This is a pivotal time in Delray Beach history, so I want to make a few comments on the Atlantic Crossing project, which the city sent back to the Site Plan Review and Appearance Board on March 1.
    I want to thank Commissioners Shelly Petrolia and Mitch Katz for being concerned about the lack of proper process on abandonment of the two-way road.
    Where is the abandonment proceeding? It never happened. So a two-way road and an alley are in danger of being given away by the city with no respect for the legal procedure set forth for such action. All because this developer has filed a lawsuit against the town.
    So the precedent being set here, as some say the city did with the iPic theater, is giving away public land.
    In this case the developer has sued so the game they are playing is to threaten the city with millions in damages and the city rolls over in a settlement agreement.
    And what happens after that? Every developer in this town and on the east coast of Florida and beyond knows all they have to do is sue and the city rolls over. It becomes a cost of doing business and they do it again and again.
    Liability insurance costs go up and the deductible goes up. Before too many years you have more lawsuits from developers than you can shake a stick at and no public trust. In the town from which I moved, our deductible went up to $100,000 for a 1-mile-long, two-block-wide town and we still couldn’t find insurance.
    You all know a bully and how to deal with one. If someone is threatening you, they are a bully and there’s no pretending otherwise. You have each shown courage in dealing with bullies in your life; we saw it in your eyes when we elected you. Draw on that courage now.
    There are developers who are good and will work with a town, its people and its laws to create quality developments that make them money and enhance the town. We need to find those developers or tell this one to become one if they want to do business in Delray Beach.
    The message we need to send is we want respectful development in Delray Beach. Respect our laws, respect our hardworking city staff and elected officials, respect our town and respect the people of Delray Beach. Then we welcome you to work with us to make Delray Beach the best beach town in Florida.

Joy Howell
Delray Beach

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