Good afternoon Don, Drew and Scott, and a happy Independence weekend to each of you.
As you are aware Condo towers are not favored by most Port Orange residents, yet BUDDY the Riverwalk developer enjoys exactly such zoning for his upland property in Riverwalk, AND at Tuesday evening’s workshop each of you enthusiastically endorsed a picture depicting; two high rise towers, and a commercial restaurant on land that is zoned recreation and conservation because it was intended to be a park when the Riverwalk land swaps were concluded.
What has happened here ??
Well BUDDY obtained high rise zoning by voluntarily transferring the commercial rights he enjoyed in the old Sweetwaters restaurant located on the Point to his upland property leaving the Point with its current zoning of recreation and conservation – meaning the only development that can go on the Point without re-zoning is a park.
BUDDY has never been one to shy away from asking for the moon the sun and the stars and sure enough now he wants his cake and eat it too.
He wants to keep his high rise condo zoning AND he wants Council re-zone his Point back to commercial development – which each of you seemed quite willing to do in return for nothing more than pretty picture number 902 that he presented during the workshop. A non-sense cal picture that can and will change once re-zoning and land swapping is complete – unless you believe restaurant patrons and boat owners are going to walk some 300 to 500 feet to get to their respective venues.
BECAUSE TAXPAYERS received a benefit through their former Council in the form of the Point being re-zoned recreation and conservation with the understanding it would become the focal point of the Riverwalk Park, when they held their noses and permitted high rise condos
IT IS NOW REASONABLE that taxpayers inquire as to what benefit they are to receive for re-zoning the Point back to commercial development beyond the colorful picture that was left in the Lakeside Community Center.
You may remember during the workshop I inquired as to who was negotiating with BUDDY on taxpayers behalf in that re-zoning request ??
The Mayor answered that he and Council had been handling that negotiation. By Council he must have meant each of you because Bob has told me that he has been in no such negotiation with BUDDY.
I would therefore ask if either of you have been negotiating with BUDDY and if you have not
DO YOU KNOW OF ANYONE WHO HAS BEEN NEGOTIATING ON TAXPAYERS BEHALF IN THIS REGARD, AND IF YOU DO NOT, WHY IS THAT ACCEPTABLE ??
Restoring commercial zoning rights to the Point will be a taxpayer gift to BUDDY valued in the millions, to say nothing of the valuable income producing Ridgewood Funeral Home property you are set to trade even steven for valueless mangrove property.
Buddy’s audacious demand that Council agree in principle in that workshop to both the re-zoning and the land swap based on nothing more than a picture was an insult to every thinking resident in Port Orange, AND BUT FOR Bob Ford’s artful opposition BUDDY’S demands would have been most likely acceded to. This whole arrangement where Council has adopted the role of the next meal being squeezed ever tighter with its every breath must be abandoned.
As a first step in that regard I am calling on each of you to start championing taxpayer interests by conditioning favorable approval of BUDDY’S re-zoning request on his willingness to include the spoiler properties he controls elsewhere in Riverwalk – so as to prevent further gridlock in the accumulation of contiguous property that is an absolute necessity for additional development.
for responsible Mayor — 2016