Fort Lauderdale Planning & Zoning Board October 17, 2007 Page 3
Mr. Lochrie stated the applicant is willing to work with Engineering and the City’s Forester to address landscaping in order to clear the 15-foot pedestrian access area.
Thomas Lodge, of the Planning and Zoning Department, summarized the staff presentation. He stated that the request is to vacate a 15-ft right of way at the east terminus of N.E. 5th Street. The owners of each side joined in support to vacate the right-of-way in order to make improvements to the property. Mr. Lodge advised that in September, 2003, the PROW had approved this request. He stated that staff determined the proposed request meets the criteria for right-of-way. Mr. Lodge stated staff has the following conditions for the Board’s approval:
A 15-foot pedestrian easement be dedicated to allow public access to the waterway and that this shall be maintained by the property owner.
FPL requests that a 10-ft utility easement be maintained along the center line of the pedestrian easement.
Ms. Golub asked whether both property owners on either side of the 15-foot right-of-way will maintain their portion. Mr. Lochrie suggested that each property owner be asked to maintain the right-of-way jointly. Ms. Miller stated this can be made part of the conditions for approval.
Chair Curtis opened the meeting for public hearing.
Margaret Nesser, 512 Victoria Terrace, a neighbor of the applicant, stated she has no objection to the vacation. However, she voiced concern about the City having the 15-foot right-of-way because for the past year, a homeless person has been living in the bushes at the corner of NE 1st Street and Victoria Park Road three to four nights a week during the summer. She voiced concern about strangers sleeping in the 15-foot area of public property.
Chair Curtis asked if Ms. Nesser thought that situation would be better or worse with the vacation. In response, Ms. Nesser said in her view, the public access will possibly be a problem, but she is in favor of the vacation.
Mr. Glassman asked about the Neighborhood Association’s views on this request.
Jay Holloway, President of the Victoria Park Civic Association stated the neighbors did not have an opportunity to review this request with their Planning and Zoning and Aesthetics Committees. He advised that residents had informally voted to return the land to the adjacent owners. Mr. Holloway commented that residents immediately in this area want the land returned to