Mayor Muoio Calls For Letting the Voters Decide
Mayor Also Unveils New Website for the Public to Review the Proposals
(West Palm Beach, FL) – For the first time, today West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio called for a public vote to decide the height restrictions for a new downtown waterfront hotel.
“I believe this site requires a signature building. It’s an important site in our city. I also believe and would recommend that we put this out to a vote to the public and that we need to begin to think about the language that would be on the ballot,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio.
Watch Mayor Muoio’s comments for yourself:
There are currently three proposals to build a hotel on the property known as the “old city hall” site, located on Flagler Drive between Banyan Boulevard and 2nd street.
Two of the proposals are for a combination of hotel rooms and residential units. The third proposal is for a hotel alone. The combination projects exceed the current height limits for the property. The request for proposals put out by the City of West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency allowed developers to submit projects that exceed the current height guidelines. Those height limits were approved by voters in 1996. In 2010, the issue was once again put to voters who did not approve an exemption for the city hall site.
Mayor Muoio emphasized the importance of educating the public regarding the three proposals. She announced the creation of a new website where the proposals are now posted for the public to review.
“People can go to our website now, and you can click where it says New Hotel Proposals, and it will bring up the three proposals that are being recommended to move forward.”
The proposals can be seen at: http://wpb.org/newsroom/category/waterfront-hotel/
A public forum is also planned for November 19th to present all three projects to the public.
Economic development experts point out that larger projects create more revenues to pay for city services.
“The reality is the only way this city is going to grow is to expand its tax base,” said Alan Durham, West Palm Beach Executive Director of Economic Development. “The larger the project, the more money to pay for police officers, firefighters, code enforcement officers, and all the other services people expect from their city. Even projects inside the city’s CRA, like this hotel, contribute to the overall pot of money available to improve our city. The larger the hotel, the more revenue it generates.”