Current Board Topics of Discussion
The Board of Directors of the El Cid Historic Neighborhood Association is currently focused on fact finding and discussing the following issues. We try to limit our area of focus to El Cid and the neighborhoods immediately adjacent to us. For more information or to get involved, please visit the Contact Us page.
The Carefree Commercial Development Project in the El Cid Historic Neighborhood
Oppose the Carefree 6 Development Project
Protecting Our Neighborhoods
Preserving Our Community
ABOUT THE CAREFREE
The Carefree Theater proposal is a five-story complex located at 2000 South Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach. The project’s size, scale, inadequate parking, and increased traffic will have a detrimental impact on the quality of life for those living, working, and traveling on South Dixie.
KEY NEIGHBORHOOD CONCERNS
Ø Inappropriate Location: 2000 South Dixie Highway is a 1.8671-acre parcel. Since the Carefree must be rezoned to allow for this large-scale development, it will need eleven waivers from the city. Commercial Planned Developments require a minimum of 5 acres, nearly triple the size of the Carefree site.
Ø Too Big and Too Massive: As proposed, The Carefree project is 5-stories in height - with a roof ‘party deck’ adjacent to a historic neighborhood with single family homes. The project is out of character with the scale of nearby historic neighborhoods. The project has six movie theaters with up to 600 seats, 58 rental apartments and over 15,000 square feet of restaurant and commercial space that will overwhelm the community life.
Ø 600 Seat Movie Theaters on Site: The project includes six movie theaters with 600 seats in total. This level of traffic and activity on this site creates multiple safety concerns, parking challenges and noise issues.
Ø This Will Contribute to Already Unmanageable Traffic on South Dixie: Some studies suggest Dixie traffic has increased as much as 40% in the past two years. This project makes no effort to mitigate that risk to residents’ safety, especially that of families with children and to commuters.
Ø Parking Concerns: Today, residents in neighborhoods along South Dixie experience challenges with cars parking along their neighborhood streets, and local businesses have expressed concerns with not having enough parking for their customers. The Carefree project will only exacerbate this problem. The 378-car underground parking garage and current parking plan do not have enough parking for the intended usage and threaten underground aquifers.
Ø Construction Causing Neighborhood Chaos: There is no solution to mitigate parking concerns relating to workers parking on various streets in surrounding neighborhoods during the construction phase. This is a recurring problem with other ongoing developments in the city.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
- Sign the petition in opposition
- Email our Mayor and City Commission in opposition to the Carefree. Use this sample correspondence to formulate your own letter.
- Share this one pager about the Carefree with your contacts
Belvedere Development between Olive and Dixie
Projects on both the north and south sides of Belvedere between Olive and Dixie will be undergoing restoration or redevelopment. The Biba Hotel, on the south side, is currently undergoing restoration.
The retail plaza on the north side has been sold to a subsidiary of the Frisbie Group, a real estate investment and operating firm based in Palm Beach.
Over the next couple months restoration work will continue with the creation of the seagrass habitat surrounding the islands. So far 7 acres of the 29 acres of seagrass habitat have been created and this past summer County biologists observed three different species of seagrass in the shallow areas around the islands with up to 31% seagrass coverage. The construction of the islands have been completed by creating 3.5 acres of mangrove habitat, 0.75 acres of tidal flats, and 1.6 acres of bird habitat.
In partnership with the City of West Palm Beach, the construction of two new mangrove planters along the seawall at Monceaux Park is also complete. ERM and the City of West Palm Beach will coordinate and schedule saltmarsh cordgrass and mangrove planting events in the coming months.
One of the most visible successes of the project is the wildlife attracted to the islands. This past summer the coastal bird nesting story at Tarpon Cove continued with 42 black skimmers creating approximately 12 nest and 310 least terns within an estimated 32 nests in early August. One inspection in early August FWC Biologists confirmed 36 black skimmer chicks and 79 least tern chicks. An inspection in late August counted over 100 black skimmers. This is the third year of nesting black skimmers and the second year for least terns. In addition to the black skimmers and least terns, a pair of American oystercatchers successfully nested on the islands for the fourth year and raised their chick to fledge. Other birds observed are great blue herons, black-necked stilts, Wilson plovers, white ibis, roseate spoonbills, osprey and a wide variety of gulls. FWC fisheries researchers conducting quarterly monitoring over the past year captured a total of 780 animals comprising of 20 different taxa. FWC molluscan (oyster) researchers monitoring both natural sites and restoration sites throughout the LWL, has documented the Tarpon Cove site has the highest mean density of oysters at 309 oysters/m2 of all the monitoring sites. Learn more about the Department’s restoration work within Lake Worth Lagoon at www.pbclakeworthlagoon.com
The Belvedere Gateway project is nearly complete following a replanting of the median between Dixie and Olive. We look forward to the installation of a new El Cid monument in the next several months.
An initiative between The City of West Palm Beach and the El Cid Historic Neighborhood Association for the beautification and conservation of our neighborhood resulted in three phases of tree planting over the last several years. Nearly 70 hurricane palms were installed in the swales of the El Cid member-resident properties who previously requested and were approved for these trees. The Association is pleased to announce that this program will continue on an individual basis. El Cid residents, who are members of the El Cid Historic Neighborhood Association, may request a tree for the swale in front of their property by sending an email to [email protected]. Requests for trees other than palms may be considered under limited circumstances. All participating properties must have an irrigation system and member/residents must commit to proper care of the tree after installation.
This initiative was made possible through the tireless efforts and generosity of an El Cid resident. We are very appreciative of his ongoing efforts on behalf of our community.