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4 • August 19, 2015
City to Negotiate For More
Parking on Wilton Drive
By Michael d'Oliveira
By Michael d’Oliveira
A move to try and add more parking near
Wilton Drive will depend on the cost.
Commissioners, receptive to the need
for more parking but wary of the cost of
a previous parking lot, told City Manager
Joseph Gallegos and City Attorney Kerry
Ezrol to begin negotiations with the owner
of 1008 NE 23 Drive.
The lot, undeveloped and empty, is
located behind Bona Pizza on the north end
of Wilton Drive. “That’s where we need it,”
said Commissioner Tom Green.
Adrienne Foland, a real estate agent
who represents the owner, Scott Manin,
said he’s willing to sell the property, which
is listed for $499,000, but won’t for less
than the $458,000 he has already invested.
The commission wants to acquire it for the
appraised value – $367,000 – or less.
If the city can’t convince the owner to
sell, Foland says he plans to build three high-
“It has to be under $400,000,” said Vice
Mayor Scott Newton during the Aug. 11
commission meeting. Newton also promised
that, should the developer decline the city’s
offer, three townhouses is all he would be
allowed to construct. “He can build his three
or he can negotiate with us.”
Before Manin purchased the property in
2014, code liens had accrued for unpaid lawn
and maintenance bills totaling $70,142.45 .
Since he purchased it though, city staff
said he’s maintained the property in good
condition. The city may use that to its
advantage to get Manin to sell for less than
“He owes us a lot of money,” Gallegos
Mayor Gary Resnick and Commissioner
Julie Carson also said the purchase cost has
to be at or below the appraised value.
“I can’t support a blank check. It has to
make financial success,” Resnick said.
Engineering firm Chen & Associates
estimates 18 to 24 spaces could be built at a
$180,000 and $240,000 “depending
on the level of hardscaping, landscaping,
irrigation, site lighting, and drainage required
on the site.” The city’s parking firm, Lanier,
said between 40 and 45 cars are packed into
the lot during peak business hours.
The city’s last parking lot, at the corner of
Northeast 26 Street and Northeast 8 Terrace
across from Kids In Distress, was opened in
April of 2014. It provides 42 spaces and the
final cost, including the purchase of the
properties, the demolition of the existing
structures and the paving, was $788,000.
In March of 2012, before the properties
were purchased, city staff members
estimated the cost of buying and paving
the properties would be about $650,000. In
November of 2013, before commissioners
voted to pave the lot, the estimate had
increased to the final number. Resnick, at the
time of the construction and at various times
since, has criticized the cost as “inordinate”
but a necessary project.
“I’m tired of this commission getting
numbers and they’re way askew [after we
decide to build],” Newton said.
Green defended city staff, saying that the
improved economy resulted in an increase
in construction costs. He also declined to
instruct Gallegos to put a ceiling on the
cost of purchase so he would be “free to
According to Finance Director Bob Mays,
$800,000 is available in the Parking Fund
to pay for parking improvements. Out of
that money, $150,000 is pledged towards
new parking meters and $526,000 comes
from what’s left of the $1.1 million the
city borrowed in 2011 to specifically make
parking improvements along Wilton Drive.
Photo: Wiki User UpstateNYer.
Although Walmart’s proposed Oakland
Park Supercenter had a majority of votes in
favor, the city’s charter kept officials from
On Aug. 5, the Oakland Park Commission
approved Walmart’s site plan in a 2-1 vote but
failed to approve the plat. Walmart wants to
build a 121,345 square foot building to replace
the existing 117,692 square foot one, 670 E.
Oakland Park Blvd., that used to be operated
Mayor Jed Shank and Commissioner Shari
McCartney voted in favor of the site plan
and plat but Commissioner Sara Guevrekian
voted against both measures. Because the city
charter requires at least three votes to pass a
resolution, as was attempted with the plat,
the commission failed to approve the project.
The county could still approve the plat but
City Attorney D.J. Doody said they would
most likely adhere to the city’s decision.
Vice Mayor Tim Lonergan and
Commissioner John Adornato abstained
from the vote because their companies do
business with Walmart.
Guevrekian said she was against the
project because she predicted it would bring
increased traffic and crime, more so than the
Kmart. “A larger store offering more wares
24 hours a day will certainly draw more
As part of its efforts to gain site plan
approval, Walmart agreed to conditions
including limiting truck delivery times,
keeping its delivery trucks from using
Northeast 6 Avenue and providing Oakland
Park with a $100,000 letter of credit for
landscaping and $300,000 for the city’s tree
fund – an increase over the original offer of
$150,000. Walmart also agreed to provide a
greeter and hire BSO officers to work private
details if incidents of crime reach a certain
McCartney said it was better for the city to
approve the project and get the benefit of the
agreed upon conditions than to get nothing.
“The difficult part we’ve already done.
This is ministerial. This is a rubber stamp.
We passed the part that allows us to have
control,” she said. “I’d rather have some
ability to control the obvious problems that
will arise than none.”
If Walmart chooses, it can still move into
the existing Kmart building. No approval
from the city is needed to use the existing
building because it’s already zoned for
McCartney was also worried that denying
the plat could result in a lawsuit against
the city. She tried to find a way around the
charter’s three-vote requirement but was
unsuccessful. “This is not something we can
deny. I’m trying to find a way to save us from
Shank said he also wanted to see the
project approved but felt compelled to follow
the rules. “I can’t change the rules just to get
my way. I want the thing to pass but I want to
do it the right way.”
Doody said any lawsuit brought by
Walmart would be tough for the city to
prevail. “The city would have a challenge in
defending an action brought in approving
the plat. It would be a challenge to defend
relative to a ministerial act.”
In an interview with The Gazette, Steven
Wherry, the Fort Lauderdale attorney
representing Walmart, said it’s very unlikely
his client will go forward with the conditions
if it is not allowed to construct a new building.
“I think that’s probably unlikely.”
Wherry said Walmart has not yet decided
if it will file a lawsuit but will try to go before
the commission again. “Our preference is to
avoid a lawsuit. We will try to find a more
amicable route. We want to do our best
to not create circumstances that are not
Could Lead to Lawsuit
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