In March, the Florida Coalition for Preservation will celebrate its 15th year of community service.
We began in response to a neighborhood crisis. In 2007, a Canadian firm had made a “too good to be true” offer to acquire the tiny town of Briny Breezes, replacing the historic trailer park with a high-rise development serving up to 5,000 residents, guests and staff.
Barrier island citizens rapidly galvanized state and local government support to defeat the proposed plan.
But it was apparent at the time that the “sleepy” oceanfront area from Delray to Ocean Ridge was ripe for radical change. The FCFP board decided to stay in business as long as external pressures threatened the lifestyle of folks living near the ocean and Intracoastal Waterway.
Since its inception, well over a thousand households have donated funds to the coalition as it expanded its reach to address a host of environmental and growth issues affecting stakeholder communities.
For example, we helped to establish a Rising Waters Task Force to cope with potential impact of change in sea levels — literally on a block-by-block basis in our area of Palm Beach County. Select findings of the task force are now being implemented throughout the state.
On the mainland, the coalition has worked closely with builders and residents to assure that major development projects respect the proximity to oceanfront neighborhoods, and that bridges and roads have the capacity to handle increased traffic when construction is completed.
The good news is that most major projects near the bridges have been toned down from initial plans. The bad news is that traffic on the barrier island is already growing exponentially, even before completion of larger projects.
As we enter our 15th year of service, FCFP recognizes that it must redouble efforts on issues relating to growth management, and dealing with multi-jurisdictional decisions involving public health, safety and well-being.
Everyone knows that The Coastal Star barrier island readership prevails among the coalition audience. Our members live and recreate in two cities (Delray Beach and Boynton Beach), three towns (Gulf Stream, Briny Breezes and Ocean Ridge), and the county (Surf Pocket and beaches).
All of these entities are represented by members on the coalition board.
Together they will initiate longer term multi-jurisdictional projects to study such issues as: how best to deal with increased traffic; if and where to locate EMT capacity on the barrier island; how to manage impending state-mandated conversion from septic to sewer systems; when and how to manage height of sea walls; how best to deal with FEMA-required heightening of new-building elevations; and any other threats or opportunities that affect the value and enjoyment of living on or near our barrier island.
We have experience in dealing with complex issues. The community has people who can deal with challenge, and who are willing to fight for good solutions to tough problems. It is our shared obligation to look forward and get involved.
We look forward to many more years of productive service. Feel free to contact us at Community@PreservationFLA.org and take a minute to complete FCFP’s community service survey, so we know what is important to you.


— Bob Ganger, chairman,
Florida Coalition for Preservation

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