UPDATE: We have received a well written response from Boca Falls President Marjorie Licht who recently returned to the President’s post. She clarifies that Palm Beach County was extremely slow In issuing permits, and vendors will not be given multi-day passes to the community which we originally reported. Her letter follows the initial article, below.
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — West Boca mega community Boca Falls is closing one of its two main gates for an eight week renovation, forcing what could be hundreds of drivers to enter and exit the community through an unmanned gate meant to provide access to Waters Edge Elementary School. The closure, inexplicably, comes in the days after the elementary school reopens for the new school year. Drivers exiting by Waters Edge will be forced into traffic patterns for West Boca High School and Loggers Run Middle School — potentially doubling traffic for both schools.
The closure is part of a controversial renovation plan within Boca Falls, leading to a $1200 per home special assessment. It is unclear why the closure was set to coincide with the start of the school year. School has been closed since early June.
There was no immediate response as to whether the school district or PBSO were notified of the potential traffic havoc, or if the community will hire crossing guards to monitor and manage the increased vehicle traffic by the schools
BocaNewsNow.com has also learned that vendors will be provided with long-term placards during the gate closure.
Despite a significant 2013 burglary in the community which remains unsolved, vendors will only be required to show ID once during the two months of the Glades Road gate renovation, then during the expected Palmetto Park Road gate renovation.
LETTER FROM HOA PRESIDENT MARJORIE LICHT:
Hi. I’m the HOA president since June. Here are the issues with the gate. The project for gate renovation requires complete closure of each gate for approx. 8 weeks (it could be less depending on the weather). Since we have 722 homes, using only one gate for entry and egress makes no sense. Think what you would feel if you lived in The Estates and Palmetto was your only option – or the opposite when Palmetto is closed and you live in Crystal Pointe. Only residents will be able to use the Shorewind Gate for entry, and we are making it a 24-hoour gate during construction (right now it turns off at 8pm).
Also, in your story, you mentioned that “vendors” will be given passes. That is inaccurate. We will be giving “14-day passes” to non-vendors that enter daily in order to speed up access through the main gate – people like grandmothers that provide childcare, nannies, healthcare providers who come daily, etc. Not lawn services, pest control services, etc.
And why now? Because we just got the permits approved that were submitted 3 months ago. Palm Beach County is incredibly slow in its approval process. This is actually quicker than the approval process for our monument permits that took more than 4 months, and that was considered a smaller project in the eyes of the County.