Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Planning and Zoning for the Bay

North Bay Village is a waterfront city and we need to pay attention to how our waterfront is managed. It's important and there are many models around of cities that have got this right. But it's far from our most critical issue.

Yet the new members of the Planning & Zoning Board seem to have a near unhealthy interest in boats. While the interior of the city is littered with vacant structures, poorly maintained streets, blatant code violations, parked cars on lawns, and monster houses half finished, the P&Z is worrying about boat sizes and positions.

It seems political and punitive, not at all constructive. If you talk to people around the city, the subject of boats seldom comes up. You're much more likely to hear about a commercial business operating out of a residence and attracting large crowds several times per week. You will hear concern about the 10 story building on East Treasure Drive vacant for three years now and the lack of a city strategy to deal with the foreclosed and abandoned homes. But seldom about the boats.

Planning & Zoning instead spent its most recent meeting talking about adding a new layer of registrations to boats. Boats are already registered by the state and the county and the reasoning behind proposing municipal registration is unclear.

It's to be admired that people volunteer their time and energy for city boards. This should be a focused community effort though, not an attempt to distract from the very real issues the city is facing.

I hope Planning and Zoning steps up their game to discuss the real issues facing the citizens.

Kevin Vericker
March 8, 2011

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