or facility that is used or will be used by a public educational institution, or any other public facility or infrastructure that is used or will be used by the public at large or in support of an accepted public purpose or activity; 2. An improvement, including equipment, of a building that will be principally used by a public entity or the public at large or that supports a service delivery system in the public sector; 3. A water, wastewater, or surface water management facility or other related infrastructure; or 4. Notwithstanding any provision of this section, for projects that involve a facility owned or operated by the governing board of a county, district, or municipal hospital or health care system, or projects that involve a facility owned or operated by a municipal electric utility, only those projects that the governing board designates as qualifying projects pursuant to this section. §255.065(1)(i), Fla. Stat. While this listing is not an exclusive list of what the statute might allow, it seems clear that the intent of this law is to facilitate the up-front financing of public use facilities and projects. Nothing in the statute suggests that the law contemplates its use for the construction of a market – rate, private, residential condominium on publicly-owned land. Section 255.065(2), Fla. Stat. sets forth the following legislative findings and intent: “The Legislature finds that there is a public need for the construction or upgrade of facilities that are used predominantly for public purposes and that it is in the public’s interest to provide for the construction or upgrade of such facilities. (a) The Legislature also finds that: 1. There is a public need for timely and cost-effective acquisition, design, construction, improvement, renovation, expansion, equipping, maintenance, operation, implementation, or installation of projects serving a public purpose, including educational facilities, transportation facilities, water or wastewater management facilities and infrastructure, technology infrastructure, roads, highways, bridges, and other public infrastructure and government facilities within the state which serve a public need and purpose, and that such public need may not be wholly satisfied by existing procurement methods. 2. There are inadequate resources to develop new educational facilities, transportation facilities, water or wastewater management facilities and infrastructure, technology infrastructure, roads, highways, bridges, and other public infrastructure and government facilities for the benefit of residents of this state, and that a public-private partnership has demonstrated that it can meet the needs by improving the schedule for delivery, lowering the cost, and providing other benefits to the public.” (emphasis added). Thus, the stated intent and the terms of the statute and that article strongly suggest that the purpose of the partnerships authorized by the law is to facilitate private sector financial support for the initial capital funding for public buildings and facilities traditionally owned and operated by government. At least two legal commentaries support that interpretation. See, Dawn M. Meyers and Robert W. Barron, Public-Private Partnerships: An Alternative to Tax-funded Infrastructure, Berger Singerman Doing Business in Florida Blog (May 24, 2021)[https://www.bergersingerman.com/news-insights/public-private-partnerships-analternative-to-tax-funded-infrastructure#page=1]; and § 4:11.Public-Private Partnerships (P3's), 8 Fla. Prac., Constr. Law Manual § 4:11 (2020-2021 ed.). This conclusion is also supported by a staff analysis for a 2021 Legislative bill, dated March 1, 2021, which explained the law this way: “Public-private partnerships (P3s) are contractual agreements formed between public entities and private sector entities that allow for greater private sector participation in the delivery and financing of public building and infrastructure projects. Through the agreements, the skills and assets of each sector (public and private) are shared in delivering a service or facility for the use of the public. In addition to the sharing of resources, each party shares in the risk and reward potential in the delivery of the service and/or facility. Numerous Florida Statutes encourage and provide guidance for P3 projects including those for services and facilities specific to transportation, housing, and education.” https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/7050/Analyses/2021s07050.pre.ca.PDF (citations omitted) The reference in this staff analysis to the issue of housing, was to §420.0003(3)(b), Fla. Stat., which addresses affordable housing. Nothing suggests the statute can be used to allow such a partnership to support the construction of market - rate private housing on publicly-owned land. The staff analysis goes on to explain that: “Section 255.065, F.S., grants responsible public entities (RPEs) (e.g., counties, municipalities, school districts and special districts) the authority to engage in P3 projects for the development of a wide range of public-use facilities or projects that serve a public purpose. Examples of qualifying projects include those for mass transit, vehicle parking, airports or seaports, educational facilities and courthouse or city hall public sector buildings or complexes.” Given the stated intent and definitions of this law, and the commentary explained above, it would be important for the public to review and understand any judicial decisions or other authority supporting the use of this law to allow such a partnership to support the construction of market - rate private housing on publicly-owned land.

Proposed/alleged “improvements” to serve a public purpose include:

o    Community CenterCommissioner Shuham and the city manager, Wazir Ishmael, have admitted that the city does not need to allow a 30 story condo on our public land in order to improve/remodel our current community center.

o    Harry Berry Park- The full extent of the impact on Harry Berry Park has not been finally determined, because the negotiation of the lease remains on ongoing and lengthy process. The 347 foot tall proposed condominium building would, however, certainly affect the open space that exists now because of the absence of a high rise. Adding density, eliminating an entire street, and adding a restaurant and other larger buildings to these 4 acres could certainly impact the enjoyment of this quiet park.  These 4 acres of land include dunes, a park/playground called Harry Berry Park, parking areas, public restrooms, a community center, and a shaded pavilion with a stage behind the community center. The area is also a Certified Wildlife Habitat. (In the first conceptual drawing from the developer, Harry Berry Park was moved east of Surf Road and placed on top of the dunes). In the most recent conceptual drawing, Harry Berry Park is west of Surf Road, but modified, and the street going to the park (Azalea Terrace) has been eliminated. The conceptual drawing shows Harry Berry Park becoming a narrow "linear park" sandwiched in between the Related Group’s condominium, private pool, and parking garage. The drawing shows the children’s playground replaced by a restaurant and dining area. The playground area appears smaller, moved closer to A1A (a busy street) instead of close to the beach. The playground would then be in a narrow area between the new condo tower and a neighboring parking lot. In both drawings, it's evident that the park would certainly be disrupted for the time frame construction/development occurs.

There is strong public opposition to these changes. In fact, the public was surveyed by Related Group during the city’s Webex meeting about the project, and the majority of the public said they didn’t want a restaurant. Restaurant customers and employees will take up parking spaces.

Back in the 80’s, federal funding was given for Harry Berry Park. They were Land and Water Conservation Funds. This means that the park is federally protected and any changes to it are supposed to be a very extensive application process and possible full NEPA review (most likely with a public comment period). The developer might even fail to get the approval.
The city of Hollywood is now aware of this and has been sent a letter from FL DEP.
Here’s more about this program/funding:
https://www.invw.org/2012/06/11/pledges-forgotten-local-g-1277/ 

Residents in the Naples/Ft Myers area were able to stop condominiums from being built using this exact same argument. The Harry Berry land had received this exact same funding.

In short, no changes to Harry Berry without approval from the National Park Service because it’s considered a Conversion of Use. Update: Land and Water Conservation Funds were used to purchase an ENTIRE ACRE parcel of land. It includes the current Harry Berry Park AND the parking area west of Harry Berry Park. There are 43,560 square feet in an acre.
This means that 43,560 square feet are protected and can't be modified or changed or converted in any way without first getting approval. The approval would be an application process as well as a public comment period. The DEP has now notified the City that this would be considered a Conversion of Use and would need approval from the National Park Service.

o    Public Plaza area and green space- Any changes/improvements to public areas can be done without a 30 story condo tower. A 347 foot tower destroys the open space feel of the public/green areas currently existing.

o    Public Dune “Preservation” and “Enhancement” – These dunes are the most beautiful, functional, mature dunes on the south end of our beach. No developer should be touching any part of these dunes for any reason. The dunes already have crossovers and a ramp, and there are volunteers/volunteer programs available to remove invasives. An improved ramp could be done without a 30 story condo. The coastal sandy beach system alone is home to hundreds of specially adapted plants and animals including several endangered or threatened species, and is used by resident and migratory birds. More than 30 plants and animals considered rare within the state inhabit the beach and adjacent habitats. Most are dependent on beaches, dunes, and near-shore waters and reefs for all or part of their lives. Excessive crossovers will degrade the effectiveness of the dune by reducing its effectiveness against storm surge.  The last rendering from the developer, which was at the Commission meeting, showed X shaped dune crossovers going toward the NE and SE. Our Dune Master Plan does not support having crosswalks toward the NE because of windblown sand issues. When it was pointed out that Related Group’s most recent concept drawing made it appear that extending the Broadwalk might take out a portion of the dune, Eric Fordin said he wouldn’t touch the dunes. Then two minutes later, he said they would touch the dunes to add crossovers, etc. Then he changed his story again and said not touching dunes was “the goal.” (Keep in mind that Related Group’s first concept drawing showed Harry Berry Park eliminated and placed on top of the current dunes). No developer should be touching any part of our dunes in any way. It is not necessary, and it could be harmful, which is why this plan has been opposed by the Sierra Club and Broward Soil & Water Conservation Board.

Mitigation means, “the action of reducing the severity, seriousness, or painfulness of something.” You don’t have to mitigate anything if you don’t meddle with them. Just leave the dunes alone.

o    Landscaped Sculpture Park- Standing behind the landscaped sculpture park will be a 347 foot tall private condo tower. Is the sculpture park considered green space? Who wants to hang out in front of a 347 foot condo by busy A1A? 

o    Public Restaurant - The public was surveyed by Related Group during the city’s Webex meeting about the project, and the majority of the public said they didn’t want a restaurant. Who owns this restaurant? Who will run it? The City is not in the restaurant business. Will this be the responsibility of the condo association? The restaurant customers and employees will also have to use public parking spaces.

o    Public Parking Spaces- We now have 121 public parking spaces. It is proposed to have 158 public parking spaces, so the property only actually gains 37 total public parking spaces under this proposal. This is obviously not enough for everything they’re proposing to add to this site. The restaurant customers and employees will also have to use public parking spaces. The condo owners will also have guests who will need to find parking. The city hasn’t even stated yet if Hollywood residents will be allowed to use their resident annual parking pass in this proposed garage. In addition, many women enjoy uncovered parking because of safety.

o    Continuing revenues to be paid to the City over the term- Related claims there will be a substantial increase in parking revenue for the City in the additional 37 parking spaces. But the numbers they showed at their presentation do not take into account the two years of construction where the City will get zero parking revenue. It also assumes the City will be able to fill the public spaces 100% of the time. What if some condo residents decide that they need more private parking and buy an annual City parking pass and start taking up public spaces? The developer has misrepresented so much of this proposal. Can we really trust the numbers in terms of revenue? 

This one condo is not the only way the city can generate revenue, and this 99 year lease could be very risky. 

The proposal, Deed, and use of the P3 statute do not align. 

 

4.What about the proposed “public improvements” and “benefits”?

The project team had one WebEx with the community regarding any changes they would like to see at the property. Feedback from the community led to some changes in the plan, but the majority of the public still did not see those “improvements” as valuable enough to justify a 30 story private condo on our public land. In fact, the majority of the public would like to see some improvements, but for the city to do this in ways that don’t involve this public/private partnership. The project team failed to ask the residents if they want a condo tower on this land.

Commissioner Shuham and the city manager, Wazir Ishmael, have admitted that the city does not need to allow a 30 story condo on our public land in order to improve our current community center. A 347 foot tower destroys the open space feel of the public/green areas currently existing. We should work on supporting the restaurants that already exist on our central beach.

Residents do not want the city to keep justifying skyscrapers on the beach. We want to preserve Hollywood’s unique and special charm. We do not want it to look like Sunny Isles Beach or Hallandale Beach. Just because the city can ignore height/density rules doesn’t mean it should.

5.Will public access to the beach be impacted?

Yes, it will be impacted. First, they plan to eliminate an entire street, Azalea Terrace. This would send all traffic down Jefferson and Bougainvillea Terrace. Second, an entirely new condo is being proposed for Bougainvillea Terrace (this same area, on the beach). The Casa Playa building owner wants to demolish and build a 6 story condo building at Bougainvillea, and also asking for a height variance to allow it to be taller than our height restrictions. This will add even more density (residents and their guests) to the area. Related Group’s proposal for 1301 has 158 public parking spaces, so the property only actually gains 37 total public parking spaces under this proposal. This is obviously not enough for everything they’re proposing to add to this site (190 private residences plus their guests, banquet hall events, larger community center, restaurant, etc). The restaurant's customers and employees will also have to use this same public parking, so 37 is not really a gain. The city hasn’t even stated yet if Hollywood residents will be allowed to use their resident annual parking pass in this proposed garage. In addition, many women enjoy uncovered parking because of safety. Azalea Terrace beach already has a ramp, but if the city wanted to improve its ADA accessibility, this could be done without a 347 foot condo. Residents are concerned this will eventually turn into a vacation rental nightmare, drawing many vehicles to this garage. Obviously, this entire area will be severely impacted during construction.

6.How tall is the proposed building?

The proposed height of the building is 30 stories/347 feet. This far exceeds the height limits for that section of beach (Azalea Terrace), approximately 7 times taller than our limits. Density limits are 2 units per acre. Related Group was asked to show the City a proposal with fewer stories than the Summit. They had months to do so. When asked at the August 25th city meeting why they failed to present a proposal with fewer stories, the answer was, “We prefer to build a 30 story tower.” We already have too many towers on our beach, and we should not add another one. Both Hyde properties, the Diplomat, Trump Hollywood and Ocean Palms range from 431-483 feet, while the heights of the older Summit and Quadomain buildings are 277 feet and 311 feet.  We justify building another skyscraper because of previous skyscrapers, which we then use to justify another one and another one and another one. Haven’t we created enough density and shadows on our beach? It’s time to draw a line in the sand and say NO MORE. We need to send a message that we want to keep the remaining natural spaces on our beach natural, and that we care about our height/density restrictions. Many residents and visitors enjoy Hollywood Beach because it isn’t built up like Sunny Isles Beach. The time to stop building towers is NOW and forever.

7.Will the new building shade the beach?

Yes, of course it will! The proposed height of the building is 30 stories/347 feet tall. It will throw shade on the beach and block your view of the sunset. The developer claimed in one meeting that there would be no shade at any time of the day, then changed his story, then said the 1301 shadow would be just as bad as shadows from other tall buildings on the beach. There is currently no tower on the 1301 property, so the beach at Azalea Terrace currently gets sunlight and sunsets. The developer wants to talk about OTHER buildings and THEIR shadows. So what about the Summit? Well, the Summit towers were allowed to go taller in exchange for keeping the 1301 property open space for parks and recreation! There was never supposed to be density at 1301. 

8.What will the private residence component of the proposal include?

Under this revised proposal the unit size and number of units has not been finalized, but density has been reduced to 190 units. The density limits here are 25 units per acre. The site is 4 acres. This proposal would violate our own height/density restrictions, and the city doesn’t seem to care. The city says it can break its own rules because it's government owned land. Residents are concerned this will turn into noisy vacation rentals. You will also not be allowed to use the private pool on our public land. Note: Will there be a shortage of high rises and condos in our city if this one particular condo isn’t built? No. Read here: https://www.choosehollywoodfl.com/177/Hollywood-Key-Development

9.Is this a good financial deal for the City?

That is certainly debatable. Building 190+ units, at an average of $2M each, may seem like a great idea at the height of the market, but this market could soon plummet. Especially after the Surfside tragedy. The Federal government has a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, but for how long? What happens when tenants and landlords, who haven’t paid rent/mortgages for over a year finally see their day in court. What happens when our market gets flooded with all those properties? What happens when the city now owns shares in a building that can’t sell units or is selling them at a fraction of the current estimates. Also, a condo association will have a 99 year lease, and Related will be long gone after the units sell out. Has the City ever entered into a 99 year land lease with a condo or homeowners association? What municipality has ever done that? All the numbers assume a lease of 99 years; however, this also assumes the viability of all entities during that period. While the City of Hollywood will clearly be around for that time, will Related and the new condo association that comes with a condo deal? The City has to trust that all entities stay solvent during the 99 year term.

What happens if the association becomes insolvent, does the city want to then foreclose and be stuck owning a hi-rise condo tower on the beach?

Has a city participated in a sales project and receiving a commission?

It is a possibility but it may be a stretch of Florida real estate law and would they have to pay taxes on it? After a few years someone wanted to sell their condo, how could the city then participate once again in a sale between a buyer and seller and earn a percentage of the sales price? Who would pay that commission - seller, buyer or both? What if they refused to pay this percentage to this city? How could they enforce the enactment of this clause? With a land lease, someone may not be able to get financing, either initially or on a resale. The value is in the land and generally may be 10% of the market value of your property. How would this be calculated, particularly on a resale? A title company, real estate attorney, appraiser or Broward property appraiser may have to weigh in on this, in order to learn the financial impacts moving forward. This would then lead to the financial promises and viability of the project and what is being offered and what the city could expect to receive in the projections from the Related Group. What if these monies could not be paid?

This beautiful oceanfront public property in Hollywood is priceless and should be treasured and protected. We see the 99 year lease as a method of disposal of City owned property and a way to circumvent the City of Hollywood Charter Chapters 13.01 and 13.02. If the City is intent on using this questionable methodology to promote redevelopment, then the residents of Hollywood should have the right to vote on any lease beyond twenty (20) years. If it’s such a great deal and the “benefits” are so good, then don’t be afraid of a public vote. Let the public vote.

If the developer has misrepresented other aspects of the project, do you trust their descriptions of the financial benefits? 

What are the costs to insure, maintain, provide security, or fight/settle future potential lawsuits?

What are the financial benefits to Hollywood for maintaining a low profile, family friendly, unique and quaint beach? We have plenty of other new sales and new developments which will bring in revenue, and the CRA will be dissolved in a few years, bringing more revenue to the entire city. We don’t need this one particular tower on our public oceanfront land. 

10.What happens at the end of 99 year lease?

These are terms that would need to be delineated in the Comprehensive Agreement.

11.How will traffic be impacted?

Azalea Terrace would be completely eliminated, directing all traffic down Jefferson and Bougainvilla Terrace. There is a 6 story condo building currently being proposed for Bougainvillea Terrace and there is also an empty plot of land on Jefferson Street that could be developed in the future, as it is for sale. Residents who currently live on the beach say that traffic is terrible, and that they have difficulty finding street parking if they have more than one vehicle and/or when they have guests and deliveries. It does not make any sense to add 190 units to this area. This area is a mandatory evacuation zone in hurricanes (evacuation zone A). This area is also labeled vulnerable to sea level rise, as are the streets all along the barrier island, and also the fire station. The developer plans to add a restaurant and large event space. Restaurants and large events bring in additional vehicles. Additional staff also demands more parking spaces.

12.What is the restaurant being proposed?

The project is in the conceptual stage and community input, as well as the full entitlement process, will need to take place to finalize the site plan.   This is also true for the terms of the agreement between Related Group and the City for the lease and operation of the restaurant space. However, the current conceptual drawing shows Harry Berry Park/playground being relocated away from the ocean and closer to busy A1A because of the restaurant and dining area. When surveyed by the developer and city at a public Webex meeting, the public responded that they do not want a restaurant. The restaurant customers and employees will also need to park in public spaces. 

13.What is the status of the existing community center?

The Hollywood Beach Community Center at this location is in addition to a second beach community center located at Garfield Street on the Broadwalk. The Garfield Street beach community center is currently under-utilized and has an ocean view, balcony, and event space.

The city claims that the 1301 community center is in disrepair, but many residents disagree. The excuse that the City needs a new Community Center so we have to give up public land for 99 years and allow a 30 story hi-rise to pay for it is also dubious, to say the least. It would have been easy to include a new Community Center in the GOB. The city did not do this. As a matter of fact, one of the GOB projects, the Orangebrook Golf Course rebuild, is also a P3 project that, if successful and the City agrees to go that route, could free up anywhere from 10 to 15 million dollars of GOB funds for use with other Parks and Recreation related needs in the City. So there is no real need to enter into this 99 year lease deal if the City really wants to find funding for Community Center improvements.

Commissioner Shuham and the city manager have both admitted that we do not need to allow this 30 story condo in order to improve our facilities. The possibilities are endless and decisions should be made with public input. We could also have a unique, beachy updated community center instead of a Brickell-style glass monstrosity. The public could advocate for a beautiful botanical garden where event/wedding photos could take place. People don’t tend to want 30 story condos in their wedding photos. What is clear is that residents don’t want a condo tower.

14.How will open green space be addressed?

A 30 story building is the opposite of open space. Instead of blue sky and sunsets at 1301 S. Ocean Drive, there will be a 347 foot, 30 story private Condo tower, casting shadows on the beach. Current plans for Harry Berry Park show it being changed into a narrow, “linear” park, with the playground being moved closer to busy A1A. Instead of the playground being near the beach, there would be a restaurant and dining area. The kids’ playground would be sandwiched in between the Summit parking lot and the condo tower and garage. The road leading to Harry Berry Park, Azalea Terrace, would be eliminated. Adding 190 private residences, a large event space, restaurant, and a multi-story garage will add to the crowds and traffic. The developer wants to alter the dunes, using words like “enhance” and “mitigation.” The developer claims they will put in a sculpture garden, but behind it would be a 347 foot tall building, and on the other side, busy A1A.

15.What about the impacts of sea level rise?

This is a vulnerable area for sea level rise. a one foot rise could occur in the next 30 years. Sea level rise report and maps here: https://www.broward.org/Climate/Toolbox/Documents/ResilientCoastalComm/hollywd_slr.pdf Fire Rescue 40 was found to have potential vulnerabilities to sea level rise. In addition to the vulnerability of infrastructure identified to lie at or below projected sea levels up to a two foot scenario; the municipality may also be at risk due to secondary threats such as flooding events and ponding, storm drainage, erosion, bridge clearance, etc. Sea level may continue to rise beyond two feet. Given that this is a vulnerable CRA area, vulnerable park/community center, vulnerable fire station, and vulnerable evacuation route, it is not wise to be building a new 30 story, 190 unit private residence, placing hundreds and hundreds of new residents in a high flooding area, mandatory evacuation zone (Evacuation Zone A), and area vulnerable to hurricane storm surge. Many traditional methods to solve for sea level rise and flooding in Florida won’t work. In Miami-Dade County, the groundwater levels in some places are not high enough relative to the rising sea levels, which has allowed saltwater to intrude into the drinking water and compromised sewage plants. In Florida, the bedrock beneath the state is porous limestone, which acts like a hard sponge full of holes and allows groundwater to rise at the same rate as the ocean. This can make flood mitigation efforts complicated, as some traditional methods won’t work. Water can flow through the porous ground, up from below, and under sea walls. Unfortunately, slightly higher sea levels make hurricanes even more damaging. Just a few more inches of sea level rise allow a hurricane to push more water onto the land, even if the hurricane itself doesn’t make landfall. When sea levels rise and water spills over into the streets, it puts not only homes and cars at risk, but can cause roads to be shut down and prevent access to important infrastructure like schools and hospitals. As the ocean rises higher, the salty water from it can mix with drinking water, ruining water wells. It can also make sewage systems back up into the streets, creating health hazards. In Hollywood, 2,104 properties at risk will turn into 3,548 within 15 years. Source: https://sealevelrise.org/

16.What is the process for redevelopment?

This project will be subject to the City’s development review process which includes a pre-application conceptual overview, technical advisory committee review and planning and development board review prior to being brought before the City Commission for final review and approval.  The developer will also need a land use plan amendment through Broward County in order to get final project approval from the City Commission. This proposal will also need to survive legal challenges as well as citizens who will demand a referendum overriding the city’s decision if they choose to vote yes on this proposal. City commission emails and phone numbers: http://hollywoodfl.org/89/City-Commission

17.What about long term maintenance of the property?

The Comprehensive Agreement will address the long term maintenance of the overall site and of the new structures. (Keep in mind the Renaissance condo and how their association did not keep up with their end of the agreement on a public bike path).  A mechanism such as a maintenance fund or reserves can be required to be established that would require money is put away to provide for the repairs and renovations that are expected over the long-term life of facilities/buildings like the ones proposed, but who will enforce this and how can we be sure that the association will do this? The Related deal will end up being a 99 year lease with a condo association as Related will be long gone after the units sell out. Has the City ever entered into a 99 year land lease with a condo or homeowners association? What municipality has ever done that? All the numbers assume a lease of 99 years; however, this also assumes the viability of all entities during that period. While the City of Hollywood will clearly be around for that time, will Related and the new condo association that comes with a condo deal? The City has to trust that all entities stay solvent during the 99 year term. What happens if the association becomes insolvent, does the city want to then foreclose and be stuck owning a hi-rise condo tower on the beach?

The Related proposal includes a restaurant attached to the new Community Center. But who owns this restaurant? Who will run it? The City is not in the restaurant business. Will this be the responsibility of the condo association?

18.What are the community input options?

The City says that it is working with Related Group to schedule additional community outreach meetings (as they have only had one virtual meeting and did not even allow residents to communicate with each other or see each other’s comments). However, the city says that the meetings are to gain input on the public “amenities” instead of ever informing the public that they can oppose the proposal completely. All of the city’s communications have made it sound like it is a done deal, and that the public can’t do anything about it. Once the city finally schedules these meetings, they say that these meetings will be posted to the City’s website, social media sites, and shared with neighborhood and civic associations and other project stakeholders.  Already, representatives from Related Group and City staff have met with adjacent property owners and interested neighborhood and civic groups, and they have received the feedback that the huge majority of the public is completely opposed to this proposal and that no 30 story private condo tower should be built on this land. It is an inappropriate place for this development.

·         Could the city let residents decide whether or not these "improvements" and "enhancements" are worth it? Yes! The option is clear in our city charter. If this deal is even legal, the city could choose the public referendum option.

In our city charter, it states: Sec. 13.02.  Lease of city-owned real property.
 
   (a)   Any lease, or the functional equivalent of a lease,  of real property owned by the city which has a term of twenty (20) years or longer must be approved by a five- sevenths (5/7) vote of the city commission or by a majority vote of the city's electors voting on such proposal.
 
   (b)   Any lease, or the functional equivalent of a lease, of real property owned by the city which can be renewed and which term can reach twenty (20) years, both without an additional vote of the city commission, must be approved by a five-sevenths (5/7) vote of the city commission or by a majority vote of the city's electors voting on such proposal.
 
(Ord. O-84-14, passed 2-3-84; Am. Ord. O-99-34, passed 10-20-99; Am. Ord. O-2010-29, passed 7-21-2010)

·         If the city commission votes yes to allow this, residents will need to collect enough signatures on an official petition to override the commission's decision, so stay tuned for updates. The commission would then have to recall their decision or put it to a public vote.  

Referendum:  "The electors shall have the power, in accordance with the provisions of this Article 5, to approve or reject at the polls any measure passed by the commission or submitted by the commission to a vote of the electors, such power being known as a referendum."

·         It is also possible that there may be future public comment periods in Related Group’s application process, whether it be with the city, county, DEP, or other agencies.

 

 

 

 

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