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Commission Approves Goodwill Pool Rezoning

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The proposed pool at the former Goodwill site hasn’t been given final approval by the city, but it cleared one of the final hurdles with a rezoning approval. The rezoning of the facility, 550 E. Oakland Park Blvd., was unanimously approved by commissioners at their meeting on May 22. It was rezoned from Light Industrial to General Business [B-3].

But while the rezoning was unanimously approved, the project itself does not enjoy unanimous support from commissioners. Commissioner Tom Green said he would not vote for the project because it does not have enough parking.

The facility will have 35 parking spaces. Roberta Moore, director of Community Development Services, said 151 were required but that there was no way that many could be incorporated into the site. If given final approval, the facility would include a 50-meter main pool, a therapy pool, office, gift/pro shop, locker room, outdoor kitchen, and a 5,300 square foot rooftop deck.

At a previous meeting, Green said the parking was too big of an issue for him to support final approval. “We live in Wilton Manors. What’s the number one thing we hear daily in Wilton Manors? Parking. If you were missing 12 spaces, I could understand. If you were missing 50. But when it’s this much I just . . . people are going to be parking all down the street. I guess when they get towed a couple times they’ll stop.”

At the meeting on May 22, Green reiterated his objections. “This particular project is unwise.”

Mayor Gary Resnick said he thinks the parking situation will be adequate. “I’m okay with the parking. People will figure it out,” said Resnick at a previous meeting. “I think it’s a great project for that area,” said Resnick on May 22.

Commissioner Newton also expressed concern over parking but his main concern was about the concrete wall the Planning and Zoning Board said must be built. He said he would not vote to approve the project if the developer didn’t agree to build the wall.

The developer wants a wooden fence instead. Newton said his insistence comes from the concerns from some residents he talked to that the concrete wall is needed to reduce the noise that would be generated. He said he’d be willing to give the developer a few years to build it, but “it definitely has to go up.”

Other concerns raised by the commission were fears that the building could eventually become a bar or restaurant. Per an agreement between the city and the developer, the property cannot be used in the future for one of those types of businesses.

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