Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie asked the city’s beach and park district to buy all vacant beachfront land in Boca held by private owners to ensure public access to the beach.
The mayor’s push for beachfront land acquisition follows a controversial approval of construction of a four-story house on the beach at 2500 North Ocean Boulevard.
Haynie sent a letter last week to the chairwoman of the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park requesting that the district “identify all privately-owned vacant buildable oceanfront properties in the city and evaluate the possible acquisition of these properties by the district for preservation and public use.”
Arthur Koski, the executive director of the park district, told the Sun-Sentinel that Boca Raton has about five miles of beachfront, including three miles open to the public.
Koski said the other two miles includes parcels north of Red Reef Park that the park district might be able and willing to purchase. As Koski identifies private parcels of interest to the city, the park district will arrange to have them appraised.
The Boca Raton City Council voted 4-1 on December 8 to approve construction of a four-story, 10,000-square-foot house on the beach at 2500 North Ocean Boulevard. The construction site is smaller than the minimum lot size required for a new house in Boca Raton, and approval from city council members was required for the construction work to proceed.
The city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment rejected the project twice, in July and November, before the city council approved it this month. [Sun-Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth