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Wilton Manors has spent a considerable amount of time and money to lay out a plan for the city’s future.

At their meeting on May 24, city commissioners discussed how existing businesses will be affected by proposed developments.

Commissioner Gary Resnick said he had been contacted by several businesses that are being notified that their leases will not be renewed, in order to make way for new, mixed-use development. He cited proposals for the plaza on 26th Street where Holy Mackerel is and the Shoppes of Wilton Manors.

“These are viable businesses, some of which have been there a very, very long time,” Resnick said. “We’re searching for businesses to come into the city, and here are 20, 30 businesses that will have to close and move.”

He acknowledged that the city has chosen to pursue residential space over businesses, but wants to see if accommodations can be made for organizations that have already invested in making Wilton Manors their home. Other commissioners pointed out that, at its core, this is a landlord-tenant issue.

This comes after the commission indefinitely delayed implementing a report, WiltonNext, that laid out ideas for future development. The report angered many westside residents.

Homestead Exemption Expansion

The commission also looked into the possible impact of a proposed expansion of the property homestead exemption. It appears likely that a measure will be on the ballot this November, which will give an additional $50,000 exemption for teachers and first responders and more. Homes valued at more than $150,000 would be eligible.

The city’s finance director said it’s impossible to get an exact figure because census and other available data don’t break down ownership, home value, and career. However, they did do several estimates. There are about 2,156 properties that could be affected. If ten percent qualify, the city would lose about $61,000. That figure jumps to $711,000 if one-third qualifies.

The next Wilton Manors City Commission meeting is scheduled for June 14 at 7 p.m.

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