A Board of Directors Meeting was held on Thursday, October 10, 2019 at the Residents Club Room of the Las Olas Grand Condominium.  The meeting began at 3:10 pm and was presided over by President Stan Eichelbaum.

II. Attendees

Board members present:  Stan Eichelbaum, Jim McGrath, Steve Newmark (via phone), Bobbi Ocean, Debbie Picker, Melinda Bowker, Mercedes Loy, Debbie Scott-Queenin

Board members not present:  Tapan Chakrabarty, Carol Kalliche, Greg Madonna

III. Agenda

  1. Initial Remarks

1. Stan Eichelbaum expressed appreciation to all who have given time during a challenging summer.  Besides the DFLCA board, other individuals were involved with input and guidance, including Frank Schnidman, Earl Devany, and Mike Adams.  

2. Going forward, Stan stressed that the Issues and Strategies committee had advised the importance of trying to keep our issues that we tackle at any one time to no more than 4 to 5.  Public safety should continue to be of utmost importance and the Number One priority needs to be the City’s codifications and assuring the proposed revisions of the City’s Land Development Regulations prioritize public safety.  

3. The HB 7103 Forum, held on October 7, 2019, 5:30 pm at the Stranahan House was considered to be a success by many who attended.  Nearly 90 people weathered the rainy night to hear Frank Schnidman, Jane West, Jim Brady and Richeard Ovelmen discuss this new legislation passed by the Florida House and Senate and signed by the governor on June 30, 2019.  HB 7103 potentially threatens citizens to pay developer legal fees for unsuccessful court challenges, even if related to comprehensive plan guidelines.  Although not discussed at the forum, this legislation also requires county governments to offset costs to developers for affordable housing; and modifies how impact fees may be used.  A journalist from WLRN attended and aired a clip from the forum the following morning.  A follow-up radio show was to be scheduled on the county public access County Line Show. It will feature Frank Schnidman, Jim Brady and the well respected Richard Grasso. 

B. Committee Reports

1.Bylaws

Jim McGrath, Chair, stated that at the May 28 board meeting, it was moved, seconded, and approved for the draft new bylaws to be presented to the general membership at an upcoming meeting where a high turnout of membership would be expected.  That meeting is TBD.  

2.Communications

Broward College has been progressing with the development and implementation of the new DFLCA website and other communication. Tappan Chakrabarty and Stan Eichelbaum have been coordinating the effort with the “Class Club” group of students.  The website is being designed to provide links to agencies; community events, etc. and will better facilitate DFLCA membership renewals.  Hurricane Dorian had a negative impact on the Class Club’s timeframe for completion, which is unknown at this time.  

3.Issues and Strategies/Legal and Vetting 

The attorneys who participated in the HB7103 Forum at the Stranahan House on October 7 have been providing insight into the potential freedom of speech implications of HB7103.  As a cautionary note, if anyone were to object to or criticize a development, either proposed or underway, it is advised to express objection/criticism to a government body, not the developer per se.  Addressing code compliance is key to minimizing risk to the citizen or citizen group.  Even though the Maggie Hurchalla case in Martin County was tried before the passage of HB7103, the case outcome has set a precedent for concern about future cases.  It was stated that all comments at public hearings are accessible for legal implications. Additionally while the session focused on HB7103 and Hurchalla, there also must be awareness and caution of Fair Housing Act, defamation, tort and the full realms of tort and real estate legalities.

FS 163.3215 (4) provides the exclusive methods for an aggrieved or adversely affected party to appeal and challenge the consistency of a development order with a comprehensive plan.  To date, it has been the primary protection clause of the statute that can be used to express objections/criticism of a development.  According to Jim Brady, one of the panelists at the October 7 Forum, HB7103 supersedes this provision.  

  • Moved by Jim McGrath and seconded by Debbie Scott-Queenin to have a legal document drafted for all board members to sign that affirms that any evaluation comments, objections/criticism expressed at any meeting, gathering, conversation, etc., are at the sole discretion of the individual, and do not represent the DFLCA or its board, unless the DFLCA has taken formal action on the matter.  All in favor.  Motion passed.

Given the legal liabilities, breadth of new projects, and issues in downtown, and the cost and time involved in hosting meetings for each, it was suggested all new development presentations be promoted by the DFLCA to membership, but be the hosting and coordination responsibility (location/rental/logistics/all costs and speaking) of  the developer(s). This would be in lieu of the DFLCA as a whole arranging and coordinating the presentation and notifying members. Comments at these meetings will be in response to the developer asking for feedback and will be from attendees representing opinion of general public individuals..

4.Membership

Debbie Picker, chair, shared ideas to increase DFLCA membership. Debbie has prepared a list of residential buildings within the neighborhood boundaries that would qualify for the Residential Class of membership with voting rights.  An informal coffee and donuts gathering was suggested as opportunities to be scheduled for each building.   Costs for a postcard mailing campaign are also being reviewed by the Membership Committee.  

C. President’s Report

The following items were presented by Stan Eichelbaum and discussed by board members present at the meeting:

1. Social events – because of the many critical issues that have consumed the DFLCA over the past year, there has not been any action on social events.  Stan expressed interest in resuming this function of the DFLCA and hopefully soon.  He said several activities were possible. 

2. The Issues and Strategies Committee and others have questioned the current scale and large pending growth of the Civic Association and the limited resources to deal with the scale of issues. Several have encouraged that it could be highly beneficial to consider splitting the association into two districts, north and south of the river. Stan was asked to discuss it with the larger building presidents south of the river. In the initial meeting response was in favor of staying one Civic Association. The matter will be referred back to the Issues and Strategies Committee. 

3.      Potential for a Valuation Trending Committee – there was follow-up discussion on the potential of realtors and others being coordinated into a committee monitoring implications to property valuations in the neighborhood. Bobbi Ocean said she would think about potential individuals.

3. Urban Land Institute (ULI) Parks and Open Space Study input    Stan has been asked to participate in a ULI task force coming to town to evaluate the parks and green spaces possible in downtown.  He asked that board members submit a list of questions, concerns, project ideas, etc. to him as soon as possible.

4. New Projects 

It has been rumored that the property south of Sagamore Road, in vicinity of old location of Maus and Hoffman has been identified as a potential site for a 13-14 story residential building. 

SkyLofts    This proposed project is located south of the Pinnacle on SE 3rd Avenue near SE 10th Street.  To date, the developer has not submitted revised plans to the City.  

D. Approval of Previous Minutes 

Minutes of previous board meeting held on May 28, 2019 were presented for review.  

  • Moved by Bobbi Ocean and seconded by Jim McGrath to approve the meeting minutes.  All in favor.  Motion passed.

E. Treasurer’s Report 

Presentation of the Financial Report was deferred.  

IV. Adjournment

At 5:40 pm, Stan Eichelbaum adjourned the meeting. 

Minutes prepared by: Debbie Scott-Queenin

 

Board Meeting 4/18/2013 Summary

During the Downtown Civic Association business meeting portion of the session the Board approved minutes and a financial report. It was announced that membership reached 300 that afternoon, over a 1600% increase from the start of the year. There was a review of past and coming events.

Chris Wren, Executive Director of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), gave a comprehensive review of the agency’s current initiative finishing with a detailed explanation of the plans, status and economics for The Wave

County Commissioner Tim Ryan attested to his support of transportation initiatives and explained several other current undertakings of the County Commission.

Q&A followed with comments about are traffic congestion and pedestrian safety issues. Commissioner Ryan encouraged contact to his office. There were also further questions about the Wave plans.

The meeting adjourned at about 8:25 PM.

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