Peter Henn, the Managing Director of BRE/Bahia Mar Development LLC, (the Applicant), replied back to my posting last week of Ms Golub’s concerns about the pending modified lease for Bahia Mar.
I have asked for and received permission from Peter to post his comments, which are below. I believe it’s important that people hear the issues from “both sides of the fence” and decide for themselves what is in the best interest of Fort Lauderdale, since we the residents are the “lease holders” of the property that the Bahia Mar leases from us.
For far too long, decisions have been made in this City without the involvement or even the knowledge of most residents. The Bahia Mar project will have an impact on future generations of Fort Lauderdale residents, so anything that can be done to shed light on the issues and improve communication between concerned parties is a good thing, I think. Here are his comments below:
—– Original Message —–
On 05:35 PM 06/10/2011 Henn, Peter wrote:
Earl, I hope you have been well. My response to Ms. Golub’s email that I sent to the City Commission yesterday is attached. My response is obviously very different than her email.
Although the City- like most things this side of Heaven- is far from perfect, I can assure you that City Staff (especially those in the Planning, Engineering and Legal Departments) have worked very, very hard on the redevelopment plans for Bahia Mar and made sure that the public’s interests were protected. I can go on for hours about how City Staff “beat me up” to make the PUD Site Plan BETTER for the community, at my expense.
If you want a BETTER FORT LAUDERDALE (which we both want), I can assure you that City Staff has worked hard on the redevelopment plans for Bahia Mar to make it BETTER.
The Bahia Mar Park PUD Site Plan is Step #1 in a “linear process” with the Lease and other items to follow as Step #2. Although I have worked with the City Attorney’s Office on draft Lease documents, those matters will be presented to the City Commission if, and only if, they first decide to approve the PUD Site Plan (there is no good reason to prepared final revised lease documents if the City Commission does not first support the redevelopment plans).
The PUD Conditions of Approval grant the City Staff and the Developer nine (9) months to finalize these other documents, including the Lease, after the PUD Site Plan is approved and bring them back to the City Commission. If the parties cannot agree to these other documents during that time, then the PUD Site Plan becomes null and void. This is a typical “chicken and egg” situation with the PUD Site Plan being the chicken and the Lease and other documents being the egg- something has to come first so the rest of documents know where to go and what to say.
Regardless of our differences of opinion- which I assume are many- I can assure you that if you and I sent 30 minutes or less together recently discussing Bahia Mar- which we have not- that you would realize that City Staff has done their job, and done it with the public’s benefit in mind.
Many of the issues raised in Ms. Golub’s email were matters that City Staff did address- but City Staff was not given an opportunity to respond to because Ms. Golub did not first ask City Staff (or me) about them before sending her email or because the public hearing was deferred because of her email and City Staff did not have an opportunity to make their presentation to the City Commission. Other issues raised in her email are premature and were not yet to be considered by the City Commission because it was previously decided to first have the Developer work with its neighbors on an acceptable site plan, and then address lease and other matters thereafter. As stated, it is truly a linear process and something needs to be “nailed down first” before the next steps can occur.
I hope that my email to you and my attached response to Ms. Golub’s email start to clear somethings up, especially concerning the hard work that City Staff has put into the review of the redevelopment plans for Bahia Mar. I remain confident that the City Commission will do the right thing once City Staff has an opportunity to make their presentation and the Developer is also given an opportunity to set the record straight and correct certain errors contained within Ms. Golub’s email.
Thanks for your consideration of this matter. Enjoy the weekend. Thx.
Peter J. Henn, Esq.
BRE/Bahia Mar Development, LLC
Peter has suggested that he and I meet to discuss the details of the project to-date. I have accepted. I will meet with him shortly and will ask him many of the questions that are on the minds of many of you, including green space, parking, traffic, the selling of residential units, the extension of the lease to 100 years, etc.
If any of you have other questions that you would like to have asked, please provide those questions in the comments section below.