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Deerfield Beach Community Redevelopment Agency Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

6:30 PM


The meeting was called to order by Chair Capellini at 6:30 PM on the above date in the City Commission Chambers, City Hall.


Roll Call: 


Present:                      Mr. Steve Gonot

                                                Ms. Pam Militello

                                                Ms. Sylvia Poitier

                                                Vice Chair Martin Popelsky

                                                Chair Albert R. Capellini


Also Present:             Michael Mahaney, City Manager

                                                Andrew Maurodis, City Attorney Tardy

                                                Ada Graham-Johnson, CMC, City Clerk


Approval of the agenda


August 21, 2007


Motion was made by Mr. Gonot and Seconded by Vice Chair Popelsky to approve the August 21, 2007 agenda as submitted.


Roll Call: YEAS: Mr. Gonot, Ms. Militello, Ms. Poitier, Vice Chair Popelsky, and Chair Capellini.  NAYS: None.


Approval of the Minutes


June 5, 2007


Motion was made by Mr. Gonot and Seconded by Vice Chair Popelsky to approve the June 5, 2007 minutes as submitted.


Roll Call: YEAS: Mr. Gonot, Ms. Militello, Ms. Poitier, Vice Chair Popelsky, and Chair Capellini.  NAYS: None.


General Items


                              ITEM 1                                               TAPE 1, COUNT 0037


FY 2008 Proposed Agency Budget


Carlos Baia, Community Redevelopment Agency Director, provided the budget schedule for the general public; wherein, the preliminary budget would be presented this


General Items – continued


evening, the first budget hearing would be held on September 4, 2007 and the final adoption would take place on September 18, 2007.


Mr. Baia provided highlights of the Fiscal Year 2007 accomplishment: i.e. the North Boardwalk Extension, SR A1A Master Plan, updated CRA plan, and obtained FDOT permits for the Hillsboro Streetscape and S-Curve Phase 2 projects for the utilities underground.  Additionally, he highlighted events that have taken place concerning the Cove Shopping Center and the first Charette meeting.


Cautious Trends: Mr. Baia commented on the residential real estate market, which has not improved, if values fall in the future, it may affect the (tax increment fund) TIF.  Mr. Baia stated that the rollbacks/ reductions in millage rates have also impacted the CRA. He stated that should the Super Homestead Exemption pass in January 2008, it will also affect the CRA.


FY 2008 Goals:  Mr. Baia stated that the Hillsboro Streetscape Project should begin later this year or the beginning of FY 2008.  He stated that all the easements, utility permits have been satisfied; the final component is the Master Permit from FDOT.  Additionally, he stated that other goals include completing the S-Curve Phase 2, beginning the reliever road PD&E study, develop architectural standards for the Cove, and implement the Cove Center Overlay District.  He stated that today was the deadline for consultants on the PD&E Study; three (3) bids were received, and should any Board member desire to serve, they should inform him. 


TIF Detail: Mr. Baia stated that the current tax base is valued at $430,948,470;   base year $119,383,520, increment $311,564,950.  Applying the increment to the proposed millage rate, the anticipated TIF for 2008 is $3.4 million (approximately $152,000 less than last year).


Potential Super Homestead Impact:  Mr. Baia stated that after extensive research, he has determined that the current homestead for properties is $67,000,000.  Based on a worst case scenario, if 75% of the value were to disappear, the remaining increment value in the district would generate $2.85 million in TIF. 


Fiscal Year 2008 Highlights: Mr. Baia stated that the operating budget is $3.4 million; over $2 million allocated in contingency (60% of total budget), which is due largely to the S Curve Project 2; no additional staff positions is being requested.  He stated that since the Hillsboro Streetscape has taken time to complete and increased costs there are financing gaps. 


Redevelopment Trust Fund: Mr. Baia stated that at the end of FY07 there is an anticipated $3.5 million in the fund; in addition to the contingency fund.  He stated that these funds can assist in offsetting the financing gaps of the Hillsboro Streetscape Project.  In addition, any future dollars will be allocated to the trust fund.  He stated that he is confident that funds will be available to pay for the projects as they come forth.    


General Items – continued


Commercial Façade Program:  Mr. Baia stated that a major reduction in the budget is due to this area. He stated that last year he anticipated the program being successful and allocated $750,000 to the program.  Unfortunately, only one (1) applicant applied; therefore, Mr. Baia recommended reducing the funding from $750,000 to $300,000, and reducing the amount from $100,000 to $75,000 for one (1) building.  This will allow the CRA to complete four (4) businesses in the upcoming year; nonetheless, this would be contingent upon implementing the architectural standards.


Ms. Poitier asked when the decision was made to lower the amount for the façade program.


Mr. Baia replied that he recommended said action be taken at this time.  Originally, there was a concern about values and the millage rollback; in an effort to be conservative, it was reduced.  Further, there is flexibility and if the Board wishes to increase the figure, it may do so. 


Ms. Poitier stated that it is important the high standards be maintained; thus, she suggested the funding level remain at $100,000.00.  She stated that in maintaining a high standard, it would entice others to come in and shop.  She expressed opposition to reduce the amount from $100,000 to $75,000. 


Mr. Baia asked if the Board wish to increase the façade program amount from $300,000 to $400,000.


Mr. Gonot stated he supports $300,000.00, since no funds have been expended.


Ms. Militello stated that it will probably be another year before any changes are made at the Cove Shopping Center.


Mr. Gonot stated that if necessary, the funds can be changed later in the year.


Ms. Poitier stated that based on history with the west side façade treatment, required additional funds were required to maintain high standards.  Ms. Poitier recommended that the amount remain at $75,000.


Ms. Militello expressed concern about the water mains and piping in the beach area.  She stated that in the Phase 2 of the A1A project new piping was proposed.  She asked if there is flexibility to perform additional work if needed.


Mr. Baia replied that the capital improvement program includes much of the SR A1A corridor, in different phases; as long as the specified area is included, there should not be problems.  Additionally, he stated that funds cannot be used on projects outside of the capital improvement plan.  If the designated area is not in the CRA area, it can be added to the CIP, per the Board’s direction.



General Items – continued


Continuing, Mr. Baia stated that funds from contingency would have to be used on a portion of the S-Curve Phase 2; however, with the remaining funds, other projects can be explored.


Ms. Poitier requested clarification regarding the Super Homestead Exemption.


Mr. Baia replied that homes in the CRA area can take advantage of the Super Homestead Exemption, if passed in January 2008; however, based on calculations, it would not be in the best interest of those near the beach to support the Exemption. 


Ms. Poitier stated that she believed the Super Homestead Exemption would provide a $50,000 exemption, instead of $25,000.


Mr. Baia stated that it is a graduated figure, and based upon his research, using the Property Appraiser’s calculation, many parcels would not benefit.


Motion was made by Mr. Militello and Seconded by Ms. Poitier to approve the FY 2008 proposed budget. 


Roll Call: YEAS:  Mr. Gonot, Ms. Militello, Ms. Poitier, Vice Chair Popelsky, and Chair Capellini.  NAYS: None.


                         ITEM 2                                               TAPE 1, COUNT 0464




Carlos Baia, CRA Director, stated that last year, McMahon and Associates was contracted to perform this project and will present alternatives to the Board. He recommended that the Board select one of the alternatives to provide direction to Staff.


Mr. Gonot requested clarification on the PD&E Study.  He asked if there must be a PD&E Study alternate.


Mr. Baia replied that at this time, it is unclear whether the alternative will be incorporated into the PD&E.  Although there is a possibility, direction from the Board is welcome. 


In response to Ms. Militello’s question, Mr. Baia replied yes, this is the area around the beach.  Further, he stated that the Master Plan is focused on the commercial area.  He stated that McMahon and Associates is available to answer any questions.



General Items – continued


John DePalma, McMahanon and Associates, outlined Phase III of the Master Plan for SR A1A.  Additionally, he provided a brief recap of what has been accomplished since the comprehensive plan of 2004.  Major features of the plan dealt with the Board’s direction in 2003 concerning public safety, as well as pedestrian linkages and bicycle plans.  He stated that the Master Plan addressed major intersection improvements of SR A1A and Hillsboro Boulevard, since there is no eastbound alignment; reliever road, surface parking lot and how they can be reconfigured to allow additional parking capacity.  The major focus was the east/west segment of 2nd Street of the S-Curve, between the parking garage, businesses, and the international pier (the core of the commercial district). 


Continuing, Mr. DePalma stated that consistent with FDOT guidelines, a number of alternatives were reviewed; to include: A) a no build scenario, wherein, nothing is done; B) Provide on-street parking; which addressed the elimination of the angle parking, due to its impact on the corridor, issues associated with accidents and pedestrian safety.  In 2004, they implemented some of the FDOT guidelines with parallel parking.  He stated that Alternative B does not include the north side parking, as there was not enough area for spaces.  In addition, he stated that a bus stop was incorporated in the curve line; after discussions with FDOT, it was determined that this idea was not acceptable. 


Additionally, Mr. DePalma stated that Alternative C eliminates on-street parking, which would require the ordinance being amending.  After addressing parking needs, there were several different considerations for the absence of parking on 2nd Street.  Those included: improvements to surface parking lot. To accommodate the alternatives, the parking lot was reconfigured in a north/south direction, closing 1st Street, extend from Ocean Way to Hillsboro Boulevard, gaining approximately 113 additional spaces.  Mr. DePalma commented on creating a validation system and a partnership with a parking garage to allow additional space.  Further, he evaluated a shuttle system, entering into a private/public partnership, for beach shuttle.   


Mr. DePalma stated that there have been extensive reviews with FDOT, Metropolitan Plan Organization (MPO), as well as other agencies.  The preference of the agencies was to eliminate on-street parking and the bus bay, to create a more pedestrian friendly environment.  Mr. DePalma commented on other research mechanisms utilized, as well the possibility of pursuing grant monies. He said that Ms. Militello worked very hard on this project, but also challenged them on interim solutions. 


Mr. DePalma stated that the need for a traffic signal becomes evident if the reliever road can be connected from Hillsboro Boulevard East to the International Pier.  The measurement of traffic flow would warrant the need of a signal; pedestrian activity does not fully justify the need for a signal.  To assist with evaluations, Mr. DePalma met with FDOT and the contractor to determine solutions for implementation; thus, interim measures does exist.




General Items – continued


Continuing, Mr. DePalma said that public meetings were held and attended by businesses individually, and business groups.  There were three (3) major public workshops that were well held.  He stated that based on comments from the public, 64% were in favor of improvement, while 36% were not.  Of the 64%, 21% supported Alternative B (allowing parallel parking on the south side of A1A); while 43% supported Alternative C (the total elimination on parking on A1A). 


Mr. DePalma stated that their recommendation has always been Alternative C – Elimination of On-Street Parking, as it is consistent with the reviews and comments received from public agencies.  He provided various reasons why Alternative C is the best option, to include the management of traffic through the corridor, reduced pedestrian interaction with traffic, wider pedestrian promenade, and greater visibility to the businesses. 


Additionally, Mr. DePalma stated that the City has captured approximately $2.7 million in earmarked funds to help facilitate implementation. He stated that the PD&E Study will take the project further.  The use of State funds and the study will work in conjunction.


Ms. Militello asked that Mr. DePalma explain PD&E, and why it is important to the project.  Mr. DePalma concluded by stating the project has been on the MPO’s unfunded list since 2004. 


In response to Ms. Militello’s question, Mr. DePalma stated that PD&E stands for project development and environmental study.  He stated that they have attempted to follow FDOT guidelines, which address environmental acts.  Moreover, they did not review all environmental aspects; however, the FDOT PD&E guidelines is followed, will allow them to follow the guidelines and take advantage of some of the funding.  He stated that the Board now has the opportunity to implement CRA plans giving the guidelines of the PD&E.


Mr. Gonot clarified that these are federal funds.


Mr. DePalma asked that the Board take action on the alternatives presented this evening.


Ms. Poitier stated that she is not prepared to vote the alternatives; the information was not included in the Boards back up material.  She said that the study shows that 36% suggest no action.  She asked who is reflected in the percentage.


Mr. DePalma replied that it was a combination of the general public and business owners. 


Mr. Gonot asked if it were possible to not provide a preference, but allow the PD&E process to continue and accept the recommendation of the study.



General Items – continued


Mr. DePalma stated that they are attempting to reach all applicable agencies in an effort to move forward with the project; Notwithstanding, the Board presented a vision for the beach area in 1998 and they have presented a picture that closely resembles the Board’s and the public’s vision.      


Mr. Baia stated that the reason for the preference is that this is the heart of the beach area.  He stated that they are only asking the Commission to verify whether their vision lines up with that of the Commission, or are their other preferred alternatives.


Chair Capellini said that the State has classified this as one of the most dangerous road, as traffic backs up onto A1A; he said this was stated by an FDOT employee approximately 15 years ago.  He explained how the traffic backs up, due to visitors exiting various beach facilities.  He said that one of the Board’s most important jobs is to protect the public.  He commented on parking spaces not being lost as they have been reconfigured in their design. 


Ms. Militello said that businesses that are mostly directly impacted by reducing the parking are not in favor.  She stated that she is aware of the reconfiguration to add additional parking around the Wings area; however, many business owners prefer patrons driving up to the business and entering.  She said there is currently no parking in front of the parking garage, making it difficult for restaurants to earn revenue. 


Further, Ms. Militello expressed concerns with the idea of a trolley, which has no proven success.  Although, the idea sounds great; the reality is that trolleys will make frequent stops and generate even more traffic stops; another impediment to traffic flow.  Additionally, she expressed concerns with the valet parking on A1A for restaurants, which create pedestrian and traffic back up.  Unfortunately, there have not been any solutions to these problems either. 


Continuing, Ms. Militello stated that the accident rates were not that extensive for people backing out; the greatest threat is pedestrians across the street.  Moreover, she stated that this project will have an exorbitant cost taking many years to complete.  She stated that her greatest concern is that there is no validation that the proposal will work.  She also commented on residential participation and the bridge being stopped at season.  She stated that there are built in problems which will never be resolved.   Since there are many unanswered questions, Ms. Militello stated that she does not believe a motion is warranted.  Ms. Militello concurred with Mr. Gonot in that the Board should wait on the result of the PD&E Study, as well as the tax proposal.


Ms. Poitier stated that it would have benefited the Board to have the information prior to the meeting.  She stated that the alternatives presented appear to be workable solutions.  For example, if a shuttle was in use, and the City joined ventures with an enterprise, the shuttle may be successful.  She stated that there are alternatives agencies that can provide funding to proceed with the project.  She stated that she has not had the opportunity to participate in a joint venture, public/private partnership in Deerfield Beach.  She commented on obstacles with paying for parking only to partake

General Items – continued


in a 2 hour outing.  She stated that she is not prepared to make a motion on these alternatives.


Vice Chair Popelsky asked the Board whether they favored bringing the Motion back at a later date.


Mr. Gonot replied it is not necessary.   Mr. Gonot reiterated the statistics provide by Mr. DePalma, with 64% being in favor of change.  Nevertheless, on the recommended alternative, at 43%, shows that 57% did not agree with the alternative.  He stated that he is not sure if the Board has the answer, but believes action must take place.  He recommended that FDOT be given an opportunity to review the matter.  There is a majority of the people who do not agree with the alternatives.  He said that he does not have the vision, and there are too many conflicting interests.


Motion was made by Ms. Poitier and seconded by Militello to move the agenda.  Voice Vote: YEAS: All votes yeas.  NAYS: None. 


                                    ITEM 3                                               TAPE 1, COUNT 1322




Carlos Baia, CRA Director, stated that Howard Johnson Hotel is requesting $400,000, for the façade program, as their project estimate was in excess of $200,000.  He stated that this is normally reviewed by him, the Planning Director, and an architect that volunteers for the design-review committee.  The architect works for the firm, thus there is a conflict and it was decided that he not provide input; the Planning Director was not available. He stated that Howard Johnson Hotel would like to start construction as soon as possible.


Ms. Militello stated that construction has already begun.  She stated that she recalls $20,000.00 was given to an establishment in the area and a lien was placed against the property.


Mr. Baia stated that the lien was placed on the sand parcel that they owned.


Ms. Militello asked if the Board decided to go forward, would the lien be placed on the sand property or an additional lien on the property.



General Items – continued


Mr. Baia stated that he normally recommends the building; however, Howard Johnson has not proposed how the lien should be placed.


Ms. Militello recommended granting Howard Johnson the same as the other establishment, $20,000.00; subject to imposing a lien on the appropriate piece of property.


In response to Mr. Gonot’s question, Mr. Baia replied that the original request was for the full amount of $100,000.00.


In response to Vice Chair Popelsky’s question, Mr. Baia replied that he is not recommending $100,000, but $20,000.00.


Motion was made by Vice Chair Popelsky and Seconded by Ms. Militello to adopt CRA Resolution 2007/012, approving $20,000.00. for façade treatment.


Mayor Capellini abstained, as his firm has worked for the Howard Johnson owners.


Roll Call:  Mr. Gonot, Ms. Militello, Ms. Poitier, and Vice Chair Popelsky.  NAYS: None.


                        ITEM 4                                               TAPE 1, COUNT 1437




Resolution was read by title.


Carlos Baia, CRA Director, announced that he will be leaving the City and recommended Andrew Hyatt, Community Development Manager, as CRA Director effective Wednesday September 12, 2007.


Mr. Gonot asked if the City Manager agrees with the recommendation.


Michael Mahaney, City Manager, replied yes, as long as he is made the director, instead of interim director.


Motion was made by Vice Chair Popelsky and Seconded by Ms. Militello to adopt Resolution 2007/013 as amended, appointing Andrew Hyatt as Director.


Roll Call: YEAS: Mr. Gonot, Ms. Militello, Ms. Poitier, Vice Chair Popelsky, and Chair Capellini.  NAYS: None.



There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:25 PM.