Palmsea fence and gate installation debated — The Town Council meeting in November featured a spirited conversation regarding the approval of a fence and gate installation at 3520 S. Ocean Blvd., on the property of the Palmsea condominium.
Palmsea ultimately received the council’s approval.
Palmsea representative Kevin Hall said sheriff’s and fire departments would have access to the beach through the new gate to address emergencies but that other town residents would not. Residents without access to the beach typically have negotiated through their homeowners associations to pay for beach access through agreements with the beachside condos. Otherwise they must walk or drive to Lantana beach.
Council member Monte Berendes said he doesn’t feel it’s fair that people who don’t have access to the beach are still paying taxes for beach improvements, which he said results in “taxation without representation.”
“It should be that anyone who lives in South Palm Beach should have access,” he said.
Added Vice Mayor Bill LeRoy, “The fact some of these condos are making money off their neighbors is terrible.”
Hall said a phone app now in use tells those with electric bikes they can access the beach through the Palmsea easement, resulting in several calls to the Sheriff’s Office in recent weeks.
“And if (that rider) breaks his neck going through there, that’s our liability,” Hall said. “We just can’t stand the liability.”
Gottlieb opts not to run — Longtime council member Robert Gottlieb, who attended his first meeting in person in November after spending several months up North, has decided not to run for reelection in March. Gottlieb said at the last meeting that he was concerned about having to divulge more of his financial information under Form 6 but had not yet decided. Raymond McMillan, whose four-year term also expires in 2024, has filed to run. The council voted to hold a special qualifying period Jan. 2-7 for people interested in filling the vacancy.
Grant received — Manager Jamie Titcomb reported the town has received the $75,000 grant it requested from the state for a vulnerability assessment study. The town has until 2026 to implement it.
Bids expected for new Town Hall — Town Manager Jamie Titcomb said he is “pretty confident” he will have by the December meeting the minimum of three bids for the council to determine both the owner’s rep and design and build contractor for the new Town Hall project.
— Brian Biggane