Dear Town Council,
My congratulations to each of you in your election victories and wish you the best in making sound decisions for Jupiter’s future. She is a special place. Different.
Yesterday, I was reading an article about an appearance Burt Reynolds made Saturday at the Norton Museum and he was explaining why he moved from Hollywood to Jupiter. He used to land here and just being here lowered his blood pressure. Many of us feel that way. Jupiter is different and that difference should be embraced.
I have built or sold real property my entire life. I own and operate a boutique real estate brokerage and embrace being different. Different….by design is one of our tag lines. I always used to tell clients that South Florida starts at PGA Boulevard. North of there lies paradise. We are different and you used to be able to feel it. Our beach wasn’t developed, Our green space was important. Our parking was free. Our traffic was manageable. Our blood pressures were lower. We were special. We were different.
We still are, but the times they are a changing. You can feel it in the air. You can see it on the streets. That line of demarcation between South Florida and paradise is getting fuzzy and I don’t like it. My blood pressure doesn’t like it. Yours is an important job as the future of our town is at stake and as you know it is not an easy job. You simply cannot make a decision that will make everyone happy so your decisions should be focused on Jupiter. What is best for her, her legacy, her future. What can you do to keep Jupiter special? Different.
I first became worried as I watched Harbourside go up. I became more concerned the first time I toured the property. After all, this was to be our centerpiece. It was to be integral in the long term success of the riverwalk. It was to tie us to the water which is our lifeblood. Yet the development for the most part, in my opinion, fails miserably. It is physically separated from the water by a road. I have enjoyed a margarita or two on the patio in front of Calaveras Cantina, one of our signature waterfront restaurants. The problem is, as I sit on the patio there is a road, there is landscaping, there is the riverwalk, there is a dock, there is a 100’+ boat. I cannot even see the water at our signature waterfront restaurant and that to me is a shame. Where’s the water? It isn’t special. It isn’t Jupiter.
There are a lot of smart, talented people who care about Jupiter. Her future. Her legacy. We should listen to them. Invite them to participate. We don’t owe developers anything. We owe Jupiter and should all work together in a process focused on her. Her beauty. Her difference. We shouldn’t try and make decisions without these people. We should be out seeking them. Inviting them to participate. If we had done that we might have a project in Harbourside that was different, special. We may not have crammed all of this building on a site and hidden the water. We just might have embraced it and I could enjoy my margarita on a patio and actually see the water. Maybe I would have fewer choices but they would be better choices. Maybe it could have helped keep Jupiter different.
Like Burt Reynolds I don’t actually live in Jupiter. I live in Tequesta and perhaps that makes me an outsider. In reality, I live and breathe Jupiter more than many of her residents. Often I am asked by clients “do you work for the Chamber of Commerce?” I want to offer my services in any way that I can to help keep Jupiter special, different. There are many others like me and we should embrace our differences and use our resources to be different, to think different, to handle development differently. Use me, use us, what can we do to help you, to help Jupiter?
I ask that whatever decisions you make you please focus them all with traffic and parking foremost on your minds. Nothing is more important to one’s blood pressure readings. Please, no more paid parking in Jupiter. No more parking garages or spaces whose design is so tight one feels they are going to hit something unless they are driving a Mini-Cooper. It is a mistake and it isn’t different. Yesterday, I was in the Funky Fishing Village and parked in the 2 acre lot the Jupiter CRA still owns on Love Street. People were circling for parking. The same parking lot a developer wants to use for more building of things that do not make Jupiter special or different. Anyone with common sense can tell you that removing a 2 acre parking lot that is crammed full of cars with more circling for parking and replacing it with more development requiring more parking is a crazy notion.
I am on US 1 every day. I see the draw bridge just north of A1A go up. I see the traffic back up. I see southbound traffic lined up trying to take a left hand turn onto A1A. I see northbound traffic backed up as far as the eyes can see. A few weeks ago we attended the Jupiter Seafood Festival and like many responsible people we arrived using Uber. When we left I was going to put in a request for Uber and someone overheard me and told me she had been waiting for 45 minutes for her Uber driver that was on the way. When I looked north on A1A I could see why as it was gridlock and not much movement. We decided to walk to Guanabanas and it was backed up the entire way. When we arrived at Guanabanas you could see traffic was jammed all the way to US1 and beyond. At some point major work will be needed on the drawbridge.
Nothing should be approved in the Funky Fishing Village without a thorough parking and traffic study in place. Maybe this has been done and if so please get it out there so we can see it. It’s called concurrency and nothing should be done without it. It’s development 101. Level of service standards need to be developed for parking and traffic. And yes, the developers who want to develop need to pay for these studies. Let’s see a detailed master plan not just for the Love Street parcel, not just the Suni Sands parcel but the entire Funky Fishing Village. Let’s be transparent. Let’s work together and do what’s right for Jupiter. For our blood pressure. Let’s be special. Let’s be different.
We want to help. Use us. Think outside the box. Let’s keep Jupiter special, different.