By Mary Thurwachter
The Lantana Town Council approved the final plat for Water Tower Commons, the 72-acre retail and residential project on the site of the former A.G. Holley tuberculosis hospital east of Interstate 95. But some council members expressed their dismay about the property’s appearance, particularly after Hurricane Irma, during a Nov. 13 meeting.
“It should be called Water Tower Dump by the way it looks right now,” said council member Phil Aridas. “All the screens are down and most of the trees they replanted look like they’re dying. It’s an eyesore.” Developers had moved 50 protected oaks from their original locations to another area on the property.
Council member Ed Shropshire agreed with Aridas, suggesting the property, at the entrance to the town on Lantana Road, looked terrible.
Lyn Tate, a Hypoluxo Island resident, called it “a pigsty.”
Town Manager Deborah Manzo said code violations had been issued, adding that developer Lantana Development LLC said supplies needed to correct the problems were hard to get after Irma.
The violations, according to code enforcement supervisor Sammy Archer, were for fence disrepair and obstruction of public easements (sand blocking sidewalk).
But no fines will need to be paid.
“The good news is that Water Tower Commons has two crews repairing the fence,” Archer said. “For us, this is a win-win. Voluntary compliance is our No. 1 goal.”
Above-ground construction on the development is expected to begin in January.
In other business, the town:
• Gave Manzo a 5.5 percent raise (to $138,000) and extended her contract another year after giving her a glowing review.
• Prohibited medical marijuana treatment center dispensing facilities in the town.
• OK’d the purchase of a $25,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycle for the Police Department.
• Reappointed Erica Wald and Tate to the Planning Commission; voted in Shane Laasko as a regular member and Joe Farrell and Michelle Donahue as alternates. Already on the commission are Rosemary Mouring and Arthur Brooks.
By Mary Thurwachter