Asking the Wallflower to Dance

Screenshot of the Lake Park Design Approach Manual 2009

Lake Park has pretty little wallflower of a plan created in 2009 which provides the basis for much of what you see taking place in our town through the CRA.  It incorporates many of the sustainable development goals the Town seems intent upon implementing through various projects. We do not hear mention of this colorful document as being the basis for what’s being done in the CRA District, but it is the inspiration, and it would do us good to understand what the ideas are which are contained within and which sit quietly in the shadows of the CRA website.

Asking the Wallflower for a Dance

Commissioner Rumsey asked at the October 5th meeting that this demure plan be reviewed at the November 2nd CRA meeting in light of the gallery closing. Since the gallery was supposed to be the centerpiece of the Arts District, which is the Town’s goal according to the CRA Website, he asked that the CRA revisit their plan and (paraphrasing) basically go through and review where we are as a town in light of our stated goals and plans according to this document and perhaps consider changes.

When pressed for where to find this document, it was stated by town staff that the CRA Plan could be found on the CRA website, not the town website. However, there is no listing there as such, but there is link to…

The Improvement Report. However, when that comes up, it is titled…

Facade Improvement Report, and the link itself is titled…

Lake Park Presentation. Once you click the link, the item in question is actually called…

The Lake Park Design Approach Manual 2009.

If this is indeed the CRA Plan that will be discussed, you can save yourself some trouble by CLICKING HERE to get there directly. I can only assume this is the document in question. If someone knows differently, please enlighten us. If not, I hope someone can share where the report in question can be found.

She’s Shy, But She Gets Around

2009 was a different time and place from today, and since then much has been learned about the sustainable agenda which it seems might have been making it’s official town debut here in this plan. Sustainable goals are worked in and around the lovely renderings of pretty architecture and some lovely floral landscape highlighted within our wallflower’s report. The sustainable development goals she holds close to her heart sometimes play shy, but they sure do get around. Nearly all architectural studies these days incorporate sustainable objectives, as Architectural firms and Architectural schools have been co-opted by the movement, and it is difficult these days to find those that have not donned this ‘smart’ attire.

The first 39 pages of this plan are basically an architectural lesson that give the background of the Classical, Mediterranean Revival, and Anglo Caribbean architectural styles and how they can be applied to strip buildings like those we have on Park Avenue. Beginning on page 41, the plan for our town begins. You might wonder how much we paid for this report with all it’s architectural drawings, especially in light of the fact that only 8 or 9 of the pages are actually specific plans for our town. The rest is pretty much a history lesson. That’s 8 or 9 pages out of about 50 which relate to us directly.

Then quite a few pages are focused on parking, which introduces you to the reasoning, perhaps, behind the town’s concern about the Foresteria property, which is intended as a future parking lot. This property grab was more than likely not so much about blight as it was about meeting the goals of this plan to change the structure of a few blocks of the CRA district on Park Avenue, for which rear parking is a big consideration.

On page 49, other telling details arise, and if you understand sustainable development, you see its fingerprints smudged across the pages of this document as well as across the pages of the sites connected to our town such as The CRA website and the CDC website.

The Dance of Words

Sustainable Development as played out even in this plan has a syrupy sound to its voice, but it’s like listening to a broken record too and that’s getting really annoying. Here are a few of the words, phrases and ideas which are heralded as a part of the sustainable agenda. They are also used to dance around what Lake Park is implementing through its projects and plans, such as have been indicated in the Design Presentation:

Urban

Collective

Mixed-use

Blight

Public transit/pedestrian traffic

Green space/open space

Dancing on Over to the Train Station

Also, note on page 50 of the Design Plan where the discussion of planning for a train station comes into play. Getting folks out of their cars and into public transit is an integral part of the sustainable agenda. It is based in part on the idea of reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMTs) and reducing fuel consumption and pollutants by nudging people out of their own personal vehicles and into public, collective transportation. (Please see Lake Park’s October 19th meeting agenda under tab 21 regarding Resolution 44-10-10 about the Tri-Rail expansion. This resolution was passed last year as an indication of support for the DOTs potential station locations in Palm Beach County which is part of the SFEC Corridor Project. This is found on page 1,044 of that agenda.)

Oh No, The Dance is Cut Short

For some reason, this CRA/Improvement/Facade/Presentation/Report/Plan cuts off mid-sentence on page 50, so I am not sure if this is the whole report and where the continuation can be found. If anyone has a full report, please let us know where we can view that, otherwise we are working off of insufficient information and we cannot continue to dance with our pretty little wallflower. Heaven knows residents have had enough trouble procuring the information we ask for from the town as it is.

We Too Can Take This Wallflower for a Spin Around the Dance Floor

The upcoming CRA meeting where the board/commission intend to discuss this plan may be our first real focus as a town regarding what exactly their goals are and will hopefully provide us an opportunity to help our town rethink what it is doing and how it is operating and spending money under the CRA umbrella (which seems to be the main focus of what our town does.) Get a head start and check it out. Then please plan to attend this meeting at 6:30 on November 2nd. Come prepared with your questions and to have your say and bring your dancing shoes because this is your opportunity to ask this wallflower to come out of the shadows and dance.

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