Will City Commission Snub Citizens Tuesday?

     The Citizens are furious.
     It was quite a rare effort that included nearly 100 of Fort Lauderdale’s leading Citizens. They had come together to propose changes to the City’s Development Code. The Code is the set of rules that decides everything about buildings. How big can they be. How much set-back must they have. Even how many and how big the shade trees must be.  

     They were fed up watching townhouse after townhouse built with sheer three story walls towering over the little house next door, with only 10 foot between them. They wanted the Code to allow neighborhood friendly- front porches built further into the front yard. They were aghast at new townhouse strips that had a row of garage doors, little grass and puny trees. They got together, worked for months, and crafted a proposal.  

    There were anti-development activists as well as developers. There were the new “Green” architects and the established well known architects. Add in neighborhood Presidents, a smattering of lawyers, some Commission candidates, and you have a brew that you’d expect the City Commission would pay heed to.

     So far you’d be wrong. 

     The irony is that the two Commissioners that have been branded as development fans are the only two that have gone along with the Citizens’ plan to restrict the Code. They are Commissioners Carlton Moore and Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson.

     The other three, Naugle, Rodstrom, and Teel, who have consistently rattled their sabers and declared that they would change the Code to be more neighborhood friendly, have stopped the effort in it’s tracks.

     This Tuesday, Commissioner Teel has agreed to revisit the issue, and the Citizens are watching closely. Teel might switch over and side with Moore and Hutchinson, and the effort will move forward again. 

     The redevelopment of the neighborhoods has stalled this year due to an ailing housing market, and little damage is currently being done, but things won’t stay down long.

     And this being an election year, many hope that might be enough to encourage at least three of them to do the right thing. 

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