The Coastal Star

Mary Kate Leming's Blog (4,293)

Lantana: Council hears complaints about illegal short-term rentals

By Mary Thurwachter



After hearing residents’ concerns about house parties at suspected short-term rental properties, the Lantana Town Council, at its July 13 meeting, said it was addressing the problem, but warned that a resolution won’t be easy.

In a letter to the Town Council, Hypoluxo Island resident Lyn Tate said that on the weekend of July 11 a house on South Atlantic Drive appeared to be rented out for Saturday night only.

“When it got dark, seven…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on September 2, 2020 at 10:23am — No Comments

Boynton Beach: Developers pitch mixed-use downtown project

A proposal for redevelopment along Federal Highway between Ocean Avenue and Boynton Beach Boulevard includes an eight-story apartment complex, shown below. Renderings provided…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on September 2, 2020 at 10:21am — 1 Comment

New library opens: City Hall complex, Boynton Beach — July 27

June 30 was the first day for many shipments of books and DVDs to the new library location.

ABOVE: Librarian David Lucas…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on September 2, 2020 at 10:16am — No Comments

Boynton Beach: Commissioners by 3-2 vote threaten to end deal with partner in Town Square

By Jane Smith

Boynton Beach City Commissioners narrowly voted on Sept. 1 to direct city staff to see whether JKM Developers can fulfill its contract on Town Square construction or else end it.

John Markey, principal of JKM Developers, wanted until Sept. 15 to present an additional option — using the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency tax dollars to help underwrite the private portion of the project.

That pledged money would be used to finance two parking…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on September 2, 2020 at 10:12am — No Comments

Boynton Beach: City goes to hourly rates for waterside parking

By Jane Smith



Parking at Oceanfront Park and Harvey Oyer Jr. Park will become more expensive in some cases starting Oct. 1.

At Oceanfront Park, four meter kiosks will be added and in operation from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m., Boynton Beach city commissioners decided Aug. 4. The kiosks will replace the beach tollbooth, which had been staffed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

The new fee will be $1.50 per hour, or about $10 for an average beach stay of 6.67 hours,…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on September 2, 2020 at 10:11am — No Comments

Boca Raton: Mizner Park loses Lord & Taylor

By Mary Hladky

Lord & Taylor is closing its Boca Raton store in Mizner Park and has filed for bankruptcy court protection along with its new owner, clothing rental company Le Tote.

The venerable retailer, which traces its roots to 1826 in New York, joins a long list of companies that have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy since May as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll on those that were already teetering. Others include Neiman Marcus, J. Crew, J.C. Penney…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on September 2, 2020 at 10:00am — No Comments

Business Spotlight: Boca’s IMI moving into part of iPic space in Delray Beach

Economic woes led to the collapse of the iPic Theater, but International Materials Inc. signed a lease to move its corporate headquarters into the third floor of the building in downtown…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on September 2, 2020 at 10:00am — No Comments

Boca Raton: Council to seek proof that candidates for office live in city

By Mary Hladky

The City Council wants to tighten rules so that candidates for mayor and the council must present proof that they have lived in the city for at least one year at the time of qualifying to run for office.

At present, a candidate is required to live in Boca Raton for only 30 days before qualifying and must simply sign an affidavit stating that without offering proof.

The council members also want to eliminate a qualifying fee. Instead, they would…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on September 2, 2020 at 9:37am — No Comments

Boca Raton: City tax rate up 6.6%; no Beach & Park increase

By Steve Plunkett



After weathering a firestorm of protests against a hefty tax hike proposed last year, Beach & Park District officials chose the rollback rate for no change in property taxes for the coming fiscal year.

“We’re going to be probably struggling in the future for a year or two,” said District Commissioner Robert Rollins, voicing concern about the coronavirus pandemic.

While the rate dropped about 3 cents, from 91 cents per $1,000 of…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on September 2, 2020 at 9:36am — No Comments

Boca Raton: Bridge over Boca Inlet closed until late fall

Materials and tarps cover both of the unmoveable portions of the bridge over the Boca Raton Inlet in late August. The bridge is getting a cleaning and new paint. Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star

By Steve Plunkett

The bridge over the Boca Raton Inlet,…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on September 2, 2020 at 9:33am — No Comments

Along the Coast: Brightline breaks from Branson, reclaims Brightline name

By Mary Hladky

Brightline’s parent company is scrapping a “strategic partnership” with British billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Enterprises, and its Miami-to-West Palm Beach rail service once again will be known as Brightline.

The company announced the change in a revenue and ridership report filed on Aug. 7, saying it notified Virgin on July 29 that it was terminating a trademark license agreement. The company, which has been operating as Virgin Trains USA,…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on September 2, 2020 at 9:26am — No Comments

Boca Raton: Ocean Strand is larger and costlier than you think

A new gate at the entrance to Ocean Strand will give pedestrians access to a 6-foot-wide mulch trail leading to the Intracoastal. Bicyclists can coast down the park’s old asphalt road.…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on September 2, 2020 at 9:19am — No Comments

Run Ashore: South end, Highland Beach — Aug. 25

Written in the Wind, a 41-foot sailboat, became disabled in rough weather, challenging its live-aboard owner and state and local officials who struggled to have it removed. Because of its size and disrepair, along with the cost of getting it back in the water, the boat remained beached and was ruled a derelict vessel by the…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on September 2, 2020 at 9:16am — No Comments

Highland Beach: Commissioners stay in place on property taxes

By Rich Pollack

While some communities are facing financial shortfalls and need to increase revenue for the coming budget year, Highland Beach will hold the line on its tax rate while anticipating only a small tap into reserve funds.

Faced with a budget expected to top $12 million in fiscal 2021, town commissioners tentatively agreed to keep the operating tax rate at $3.229 per $1,000 of taxable value, up 1.66% over the rollback rate. Meanwhile the debt service…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on September 2, 2020 at 9:14am — No Comments

Highland Beach: Pedestrian-activated crosswalk lights coming

By Rich Pollack

It has taken more than 3½ years but it now appears Highland Beach will get pedestrian-activated signals at all of its crosswalks on State Road A1A.

“The day has finally come when we’ll be able to put in some type of crosswalk improvements,” said Town Manager Marshall Labadie.

In August the Town Commission authorized Mayor Doug Hillman to sign an almost $205,000 contract with Delray Beach-based Lux Solar for 16 solar-powered crosswalk lights…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on September 2, 2020 at 9:13am — 3 Comments

Boca Raton: Help coming to pay mortgages or rent

By Mary Hladky

The city soon will be making available to residents federal funding it will receive to help those who have fallen behind on their mortgages or rent because of COVID-19.

The state allocated Boca Raton $317,332 that it received through the federal CARES Act. The city will oversee a program to distribute the money to eligible residents.

The money must be used for emergency rental assistance and mortgage foreclosure prevention.

To qualify,…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on September 2, 2020 at 9:10am — No Comments

Boca Raton: Haynie trial to start no sooner than late October

By Mary Hladky

Former Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie’s trial on public corruption charges has been pushed back for the third time.

The new trial start date is Oct. 26, but there is no certainty it will begin then.

Palm Beach County Chief Circuit Court Judge Krista Marx in early July extended her suspension of all trials until…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on September 2, 2020 at 9:08am — No Comments

Boca Raton: Beach & Park incumbents cruise to election victories

Boca Raton Beach & Park District Commissioners Steve Engel and Erin Wright were returned to office by comfortable margins on Aug. 18. Wright, the district’s vice chair, defeated challenger Nancy-Jo Feinberg with 56% to 44%…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on September 2, 2020 at 9:00am — No Comments

Boca Raton: Council reshuffles after Rodgers leaves for Navy stint

By Mary Hladky

City Council members appointed Andrea O’Rourke to be deputy mayor, replacing U.S. Navy reservist Jeremy Rodgers, who has been called to active duty for an overseas deployment.

“It would be my greatest pleasure to serve as deputy mayor,” O’Rourke said before the unanimous council vote.

Monica Mayotte has assumed O’Rourke’s previous role as Community Redevelopment Agency chair and Andy Thomson became CRA vice chair.

Council members made the…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on September 2, 2020 at 9:00am — No Comments

Boca Raton: Group fleshes out plan for performing arts venue at Mizner Park

ABOVE: Fronted by an improved plaza, the renovated amphitheater is shown to the left, adjacent to a new theater building with circular staircases. BELOW: Inside, the 450-seat performance space shows a digital exhibition but could accommodate an array of other…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on September 2, 2020 at 9:00am — No Comments

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