Adding To Fort Lauderdale’s Misery


The proposed development’s is immense and wildly out-of-step with many residents in Fort Lauderdale — five new towers at the dying Searstown. 

Floated against a backdrop of hemorrhaging city sewers, Searstown would be stuffed with roughly 1,200 apartments and hotel rooms plus tens of thousands of feet of retail space.  

This is not just another project.  It would affect everybody who drives north of downtown. 

The project would pour more traffic into the already gridlocked roads around Searstown.

Don’t believe me about the gridlock? 

Get in a car and drive. Or ask a traffic engineer. 

They say Sunrise Boulevard east of Searstown is already failing. 

Traffic on a road is rated “A” through “F.” Sunrise Boulevard near Searstown received an “F.” 

Now. Today. 

Before developers add roughly 2,000 parking spaces to handle some of the traffic generated by the new Searstown towers.  

“F” is the worst you can get on the road planner’s scale.

“F” is bumper-to-bumper.

“F” is residents and tourists stalled, missing appointments. “F” is shoppers and diners avoiding east Sunrise businesses because they rather not fight the traffic.

“F” is first responders spending extra time rushing to emergencies.

“F” is a mess and has turned Sunrise Boulevard into a classic example of paralyzing gridlock.  

There is only one group to blame: The Fort Lauderdale City Commission.

There were exceptions.  

Mayor Jim Naugle was a proponent of slow growth. Alone Naugle could do little. 

Mayor Dean Trantalis has tried. It has been tough since most of the damage was done under his predecessor, the rabidly pro-development Mayor Jack Seiler. 

Former Mayor Jack Seiler: Supported development.

Whoever was guilty, its history. 

Endless construction over decades with little consideration of roads, sewers or water. 

Now some residents have had enough. They are ready to do something about it…politically. 

More than 2,500 have signed a petition calling for a halt in development until the city imposes impact fees to cover the cost of upgrading “roads; water, sewer and storm drainage lines; fire, emergency and police services; and parks, recreational and educational facilities” needed for growth. 

A second group just wants to schedule a meeting to discuss a building moratorium.

Even Mayor Naugle resurfaced, floating the idea of a moratorium on Twitter. 

But residents have run into the opposition from entrenched pro-development forces and their flunkies in City Hall. 

They have too long preached the Gospel of more-and-more building equals prosperity without considering the cost on Fort Lauderdale’s way-of-life. 

Sadly it may be too late. 

Because the chickens have come home to roost. The horse is out of the barn. 

And it is too bad the horse is already out of the barn. Because the way things are going, the only way to get around will be on a horse. 

17 Responses to “Adding To Fort Lauderdale’s Misery”

  1. Chaz Stevens, Former Contender says:

    >> Whoever was guilty, its history.

    Parts of downtown Lauderdale are covered with human waste, yet you hear every so often, Seiler’s name mentioned for another office.

    Perhaps Buddy, you need to learn how to carry a grudge.

    It suited me well chasing after those elected officials I help send to jail.

  2. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    It never stops.Its quite simple no more development until these sewer/ water lines are fixed/ replaced.All this campaign monies these elected officials take from esp.these land- use dev.attys.Just say no guys.But no it’s this whole pay to play.Well,no more.I would not take a dime from any of them.Can’ t buy Robert Walsh.Just a shame- who do I blame greed .Say one thing it has been great to see former mayor Naugle and his Tweets concerning updates on all these sewer ruptures.I found them very informative.Like u pointed out Buddy we need more elected officials like him with his sentiment no more development.I even asked him to consider running not for mayor but for district comm where he lives.( PS.good luck to his wife for canidate for State Supreme Court)

  3. FORMER resident and taxpayer says:

    The problem is not that Jack Seiler, Romney Rogers and Bruce Roberts were pro-development — it’s that they were poor managers of the city’s prosperity. They spent like drunken sailors on cosmetic improvements in the CRAs (downtown and beach) while neglecting the basic health and safety of rest of the city. We now have lots of decorative lighting, pavers, and of course, unsustainable pension benefits for police and fire/EMTs, while $#!t flows into poorly-maintained streets.

    Naugle was/is part of the problem, too. He currently serves on the Police & Fire Pension Board. After the city bailed out that pension plan’s unfunded pension liability with $200 million of borrowed money in 2013, the P&F pension board promptly dug itself a new hole in 2015 by changing its assumptions and creating another $33.5 million in unfunded liability — and for good measure heaped another $16.7 million liability on in 2016. Nothing like taking out a loan of $200 million to pay off the credit card and then go out and put another $50 million on the tab. Those two changes increase the city’s annual contribution to the pension by $4 million per year (for the next 20 years) Thanks Jim. Hard to polish that turd of a record.

  4. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    # 3.I would like a comment from Jim Naugle and others on this board as to what u state..

  5. Brenda (Hey Buddy or Chaz Stevens Please Help) says:

    I drive past Searstown Monday-Friday 8am and at 4:30pm. I also practice Yoga, get fresh juice, and get my coffee fix next to Searstown. My daughter participates in sports at Holiday Park.

    The traffic is currently an absolute nightmare. The congestion is a hazard to the community. Does anyone think about Family Life, the Current Businesses, Firetruck & EMS?

    Just imagine if they develop the two 30-story towers and a 15-story tower with 819 residential units, plus retail, restaurants, office space and a food hall; a 17-story, 240-room hotel with restaurants; and another 15-story residential tower with 135 units, and retail, restaurants. (Total Bonehead & greedy proposal)

    If they develop this then I will never go to the Galleria Mall or shop anywhere in that vicinity. The existing businesses WILL LOSE business.

    What about our quality of life? I dare the City Commissioners to live stream a car ride during rush hour traffic. We want their reactions and live view of the traffic as they take this route.

    Searstown is not in a location which can withstand this absurd and unrealistic development that has been proposed. The traffic is currently at capacity.

    Buddy you can host the live stream the drive on Facebook?

    Maybe Chaz Stevens would be willing to live stream and video the trek?

  6. Chaz Stevens, Former Contender says:


    Activism is a very expensive hobby fraught with perils. Two days after Sylvia Poitier was arrested, my beloved family dog was found poisoned.

    I’ve retired from this business. I merely get my thrills by remembering the old days.

    Maybe we can get WPLG’s Bob Norman to cover the story!

    Wait what? He’s no longer there?…

  7. Pension Popper says:

    Pensions are about to become a major, major issue.
    Unfortunately, the move of the election to November will prevent any substantial discussion on local priorities/issues.

  8. Diane Burak says:

    Voters remember these folks when you go to the polls. Use your elective powers! You can make a difference.


  9. Tell the Truth says:

    @3 former resident
    Good points but correction needed for the record – the 20 year $340 million dollar police and fire pension bond deal was approved 4-1 vote (Comm Charlotte Rodstrom lone NO vote). The fiscal mismanagement from 2009-2018 is clearly apparent now to the 90% that never voted in those local March elections. Their apathy and indifference will cost them now and for the next 10-20 years.

  10. FTL Voter says:

    Jim Naugle was anti-development, but only in certain parts of the city. He backed all the high density highrises that now line Las Olas and the downtown.

  11. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    I was right the first time.200 mill the residents favor in March 2019 as was reported in paper this am.As far as this partnership for new bldg w/ county put that on back burner.Shift the 100 mill from police station.If Lagerbloom balks ( it’s not.your money) then bring it back on the ballot if necessary.Take the 100 mill,squash the new police station and get moving and start replacing these pipes.I am sick if hearing from Trantalis that it’s all the previous comm.fault,which he was part of.And to Comm.Glassman less is more.Enough with your cutesy BFF comment concerning the soccer stadium and your infatuation with soccer David Beckum.Concentrate on your district not flirting with Me.Beckum.Lastly, this sewer mess and Mayor and comm stalling and this BS no money etc is no need to insinuate rate increases.These residents deserve better.

  12. right wing says:

    they will have community meetings and assurances from local politicians that they will be heard and represented. but the developers and their big $$$$$ will appear, the pols will shrug and say “we fought the good fight”, ‘I support smart development”. and lo and behold a traffic nightmare will ensue. and the towering condos, afforded only by the affluent will rise up. as former nhl superstar brett hull once opined,” the big fix is in”,

  13. FORMER resident and taxpayer says:

    Re: #7 Yep. Just like the sewer system, the city will be able to keep its pensions flowing smoothly — until they can’t.

    BTW: The amounts I stated are publicly available to anyone who goes to the Police & Fire Pension Board’s website:

    Follow the tab “Plan Documents”,
    select “Financial/Actuarial”,
    find “Actuarial Valuation as of October 1, 2016” and on page 13 (bottom of page) you’ll find the following two “Assumption Change” amounts:

    FY 2015 $33,479,112
    FY 2016 $16,677,806

    That’s the $50 million in new unfunded pension liability that the P&F Board approved. Spread over 20 years, the additional annual cost is $4 million/year ($80 million total). The $30 million difference is the interest the city is paying on the P&F’s new pension liability.

    If you want to know where the money went that was supposed to fix the water and sewer system, look no further — it was sucked out of the W&S Fund by Lee Feldman’s Return on Investment scheme into the General Fund, so that the city could fund police and fire pension contributions.

    Former Mayor Naugle’s on the P&F Board now, Former City Commissioner Romney Rogers before him. Quelle surprise! It’s like a scene from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

    Gotta say, overall, the current city commission is a much more focused, reality-driven group than any commission in recent memory. But I fear it will be too little, too late.

  14. Chaz Stevens, Loved To be Retired says:

    30+ years ago, armed with a Master’s degree, I pursued a career in the IT field.

    At that same time, local politicians seeking office secured the political assistance of their fire and police departments (100-200 boots on the ground, knocking on doors, holding signs on the corner).

    For that, the politicians ***lavishly*** bankrolled various pension funds. Now, with N-dipping, those civil servants can retire really high on the hog.

    My earlier point being — had I known now, I’d have skipped working for IBM and became a fire fighter and very likely be comfortably retired thanks to the taxpayer.

    When I hear the rubbish about how hard the cops and firemen have it … I think to myself, you’re well compensated with great benefits for a job you work three days a week at …

    Give me a fucking break.

  15. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    #14.These police and firefighter s work very hard and are worth every dime.

  16. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Watch ALL members if the Ft Lauderdale City Commission. One anti development activist is listening to the b.s. of the over develooment FOREIGN investors! And, yes responsible LOCAL developers are trying to stop thus INSANITY.

  17. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    The FIX IS IN! Watch HOW THE STATE comes up with this b.s. WE NEED TO OVERDEVELOPE Searstown TO RELIEVE TRAFFIC! Since Jeb Bush became Governor in 1999 State Government has GUTTED GROWTH STANDARDS the Reformers fought for!