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Boca Raton is NOT on our side

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Boca Raton is NOT on our side

From the Sun Sentinel:


Attorney asks for code changes for off-campus dorms
April 20, 2011|Marci Shatzman [email protected]

Dorms in the city?

City council was skittish when land use and redevelopment attorney Wendy Larsen asked for two changes to the city's codes to pave the way for off-campus dormitories in the city.

Larsen is representing Addison Park LLC, which bought 10.66 acres at 135 NW 20th St., an abandoned industrial property less than a mile from Florida Atlantic University's Boca Raton campus. At some point, the company wants to build a $35 million student housing complex with 202 units and 731 beds. The project hasn't been introduced to any city agency or council as yet.

The city's new comprehensive plans allows for student housing in this specific area, Julia Trevarthen, Planning, Zoning & Development director, said in her presentation. "Off campus, dorm-style housing is new to our city, but it's an establishing housing type elsewhere," she said.

The council agreed that having college students move into residential areas is already generating noise and nuisance complaints. And Councilman Anthony Majhess worried that policing dorms could "overwhelm our overburdened police department." If the project is built and isn't successful, who would buy a dorm, he asked?

Councilman Mike Mullaugh was the most receptive. "If there are students looking for housing, they will find it," he said.

Mayor Susan Whelchel mentioned that the project would be on the tax rolls and said "tweaks can be made." But who would do the tweaking was unclear, and when City Manager Leif Ahnell asked for direction, the lack of consensus left Majhess scratching his head. "Do we want campus to bleed over into the city? My answer is no," he said.




Majhess' email, if you have something to say to him, is [email protected]
BTW… he went to the University of Florida, probably had a great time living off campus… and now he's trying to prevent FAU students from having that same experience.

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Re: Boca Raton is NOT on our side

Just to play devil"s advocate…FAU may not want the competition in the near future as well. They have some pricey dorms going up and more planned. They need them to be filled ;)

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Re: Boca Raton is NOT on our side

Bottom line, if it is allowed in the comprehensive plan than they can't stop it and not get sued big time! How much room is there still on campus for future housing after phase II is complete? I want as many to live on-campus and very close to campus as possible to support the growing sports and arts programs. I commuted from Lauderdale and that was a pain back in the 70's. The closer the kid's live, the more likely they are to particpate in on-campus activities.
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Re: Boca Raton is NOT on our side

owlcountry said

Majhess scratching his head. "Do we want campus to bleed over into the city? My answer is no," he said

I'll just say it here:

This just in from the News Desk…….

THE CAMPUS HAS ALREADY BLED OVER INTO THE CITY.

The economy would take a serious hit if the students weren't here, and adding more only helps the area. You're too short-sighted to see that, apperantly.
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Re: Boca Raton is NOT on our side

fauowl said

Just to play devil"s advocate…FAU may not want the competition in the near future as well. They have some pricey dorms going up and more planned. They need them to be filled ;)

Then they should probably charge a more reasonable price for the IV Apts. Competition is always good to drive down prices. Besides, they should be able to peacefully coexist since they can serve different markets: off-campus apartments tend to appeal especially to upperclassmen and graduate students who want to live close to campus as a matter of convenience but have already done the "woo-hoo living in the dorms" thing.

In response to GeorgiaOwl's question, FAU has plenty of space to build more dorms, although most of it lies on the scrub land that houses owl burrows, so every new building there becomes a huge ordeal. But if you look at the campus and try to imagine the campus 20-50 years out, it will become impossible to grow without impinging on that land.


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Re: Boca Raton is NOT on our side

fauowl said

Just to play devil"s advocate…FAU may not want the competition in the near future as well. They have some pricey dorms going up and more planned. They need them to be filled ;)


They do have some nice new dorms being built, but like someone else stated after Phase II then were do you build? Do you get rid of PBCC and build there, which is so far away from everything else? Or do you start building off campus. What if FAU owned Casa Del Rio and those apartments right off campus? They'd make plenty of money off those because, remember anything off campus is most likely going to be a 12 month lease as opposed to anything on campus.

They don't want campus life to spread into the city? Like Rick said too late! More and more business are starting to cater to FAU students. Even Duffy's. You think they'd put a Sports Bar in Boca if there was no FAU? I doubt it highly. The Coastal gas station on 20th street which has the sign saying "Welcome to the Owl's Nest". I'm sure there's plenty of other examples around Boca as well.

I'm sorry that the residents don't like it, but it was their decision to live near the college. If you still want that "Boca address" and don't want to live near the students, there's plenty of housing out in West Boca where you won't be effected by game day traffic and you won't have any complaints about noisy students.

I hate to say it but little by little these people opposed to Boca becoming more of a college town will soon die off or just move. Little by little alumni will start to buy housing around the area. The school is growing rapidly and it's scaring the crap out of the city because never in a million years did they expect this. It's only a matter of time before we have some FAU alumni as local politicians in Boca, where it is up to them what laws get passed and how they affect FAU

My two favorite teams are FAU, and who ever is beating FIU!
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Re: Boca Raton is NOT on our side

Addison Park cost about the same or very close to what they will be charging for the new dorms...Its just a matter of whether you want to live on or off campus if you are willing to pay that much
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Re: Boca Raton is NOT on our side

They make it sound like college kids are border line felons. I'm not saying college kids are perfect but to say they are going to "overburden" one of the best payed, funded, and trained Police departments in South Florida is an insult to the department itself.
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Re: Boca Raton is NOT on our side

Here's another article that presents things in a slightly different way: it's not necessarily that Boca is "opposed" to it, but that the idea of off-campus student housing is so new, they haven't really figured it out just yet.

(I would just post the link but the Sun Sentinel has a bad habit of "archiving" a story into the realm of nothingness very soon after posting it. Sorry to take up so much space)


University Park raises student housing issues for Boca Raton

April 16, 2011|By Rebekah Monson, Sun Sentinel

A proposed $35 million dormitory near Florida Atlantic University has kicked off debate over the future of off-campus student housing in Boca Raton. University Park, a 731-bed facility at 135 NW 20th Ave., would be the first off-campus student housing development, but the city lacks specific guidelines for student housing, Deputy City Manager George Brown said.

"We're pretty much starting from scratch," he said. "This project was a trigger for something we already planned to work on."

In October, the City Council passed a comprehensive plan that would permit affordable student housing in some industrial areas, and the city must create regulations for these new developments, Brown said. Residents and council members alike are concerned about security, noise and housing density in student housing developments.

"We have many problems with these students," said Martin Siml, vice president of the Windwood homeowners association near FAU. "They throw wild parties, they drink. We're supposed to have two people in a condominium, and in some condominiums we've had as many as eight."

Many homes and apartments already serve as student housing, bringing extra traffic, noise and parties into neighborhoods, Councilman Anthony Majhess said Tuesday during the City Council meeting.

"We definitely do have private dwellings that are basically being used as eight-person dormitories," Councilman Michael Mullaugh said. "When we're looking at apartment buildings that sort of became student housing all by themselves and we have a problem, that is not a reason to oppose this project."

The city could require buffers, setbacks and performance standards like security and transit to limit noise and traffic in student housing developments, and it may limit student housing to certain areas of the city near universities, Brown said. FAU's enrollment has grown by about 10 percent annually over the past two years, and the university is building new on-campus dorms to house its burgeoning student body, said Dennis Crudele, FAU's senior vice president for financial affairs.

"We still have a large commuter base, but we're trying to get that traditional campus experience and make it a more residential campus," he said.

FAU's dorms will accommodate 3,600 students when Innovation Village, a residential complex near the new football stadium, opens in August, Crudele said. Enrollment in August probably will be around 29,000 students, and in five years, enrollment is projected in the 33,000 to 35,000 range, Crudele said.

"We may need to build more student housing, and we will continue to evaluate that," he said. "We've had tremendous increases in the number of applications we've received over double what we had last year."

University Park addresses the city's growing need for off-campus student housing away from traditional neighborhoods, said Wendy Larsen, the attorney representing Addison Park, LLC, the project's developer. The project features 24-hour security, a private shuttle to FAU, pools, study rooms, wireless Internet access and individual bathrooms, she said.

"FAU is really one of the biggest economic drivers for the city, and we need to accommodate their growth," she said. "There is student housing all over this city, but this is a way to control it."

Addison Park, LLC, will modify plans and work with city officials as new student housing regulations are developed, but it won't wait to push ahead with the project, Larsen said. The student housing regulations must be completed within a year, but they may come sooner, Brown said.

"There's a need and a market for this now,"
Larsen said. "We've done so much research, and we're going to give it directly to council to address the issues they raised."

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Re: Boca Raton is NOT on our side

It would be a big step for Boca to allow "official" off campus student housing, but if done right, I think it could be a great thing. Someone had already posted that the off-campus rentals and apartments are usually the upperclassmen. When I was down there I knew a lot of students who rented in windwood, boca rio, and a whole bunch of us lived by the beach in deerfield. We all threw parties and eventually the cops always came. Nothing terrible ever really happened, we just got too loud and after it was late someone would put in a noise complaint. My theory is that if you have a dedicated area of student housing, thats competitive and set up for students, they would all be clustered in one area, not spread all over boca/deerfield/pompano. If the cops need to be called out, they really only need to be in a small area to do what they have to do.

When my sister was going to USF there were several apt. complexes around the school which were designed just for students (large central living rooms with offset LOCKABLE bedrooms coming off the main area). Every time we went to go hang out at one of her friends places, I was impressed and jealous of their set ups. If done right, this could work out for everyone.

FAU - We got Bowls!
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