BY BUDDY NEVINS
The Fort Lauderdale Planning & Zoning Board this week considers raising the number of housing units allowed downtown from 11,060 to 16,060.
That’s 5,000 units!
That could be five huge apartment complexes of 1,000 units apiece!
Those 5,000 units would be built in a vacuum. The housing would be permitted before adding infrastructure, especially infrastructure to handle the traffic.
The exception is The Wave, the mini-streetcar system approved this summer. The Wave, of course, will not carry anyone in and out of Fort Lauderdale. Just around downtown.
The idea that people living in those new 5,000 units will give up their cars is a planner’s fantasy. Maybe some will walk to work, but they surely at some point will want to go other places than downtown.
None of this matters. Commissioners believe that downtown must build up.
For the life of me, I have never understood why bigger buildings equals desirable growth. Isn’t Las Olas a destination because it is a quainter, low-rise street?
“I support more density downtown and I don’t on the barrier island,” Mayor Jack Seiler said.
That’s good for the beach, at least. Maybe it’s good for downtown. We shall see.
I surely hope Seiler, who I believe has the best interests of the city at heart, is right.
Here’s the agenda item:
CITY OF FORT LAUDERDALE PLANNING AND ZONING BOARD MEETING
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
PLACE OF MEETING: City Hall, City Commission Chambers 100 North Andrews Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 TIME OF MEETING: 6:30 P.M.
11. Downtown Units Land Use Plan Amendment Todd Okolichany 2T13
General Location: District:
Amend text in the Future Land Use Element of the Comprehensive Plan by increasing the residential density within the Downtown Regional Activity Center (RAC) land use designation from 11,060 dwelling units to 16,060 dwelling units.
The amendment applies to the Downtown Regional Activity Center (RAC), generally located south of Sunrise Boulevard, north of the Tarpon River, between S.E. 9th Avenue and N.W. 7th Avenue, in the City of Fort Lauderdale.
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