Discover more from Stet Media Group
🛋️ A little housing
Welcome. Let's Stet right up. Affordable housing land hard to come by; pitch for West Palm corner decidedly unaffordable; marina rebuild; rare film; baby turtles; and walk this way.
Today’s newsletter is a 5-minute read.
📍 Of all the county land, just one fits for affordable housing
Palm Beach County owns 2,595 properties.
Under a new state law, the county must inventory its land every three years and say how much is “appropriate for use as affordable housing.”
Palm Beach County’s answer? One 6-acre parcel.
Why it matters: The need for affordable housing is reaching crisis proportions as builders cash in on million-dollar homes, leaving many hourly wage-earners without a place to live.
Spurred by the far-reaching 2023 Live Local Act, the county is preparing to offer a 6-acre site on Okeechobee Boulevard to builders as surplus.
Of note: The county carved out a 1.2-acre corner of the site and sold it to Century Village’s United Civic Organization for $104,693 in 2003, property records show. That left the county with the odd-shaped 6.3 acres it now is putting up for sale.
But what about all the other parcels?
The county report, presented to commissioners on Sept. 12, says two-thirds of county-owned lands are under the Parks and Recreation and Environmental Resources Management departments, meaning they’re not available.
The report zeroed in on 179 vacant parcels, dismissing 121 of them because they were smaller than an acre. See the list in Attachment 2 here.
That left just one parcel to be declared surplus and made available to builders.
Yes, but: The list of smaller properties included 35 parcels totaling 3.3 acres already set aside for housing, 22 properties covering a half-acre set aside for an affordable housing project, four tiny properties dubbed potential infill housing and portions of the 25-acre South County Administrative Complex, which is being rebuilt with plans to include affordable housing.
Click here to see Stet’s story on two affordable apartment buildings that opened this year in West Palm Beach’s Northwest Neighborhood.
🔨 Palm Beacher pitches 32 condos in El Cid
A developer wants to transform a 1-acre shopping center in West Palm Beach’s El Cid Historic District into 32 condos and a restaurant.
Zoom in: Palm Beach-based Frisbie Group is seeking nine waivers for the four-story project on Belvedere Road between Olive Avenue and Dixie Highway, the Business Journal reported.
The exceptions include exceeding the normal maximum lot coverage, having less open space and landscape area than customarily required, having smaller setbacks from U.S. 1 than typically permitted, and planting trees off-site instead of on the project.
The developer told the Business Journal the building was designed with four-sided architecture so each side engages the neighborhood.
Across the street on Belvedere, the former Hotel Biba is being renovated.
Zoom out: Frisbie Group developed the mixed-use Via Flagler on the old Testa’s Restaurant site on Palm Beach. Company co-founder David Frisbie redeveloped buildings on a near-vacant Clematis Street in the early 1990s, pioneering today’s vibrant downtown.
🏗️ An $80 million marina overhaul
The marina at the foot of the PGA Boulevard bridge is in line for an $80 million reboot.
For boaters, it means 57 more dry storage docks, a 15 percent expansion. And, to satisfy neighbors worried about the way exposed boats look, nearly all the boats will be indoors, some stacked on racks five levels high.
For patrons of the neighboring River House restaurant, it means an end to the confusing entry road it shares with the marina. A new road dedicated to the restaurant will run along the property's north side.
Joel offers more details and photos at OnGardens.org.
🎬 Fitting memorial for LWB artist
Coming Sunday to Lake Worth Beach: A rarely screened 1982 movie about the rock star Meat Loaf.
When “Dead Ringer” is shown at the Lake Worth Playhouse at the 11th annual L-Dub Film Festival, its director, Allan Nicholls, plans to honor the woman who helped make it possible — the late Franne Lee, reporter Joe Capozzi writes.
Lee, a beloved Lake Worth Beach artist who died Aug. 27 at age 81, was the costume and production designer for “Dead Ringer,” a fictional comedy built around footage from Meat Loaf’s 1981-82 North American tour.
If you’ve never heard of the movie, well, that’s because it was never released.
Forty years later, “Dead Ringer” has been shown at festivals in Maine and Vermont before its showing at 1 pm Sunday in Lake Worth Beach.
Lee, a costume designer in the early years of “Saturday Night Live” had been looking forward to seeing the film and sharing the stage with Nicholls, a friend since the late 1970s. She was scheduled to introduce the movie and participate in a question-and-answer session.
Now, the Q and A will turn into a memorial for Lee.
“She is responsible for the look of that film. I’ll take a little bit of credit,” Nicholls said with a laugh, “but she's got all the rest.”
Joe Capozzi explains the movie’s long strange trip and its connection to Lee in ByJoeCapozzi.com.
🫐 The juice
Fresh-squeezed news from all over
🛥️ The rezoning and expansion of Safe Harbor Rybovich marina on Broadway in Riviera Beach, dealt a blow Sept. 6, is the subject of a special City Council meeting at 6 pm tonight. City Council Chairperson Douglas Lawson, who voted on the prevailing side against the rezoning, added the meeting to the council schedule last week. The agenda calls only for “discussion.” Stet’s coverage can be found here, here and here.
🏈 The Seminole Tribe of Florida — and Gov. Ron DeSantis — get a courtroom win for their deal to offer statewide sports betting. (News Service of Florida)
🚲 Today at 5 pm is the send-off for Jack the Bike Man, whose years matching underprivileged children with free bicycles endeared him to West Palm Beach residents. The celebration of life for Jack Hairston will be at Quattlebaum Funeral Center in the north end of Hillcrest Memorial Park at 6411 Parker Ave. (ByJoeCapozzi.com)
🌎 Quiz answer: Baby turtle takeover!
Last week, we asked: What is the record-breaking number of sea turtle nests found this year by Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach?
The answer: A whopping 24,970 sea turtle nests had been spotted by Sept. 11.
Plus: The turtles have slowly but steadily kept right on digging: Nests totaled 24,991 as of Sept. 17.
Loggerheads lead the pack (15,668) followed by green turtles (9,107) with leatherbacks (216) bringing up the rear.
561 insider: Walking for good
At Stet, we believe in mental health for all.
Why it matters: The National Alliance on Mental Illness is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.
We’re proud to say Joel serves on the NAMI PBC board.
NAMIWalks promotes mental health awareness, raises money for NAMI’s free, top-rated programs, and builds community by letting people know they are not alone.
Plus, we plan to have fun.
Zoom in: All the money raised in Palm Beach County stays in Palm Beach County.
We invite you to join our team or make a tax-deductible contribution to NAMI PBC.
Details: The walk starts at 9 am Nov. 4 at John Prince Park west of Lake Worth Beach.
Reply to this email or write to email@example.com if you would like to walk with us.
🏆 Dolphins update: Another week, another win, this time over the vaunted New England Patriots and coach Bill Belichick. Good.
Editor’s note: A figure in last week’s story about pharma giant Mallinckrodt was corrected from $700,000 to $700 million after publication.
Thank you to our paid and free subscribers. Please help us grow by sharing this newsletter.
Do you have a story idea or a news tip? Reply to this email or write to firstname.lastname@example.org, and tell us.