BY BUDDY NEVINS
The Diplomat expansion will not die.
The ill-conceived Diplomat project is one of four being pushed by developers intent on building towers on every square inch of Broward.
Never mind the Diplomat expansion would pour thousands of more vehicles on already-overcrowded Hallandale Boulevard. Never mind Hallandale needs another huge condominium and hotel like the county commission needs more lobbyists.
Its back. Its alive. Like a vampire, it is rising from the dead.
Where is Buffy when we need her?
The Hallandale Chamber of Commerce is prodding county commissioners to reconsidering the pathetic Diplomat project. Commissioners killed it 6-3 just a month ago.
Here is my original story on this latest piece of over-development.
The Diplomat is just one of the obscene projects that are being peddled in the days leading up to the summer:
(1) In Sunrise, a developer wants to build a hotel and an office complex complete with high rises, next to the Everglades. The project would be shoehorned between the Sawgrass Expressway and the River of Grass!
(2) In Fort Lauderdale, the city commission is on the verge of allowing a developer to build at the city-owned Bahia Mar marina without taking proposals. It is a 100-year no bid deal. This one is particularly odious since the city, knowing it can’t grant a lease for 100 years, is granting two 50 year leases to get around the rules.
(3) Also in Fort Lauderdale, a sprawling multi-million project at the First Presbyterian Church off east Las Olas Boulevard threatens to destroy one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. The traffic generated by the planned five-story, 264-space parking garage, the retail stores, and a two-story, family center with the footprint of a large Publix store will choke residential east Fort Lauderdale.
(3) The Diplomat would pave over part of an existing golf course, flood Hallandale with even more traffic and confirm that development-happy city’s reputation as the place many of us would avoid on pain of death.
The argument of these three projects is the same one developers always use economic growth.
Fort Lauderdale is the prime example of why this argument is fallacious.
The city commission never saw a project it didn’t like, yet has budgetary problems and has had them long before the recent recession. All that development did nothing for taxpayers except clog the roads and put a burden on city services.
Any Fort Lauderdale City Commissioners considering either of the two proposed projects in their community should be ashamed of themselves. The developers should be shown the door.
Fort Lauderdale and Hallandale already have turned themselves into third-rate Queens without the infrastructure, especially a way to move people around.
And still they want more development!
These four proposed projects have the same group of unctuous lobbyists that are always found fawning over politicians at city halls and Broward Government Center.
How these lobbyists sleep at night is beyond me?
Actually, they sleep very well indeed. Maybe it’s because of all the money they made from ruining our quality of life.
These lobbyists need to be defeated.
Because believe me, tomorrow it will be your neighborhood they will want to build in.
These projects need to be put to rest.
And if the politicians don’t have the guts to do it, maybe we do need Buffy to drive a stake through the heart of these unnecessary projects.
Here is the e-mail from the Hallandale chamber:
Dear Fellow Business Leader, The fate of The Diplomat Golf Course is in your hands (must email by Close of Business Monday)!!
I am appealing to you as business leaders to send an e-mail to each of the County Commissioners, asking them to revisit their vote on the Diplomat’s application. This is the LAST chance for them to look at this application. After Tuesday’s County Commission meeting, the Diplomat will start its process of closing the CountryClub and Golf Course.
If everyone and I MEAN EVERYONE, even your family members and friends can e-mail each County Commissioner (addresses below) asking them to re-open the Diplomat application at their Tuesday meeting, there might be a chance to revisit this application, which is THE ONLY OPTION THAT WILL ABSOLUTELY ENSURE THE PRESERVATION OF THE GOLF COURSE.
Will you allow (by not sending an email) for our golf course to become a barren and overgrown plot of land infested with possums, rats and raccoons just waiting for someone with enough money to open an amusement park or sold to build a casino? Both can be built without any further approvals!! (Let’s talk about traffic)
Please make sure to cc me firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com> in your emails to: firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
THANK YOU SO MUCH! Here is a sample you can cut and paste from. If you need help please call me on my cell anytime this weekend 954-536-6424.
Best Regards, Patricia Genetti, Executive Director P 954-454-0541
SAMPLE (Thank You Jerry K. Jensen):I was very disappointed that the Broward County Commissioners did not approve the land use revisions and revitalization plan for the Diplomat Country Club in Hallandale Beach.
As I wrote the commission and the planning council, it was a fundamentally sound plan to preserve green space and provide for long term employment in our community: I have heard the Diplomat’s presentations now at three different venues in Hallandale: The Three Islands Presidents’ Council, The Hallandale Ad Hoc Parking Committee Meeting and the public hearing on November 2nd. I am very impressed at how the representatives and the owners have been reaching out to all segments of community to present the concept, engage in dialog with the residents and businesses affected, and incorporate suggestions and concerns into the planning. Of particular interest to me as part of the City’s Parking Committee has been the proposal to provide over 375 parking places to the city, and the Diplomat’s expressed willingness to participate in traffic improvement efforts in the area. I believe the overall concept will serve the City of Hallandale Beach in several aspects:
* Preserve the large green space area of the country club,
* Provide additional residential and commercial units to expand the city’s tax base,
* Provide substantial short term and long term jobs to the community, and
* Help make Hallandale Beach a more upscale destination point for both tourism and residents of nearby communities.
As I stated at the public meeting on November 2nd, I am sure that there will be some tweaking and adjustments of the plan, but the Diplomat’s representatives have shown a great willingness to work through issues to reach consensus. While there were a number of the people at the open meeting on Nov. 2 that had complaints, I did not hear any made that to me should be “show-stoppers” that could not be worked through; in fact, most seemed to me to be fairly petty and personal and not well-informed – but that is just my opinion.I believe that this project in the long run will provide a substantial long term benefit to Hallandale Beach’s residents and taxpayers.Now I understand the country club is facing closure. What will be the fate of this property and the green space so vital to our community and environment? If the property is “shut down”, will it become a derelict property like the European Club at the corner of Hallandale Beach Blvd. and Three Islands Blvd.? I think the commission’s vote was short-sighted, and I am very disappointed with your poor decision after so many prior approvals.
Sincerely, Jerry K. Jensen Hallandale Beach, FL 33009