By Dan Moffett
    
    There will be no beach stabilization in South Palm Beach or Lantana for at least another year, Palm Beach County environmental officials say.
    “It’s going to be a whole year late now,” said Bob Vitas, South Palm’s town manager.
    After months of trying, the project’s managers still don’t have all the easement agreements and government permits they need to begin work by the target start in November.
    Kimberly Miranda, the county’s project director, says the new target for beginning installation of concrete groins to capture sand and slow erosion is November 2018. There are still plenty of buts and acronyms standing in the way of progress, however.
     “A November 2018 start date is dependent upon several factors,” Miranda says, “including receipt of the record of decision (ROD) for the environmental impact statement (EIS), DEP [Department of Environmental Protection] and USACE [U.S. Army Corps of Engineers] permits and securing state funding.”
     You get the idea. Beyond this bureaucratic mishmash of letters and requirements, the county’s legal staff is still trying to persuade Concordia East condo owners in South Palm to sign an easement agreement that allows workers access to the building’s beachfront.
    Gayelord Palermo, the Concordia board president, says the 120 unit owners he represents aren’t satisfied with the liability protections the county is willing to give them. Until his lawyer and the county lawyers resolve their differences, Palermo says Concordia isn’t signing anything.
    “We’re not going to be guilted into this,” he said.
    South Palm Beach Mayor Bonnie Fischer said she’s hopeful Concordia residents will join the 15 other beachfront property owners — condo groups and individuals — who have signed on.
    “At Concordia East, I believe they actually do want the project to move forward,” Fischer said. “But they want some of their issues resolved. Whether that will happen is up to the county and the Concordia people.”
    Miranda says the county is determined to get easements from every group on the beach: “The county intends to construct the project with full participation from all of the coastal properties located within the project area.”
    She said county commissioners are expected to approve the easements already signed in June.
    Because of turtle nesting season, the project managers have only a narrow four-month window each year, from Nov. 1 to March 1, for groin construction. And if that isn’t enough, before the groins can go in, the county still has to build the artificial reefs needed to protect the natural hard bottoms along the South Palm Beach shore.
    Fischer says she hopes that work will begin in June 2018.
    “There’s a lot that has to happen, but hopefully things will continue to move forward,” the mayor said.

You need to be a member of The Coastal Star to add comments!

Join The Coastal Star

Activity Feed

The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Jul 9
The Coastal Star posted an event
Jul 8
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in HIGHLAND BEACH
Jul 3
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Jul 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in ACROSS THE BRIDGE
Jul 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in DELRAY BEACH
Jul 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in BEACH WATCH
Jul 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a blog post
Jul 3
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Jul 3
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Jul 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion
Jul 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in BOCA RATON
Jul 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in DELRAY BEACH
Jul 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in BOCA RATON
Jul 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in DELRAY BEACH
Jul 3
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Jul 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in DELRAY BEACH
Jul 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in GULF STREAM
Jul 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion
Jul 3
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Jul 3
More…