Judge puts brakes on Gardens mobility fee

Judge Gillman grants injunction requiring city to turn over millions from developer payments; appeal possible and full trial awaits.

Palm Beach Gardens’ effort to pay for growth through a mobility fee suffered a setback Thursday when a Palm Beach County Circuit Court judge ruled that the city’s approach violated state law. 

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Who will represent Palm Beach Gardens? Are two state House members better than one?

Is it better to have two state House members and two state senators answering to the same community? Or does that water down representation? Gardens will soon find out.

Some of the biggest western communities in Palm Beach Gardens, including PGA National, Mirasol and Avenir, would be severed from the city and lumped into a sprawling state House district spanning the Glades and The Acreage, under a House map approved Feb. 3. 

Those same communities, plus Old Palm and Ballenisles, would be separated from the city in a Senate map change that would replace the city’s lone state senator, Bobby Powell, with two. 

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Fix for PGA flyover logjam on fast track

A $7.2 million infusion from the American Rescue Plan moves up construction at PGA Boulevard and Interstate 95 by two years.

The daily traffic snarl on PGA Boulevard at Interstate 95 took a significant step toward easing Thursday with the act of a local transportation planning agency.

State plans to improve traffic flow on the perpetually stalled southbound I-95 entrance ramp moved up two years with an infusion of $7.2 million from the American Rescue Plan approved by Congress in March.

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Housing affordability crisis: ‘A fundamental business issue’

Palm Beach North Chamber panel explores what has to be done to make sure ‘the people you see every day’ can afford to live here.

As housing prices rise and supply dips, it’s becoming harder and harder for essential workers like nurses, teachers and police to find places to live in northern Palm Beach County.

That makes it harder for businesses to find employees.

And that’s one way that the area’s housing affordability crisis affects everyone, agreed four panelists Wednesday at the Palm Beach North Chamber’s “Business Before Hours” breakfast at the Embassy Suites hotel.

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Inside the courtroom: How to pay for roads to keep up with growth

Palm Beach Gardens argues in five-day trial that plans for more density require alternatives to the automobile.

In a five-day trial that drilled deep into concerns over how governments charge developers for the impacts of their projects, lawyers for Palm Beach Gardens and Palm Beach County hashed out what could be the future of growth management countywide.

At issue in the first stage of a lawsuit the county filed against the city on May 18 is whether a county system in place since the late 1980s can withstand pressure from cities looking to allow more dense developments and to free residents from reliance on cars.

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Top 200 Taxpayers: Why a vacant lot is worth more than The Breakers

Palm Beach Gardens has 16 of the 200 most valuable properties in Palm Beach County, with Gardens Mall ranked second, behind only the Boca Town Center Mall.

In the rarefied air of the 200 largest taxable properties in Palm Beach County sits an empty lot.

Ah, but what an empty lot.

Hedge fund manager Ken Griffin’s vacant 12 oceanfront acres on Palm Beach make up the third-most valuable property in Palm Beach County, valued for tax purposes at $223 million.

That’s a higher taxable value than The Breakers hotel, JFK Medical Center and Florida Power & Light Co.’s Juno Beach headquarters. 

The only individual properties with higher values? The Boca Raton and Palm Beach Gardens malls.

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EXCLUSIVE: ‘Blessed’ ground of Trump Corner to undergo conversion

Will construction break up Gardens’ hotspot for Trump rallies?

It’s “blessed” ground.

Trump Corner, the space outside the Publix shopping center in Palm Beach Gardens where local resident Willy Guardiola draws hundreds of Trump supporters for weekly rallies, has been sprinkled with holy water and suffused in prayer. 

It’s blessed in practical ways as well, with abundant parking, helpful police and a supportive landlord. 

“It’s the best location in the entire county,” Guardiola says.

But this fall the corner of Military Trail and PGA Boulevard is going to be ripped up in a $1.3 million county construction project to add a right-turn lane.

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County stops stopping Gardens’ stoplight

Lawsuit could be averted as Palm Beach County agrees to accept Bay Hill Estates stoplight, with conditions.

Palm Beach County relented Wednesday in its opposition to a stoplight on Northlake Boulevard outside Bay Hill Estates.

A week after Palm Beach Gardens threatened to sue, the county said it still didn’t believe the light is warranted but it acknowledged a 2016 agreement “inadvertently” gave Gardens the power to decide, as Gardens City Attorney Max Lohman had insisted.

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‘Abuse of power:’ Gardens ready to sue county over Bay Hill stoplight

Residents says they take their lives in their hands at Northlake Boulevard west of Ibis but Palm Beach County says intersection is not dangerous enough for a stoplight.

The hostility building in recent months between Palm Beach Gardens and Palm Beach County officials has reached a boiling point.

The two governments have feuded in the past, from the spat over a regional park to the ongoing showdown over the city’s mobility fee

But a long-simmering dispute over a stoplight on Northlake Boulevard seven miles west of Interstate 95 may blow the lid off the kettle.

On Thursday, the Palm Beach Gardens City Council gave their attorney the authority to take the county to court — not over the county’s refusal to allow the stoplight, although that remains likely, but over the county’s failure to promptly fulfill a city public records request.

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Does one cent make sense? Transportation planners eye sales tax to help residents get ‘from point A to point B to point C’ without a car

It’ll be up to voters to extend an existing sales tax charge in Palm Beach County for transportation but the conversation broke out in public for the first time Thursday.

A powerful countywide planning body gave notice Thursday that it may push for a voter referendum to extend a 1-cent sales tax for transportation projects.

County voters approved the extra sales tax on top of the county’s 6-cent per $1 charge in November 2016 to pay for construction projects at schools and municipalities. It is on pace to sunset in 2025 or 2026 at the latest.

Keeping that penny in place could provide $270 million or more a year for transportation projects, enough to pay for a broad wish-list topped by adding a coastal commuter rail line. The money also could help pay for road projects hit by dwindling gas tax revenues.

Weinroth

County Commissioner Robert Weinroth raised the prospect Thursday during a discussion of creating bus lanes on major roads at the monthly meeting of the Palm Beach County Transportation Planning Agency board, which is made up of 21 elected officials, including five county commissioners. 

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