I swan, just when I wuz hoping Key West couldn’t get any weirder, its Historical Architectural Review Commission, except for one bright light, went and proved I hadn’t seen nuttin’ yet!

cracked egg

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Brian La Pointe

There is a different post today at www.goodmorningkeywest.com, which you should be able to reach by clicking on this link: Brian Lapointe, PhD, esteemed salt and fresh water scientist living part of the time on Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys, sez there is absolutely no way NOAA/Federal Marine Sanctuaries, Central Everglades Planning Projects (CEEP) or any authority/outfit have the technology, proven by field-tests, to clean up the massive amount of dirty (nitrogen-contaminated) water that is proposed to be allowed into the Everglades

Down Key West way, in today’s Citizen - www.keysnews.com, one person’s view of yesterday’s evenings Historical Architectural Review Committee meeting on the new Peary Court development (foreign greed invasion), followed by other people’s views. I also interspersed some thoughts in italics into the Citizen version. Maybe a reader can answer my Peary Court developer income tax evasion question.

Peary Court ariel

Thursday, May 8, 2014 Add to Facebook Add to Twitter
HARC tables Peary Court vote
Cottages must have doors facing road
BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff
gfilosa@keysnews.com

Gwen Filosa

The city’s Historical Architectural Review Commission (HARC) sent Peary Court designers home from Old City Hall without an approval for the third time Wednesday.

At issue was the scale and access of the 208-unit development when it came to its Angela Street portion.

The panel was unanimous in wanting only single-story cottages on Angela Street rather than two-story homes that HARC members considered too large.

“You’ve done a good job along White Street,” said HARC member Richard Logan. “I think less so on Angela.”

HARC members voted 6-0 to postpone rendering a decision on the proposal and directed Miami architect Bernard Zyscovich to return with designs that show cottages, 600 to 900 square foot homes, whose front doors open on Angela Street.

Member Richard McChesney didn’t participate, citing a conflict of interest.

Angela Street will become “double-loaded,” meaning home entrances will line both sides of the road, HARC and Peary Court planners [the developer’s architect and the developer’s planners] agreed.

Donna Bosold, a private planner working on the new Peary Court, said after the meeting that the team had no problem with making the changes.

“You’ve got an awfully lot of really good stuff here,” said Michael Miller, an architect and HARC’s chairman told Zyscovich. “This is on its way to being something special if developers want it the right way.”

Zyscovich showed some frustration.

“I don’t understand how the entire project became about Angela Street,”he said at one point during the 2.5-hour meeting, adding that residents have been aggressively critical of the project from the get-go.

“I’m not an analyst but there is probably some therapy that needs to be done,” Zyscovich said. “What we’re talking about is not really architectural.”

The needed therapy follows this Citizen article :-)

White Street Partners, the developers who bought the 24-acre parcel from the Navy and its private partner Southeast Housing for $35 million in August, remain stuck in the starting blocks of the approval process.

White Street Planners, lineal descendants of the British firm, Balfour Beatty, which originally purchased Peary Court from the US Navy, along with lots of other Navy housing in the USA, didn’t have to pay any local real estate taxes, and later a local judge kindly extended that tax exemption to White Street Partners, and now I’m wondering, since it seems they will continue to own land in the new Peary Court, and the homeowners will own their homes, but not the land, as I understand it, will the tax exempt deal continue after the new homes are built? Will the city and county and school district never get a penny of taxes from Peary Court?

City commissioners will have the final say on the plans to replace 160 housing units and add 48 units of affordable homes, but only after HARC, the planning board, the Development Review Commission and the Tree Commission grant their blessings.

Residents who live on the borders of Peary Court trashed the project during a special meeting Wednesday at Old City Hall devoted to the revised proposal.

“Please protect our historic architecture from being overwhelmed, overshadowed and smashed,” said Angela Street resident Steve Dawkins, who said the cottage in the plan “seem like just an excuse to get more people crammed into Peary Court.”

Tharon Dunn told the city in a letter, “Peary Court has been a separate enclave from Old Town for 150 years. It should remain that way.”

Peary Court planners made their first appearance before HARC in February 2013 but scrapped the entire design after the panel showed dismay over nearly every piece of it.

Wednesday was the second time Zyscovich’s plans were on the table.

HARC members hashed out concerns over parking, traffic and even if Angela Street should, as Peary Court planners have suggested, turn into a one-way.

“The lions’ share of this discussion has nothing to do with what we’re charged with,” said assistant city attorney Ron Ramsingh.

Miller said he disagreed.

One HARC member questioned the push by the city’s planning director, Don Craig, to have developers transform Peary Court into an extension of Old Town, with Fleming and Southard streets continuing inside the property.

“I’m really perplexed as to why Mr. Craig was so adamant in his desire to require developers to open it up,” said Janet Hinkle, who was appointed to HARC this year. “The mass and scale of houses proposed along Angela Street is just too big, too many.”

Craig wasn’t at Wednesday’s meeting. But he has said Peary Court shouldn’t follow the path of the gated, upscale complex Truman Annex, which he called a “travesty” for getting cut off from Bahama Village.

HARC member Theo Glorie, though, said he was disappointed by “resentment” among homeowners who live around Peary Court.

Other members agreed, including Miller who agreed there was an unwelcoming message coming across from many locals.

“I’m against a gated community here, or even one that has the appearance of a gated community,” said Miller. “The fence left in place suggests people on one side want to be separated.”

Logan said, “If I lived there I’d welcome the addition of those beautiful new homes. I believe that having neighborhoods isolated from one another is not a good idea. It’s not democratic.”

gfilosa@keysnews.com

On that article and last night’s HARC meeting, received this email from one of the Angela Street residents, sent to a large email list:

Subject: HARC Meeting

In case you missed the meeting and want to see the video:

http://keywestcity.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=1&clip_id=30

The only good thing that happened last night is that the decision on the proposal for Peary Court was postponed. We were dealt a harsh setback with the new directive to not only remove the fence but face all cottages on our border out towards Angela Street, using Angela Street as their way of passage. They will have curb cuts and use Angela Street as part of their development. This is the worst case for our goal to retain the peace and quiet of our historical neighborhood.

Today’s Citizen article has some facts right and some wrong. It is worth reading. The cottages on Angela Street will not be 600 sf. They will be 1500 sf. There were other inaccuracies but generally the report was true to the spirit of the “trashing” we as a group of neighbors received, not gave. Once again, we were given no opportunity to ask enter into dialogue with the commissioners as we repeatedly requested.

On the advice of an attorney which some of us consulted, Donna Feldman hired a court reporter to make a transcript of the proceedings in case we find ourselves in an appeal process. The fee is $350 and Donna would appreciate contributions if anyone is inclined. Donna’s address is 1420 Angela St. Key West, Fl. 33040. If she receives a surplus it will go towards future professional costs or be returned equitably.

We are regrouping now. It has been suggested among us that we ask to have the Peary Court Development put on the City Commissioners agenda for review. It was in fact suggested by Janet Hinkle, the one HARC commissioner who appears to be sympathetic to our cause. I have written to ask Jimmy Weekley about that.

I replied to ALL:

I don’t know of any regular local government meetings, city or county, where citizens are permitted to enter into dialogue with elected, hired or appointed city officials, without permission from the Chair, which, in my experience, is seldom granted, unless the Chair or another official on the dais wants it to happen.

Maybe Donna Feldman made the developer really ill last night, when she got HARC Chairman Michael Miller to say the new “cottages” will be part of the 208 new units in Peary Court, and not in addition thereto.

The entire Peary Court agenda item was postponed last night, which works to Angela Street/ Meadows advantage, if you folks can persuade Jimmy Weekly to put Peary Court on a city commission agenda for discussion before the next HARC meeting.

I am disturbed to hear Jimmy was not already approached about that, after I said at Donna Feldman’s home, after Tony Yaniz had met with many of you, that Tony had told me on his way out that it was a really good idea to put Peary Court on a city commission agenda, for discussion, for the second city commission meeting down the road; and it would be best for Jimmy Weekley to sponsor that item, since his is your voting district’s city commissioner.

The new Peary Court development is being approached ass-backwards. The very first thing that should have been decided, before HARC even was gotten involved, was whether or not the new development would be integrated into Angela Street and the Meadows crossing streets. Only after that was decided could the developer, HARC, the Planning Department, even know how to proceed with drawing up, reviewing and revising plans for the new development.

Besides the quality of life arguments Angela Street residents and some Meadows residents are making, with which I full agree, there is the matter of the city’s comprehensive plan seems to expressly prohibit new developments adversely infringing/impacting traffic, parking, etc. in historical neighborhoods, which extending the Meadows crossing streets through Angela Street into the new Peary Court certainly will do.

That’s part of why I was so rough with Michael Miller last night. He, and HARC, have ignored the city’s comprehensive plan, which only the City Commission can change, and then only with the State of Florida’s concurrence. Jimmy Weekley told me after the Planning Department workshop he sponsored, that the comprehensive plan rule could not be bent even a little bit. The comprehensive plan trumps HARC, the Planning Department and the City Commission.

The other reason I was so rough with Michael Miller was he made out like he could not understand why Angela Street was continuing to dominate HARC meetings, when he had led the HARC charge to get the developer to bring back a new set of plans fulling integrating the new Peary Court into Angela Street and the Meadows crossing streets, something the developer did not even wish to do.

The way processing the new Peary Court development application has proceeded so far has resulted in the developer having to draw up three sets of plans, a lot of wasted city staff and equipment time, and a lot of unnecessary emotional upheaval in all quarters. Janet Hinkle spoke to that last night, just after City Commissioner Teri Johnston, who appointed Janet to HARC, left the meeting. Janet said the City Commission should decide the Angela Street issue first. Brilliant, on Janet’s part.

The only way I know to bring that off is to start that discussion at a city commission meeting. To that end, I will forward this email to Jimmy Weekley, Mayor Cates and the other five city commissioners, who can make this a lot easier on everyone involved, including themselves, if they go ahead and decide the Angela Street/Meadows issue first.

You folks spoke very well last night. Having a court reporter there was excellent. You really do need to be represented by able legal counsel henceforth.

Sloan

Another Angela Street resident replied just to me:

Not for publication – Your input has been invaluable. Thanks so much Sloan. You were brilliant last night and someone needed to call Michael Miller out. I am so confused as to how HARC can continue to dictate to the developers in areas they don’t belong. Even their own lawyer told them this wasn’t their business.

What about Theo Glorie saying he didn’t care who lived in those cottages once they were completed – transient rentals or anybody – nice!
What about the architect saying flat out – we have Palm avenue only exiting because we don’t want people driving through our project!! – just have them drive through the Meadows.
When I get these exact quotes I will do my best to spread the word.

Got any ideas what to do now?

I replied:

Yeah, let me publish what you wrote not for publication, that will spread the word a bit. I will leave your name out of it, if you wish.

What happened last night, which two city commissioners witnessed, Tony Yaniz and Teri Johnston, made it crystal clear that HARC, and the Planning Department, need to be put on hold until the City Commission decides the Angela/Meadows issues.

Do you have a word for word copy of that part of the comp plan about new development not infringing/impacting historical neighborhoods?

The correspondent sent, with underling, along with permission for me to publish the above:

Policy 1-1.1.11: Historic Special Medium Density Residential (HSMDR). 

The Peary Court area

designated on the Future Land Use Map as Historic Special Medium Density Residential is designated to accommodate existing multifamily military housing properties at the time when the land and

improvements are transferred to private civilian ownership and City jurisdiction. The designation is intended to maintain land use compatibility with the adjacent historic district. This designation is not intended to accommodate transient or commercial residential land use activities. The allowable residential density shall be a maximum of 8.6 units per acre. The maximum intensity of development shall not exceed a floor area ration (FAR) of 1.0 for all uses, both residential and non-residential combined.
 
The Land Development Regulations shall identify standards and processes to implement Policy 1-1.6.4,provide bulk and performance standards to implement the HSMDR designation, and assurecompliance with all other goals, objectives and policies of the Comprehensive Plan.
 
The Historic Preservation Planner and the Historic Architectural Review Commission shall have the discretion to review redevelopment and new development impacts for mass, scale, size, proportion and screening to ensure compatibility with the existing community fabric. The Land Development Regulations shall be amended to include applicable review criteria for such historic architectural review standards.
 
 
OBJECTIVE 1A-1.2: DESIGNATED HISTORIC DISTRICTS AND LANDMARKS.To continue to ensure the stability, maintenance and improvement of designated historic districts and independently listed landmarks through: updating HARC Guidelines; evaluating the impacts of proposed developmentproviding incentives for maintenance; assessing adjacent land use compatibility; developing Transfer of Development Rights; prioritizing planning activities with historical preservation benefits; developing performance standards for protecting historic sites; reducing vehicular and non-vehicular traffic conflicts; restricting loss of City-owned historic properties and require preservation deed restriction; developing capital improvement programs which enhance historic areas; creating a master plan for the Key West cemetery; and preventing the increase or redirection of traffic onto the historic district’s residential streets, as specified in the following policies.
 
Policy 1A-1.2.15: Traffic Flow Considerations. All future traffic studies that involve the Historic District shall have as their prerequisite to prevent the increase or redirection of traffic flow onto “local residential streets” within historic residential neighborhoods.

 

I  replied:

Thanks, Traffic Flow Consierations looks more like a policy derived from the comp plan, than the comp plan itself.

Michael Miller and I argued a bit last night re whether I was just trying to look out for the Angela Street residents, or whether I was trying to look out for the entire city. Miller’s argument was I just was trying to look out for the Angela Street residents. Rest assured, developers from way back when have done all possible to twist and change existing city comp plans, land development regulations, policies and rules to suit themselves, and that’s going to continue.

Am feeling a bit over-loaded by what all the wonderful angels have dumped on me lately. Perhaps they also sent my oldest Bashinsky first cousin Leo to help cheer me up.

Leo Bashinsky

Bash-Think you will enjoy this.

Law Class!
The professor of a contract law class asked one of his better students, “If you were to give someone an orange, how would you go about it?”
The student replied, “Here’s an orange.”
The professor was outraged. “No! No! Think like a lawyer!”
The student then replied, “Okay. I’d tell him ‘I hereby give and convey to you all and singular, my estate and interests, rights, claim, title, claim and advantages of and in, said orange, together with all its rind, juice, pulp, and seeds, and all rights and advantages with full power to bite, cut, freeze and otherwise eat, the same, or give the same away with and without the pulp, juice, rind and seeds, anything herein before or hereinafter or in any deed, or deeds, instruments of whatever nature or kind whatsoever to the contrary in anywise notwithstanding…’”

I replied:

Maybe I would say, “Okay, I changed my mind, I’m going to eat the damn orange myself :-)

Leo wrote:

Bash, well played.

Then, he sent:

Bash-Got this on the internet. iseemed to be in your wheelhouse.
Leo

Guts vs Balls

There is a medical distinction between Guts and Balls. We have all heard of people having Guts or having Balls. But do you really know the difference between them?

In an effort to keep you informed, here are the definitions:

GUTS: Is arriving home late after a night out with the guys, being met by your wife with a broom, and having the Guts to ask: “Are you still cleaning, or are you flying somewhere?”

BALLS: Is coming home late after a night out with the guys, smelling of perfume and beer, lipstick on your collar, slapping your wife on the butt and having the Balls to say: “You’re next, Baby.”

I hope this clears up any confusion on the definitions. However there is No difference in the outcome. Both are fatal.

I replied:

Har, har

Then, he sent:

Bash-Here’s a poem you can hang your hat on.

Children’s Verse

by Anonymous

Early one morning, late at night,
Two dead boys went out for a fight.
Back to back they faced each other,
Drew their swords and shot each other.
A deaf policeman heard their noise,
And came and shot the two dead boys.
If you don’t believe this lie is true,
Go ask the blind man, he saw it, too.

I think maybe I saw something like that on the HARC dais last night, except for Janet Hinkle.

Janet Hinkle

Sloan Bashinsky

keysmyhome@hotmail.com

Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West

Sloan at HH

About Sloan

Darn, that would take a while. Try the autobiographical pages in the header. Ditto for header menu pages at www.goodmorningbirmingham.com. Hatched and raised there, eventually I ran away from home. Here's a short list: Born 1942; male; single; accused of all sorts of imaginable and unimaginable things, perhaps some true. Live on Key West of Weird asteroid. Publish something most days on this website, been at that since July 2007. That's heaps of catch-up reading, probably not recommended.
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