Commissioners most likely won’t force developers of The Metropolitan to demolish their buildings to underground power lines, but they are disappointed it wasn’t done before construction started.
Commissioners voted 4-0 to withhold issuing The Metropolitan’s certificate of occupancy and site plan adjustment.
“I can’t support waving these conditions,” said Mayor Gary Resnick. Commissioner Tom Green abstained from the vote because he lives at The Metropolitan.
Undergrounding the power lines was one of the conditions developers agreed to when they got the commission to approve The Metropolitan, a 179-unit apartment rental complex at 1224 NE 24 St., adjacent to Colohatchee Park, in 2014.
“I respect you so much, but I’m disappointed,” said Commissioner Julie Carson to developers at the March 28 Commission meeting. She asked how she’s supposed to explain to residents that developers didn’t make good on their promise. “You made a commitment to us and I’m committed to the residents of Wilton Manors.”
Commissioner Scott Newton was more blunt. “It’s got to be a flat out lie [you didn’t know you’d have to do this before you started construction].”
Developer Michael Wohl said he and his partners deployed their best efforts but couldn’t get Flower Power & Light to approve the undergrounding of the utility lines. “We have been great citizens here,” he said. Attorney Robert Lochrie, representing developers, said his client shouldn’t be blamed for FPL’s actions. “FPL won’t do it where there’s residential [development],” Lochrie said.
“You didn’t do your due diligence,” Newton said.
But as angry and disappointed as commissioners were, they still expressed appreciation for developers building the project which was previously home to a rundown trailer park with blight issues.
“I want to resolve this dispute,” Newton said. “I hope we can work this out,” Carson said. “This is not a period. This is a comma,” Vice Mayor Justin Flippen said.