By Karli Barnett

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A proposed new condo complex in Hollywood is creating controversy.

Those in favor of it say the development will help fund city improvements. Those against it say the issue is the particular site chosen near the beach.

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Caught on surveillance video, someone was stealing signs out of yards this weekend. The signs were all in opposition to the proposed development.

“Who would take my sign?” said Theresa Fortnash. “It turns out they were like eight or nine signs that got taken just in this neighborhood.”

The issue, she said, isn’t the sign itself, rather, it is the message it sends over this contentious condo discussion.

The site would be at 1301 South Ocean Drive, the location of the current community center which would be redone as part of the plan.

“A brand new oceanfront community center, along with a new public park, a sidewalk extension, public parking, additional public parking, and to fund all of that a private condominium,” said Raelin Storey, the Marketing and Economic Director for the City of Hollywood, describing the proposal.

She said the 30-story, 190-unit building would generate about 35 million dollars in revenue for the city and would be under a 99-year lease.

“It really will make a difference to our tax base overall and allow us to provide services that residents want and amenities that residents want,” she explained.

WATCH: Deborah Souverains’ Report On The Controversy


 

The land was deeded to the city and can be developed, Storey said, if it serves what is considered a “public purpose.”

The city attorney determined it would.

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“In this particular proposal, there was no impact to the dunes or to the sandy beach area at all,” Storey said. “The actual condominium portion of the building is 515 feet from the beach.”

However, numerous Hollywood citizens have said they do not want it.

“There’s a petition out there for the same issue. 4,000 people have signed it,” said Fortnash. “At the last commission meeting, 24-25 people got up, including me, and spoke in opposition to it. No one spoke in favor of it.”

Last week, the topic made headlines when Hollywood resident Cat Uden dressed as a condo building at “Hollyweird” in opposition to the project, and police accused her of planning a protest.

Fortnash said she and others are not opposed to development. They just do not want it on this beach adjacent land.

“If they built it downtown, it would be fabulous,” Fortnash said. “Downtown’s already got all these beautiful, tall, fabulous buildings. That part of the beach is quiet. It’s peaceful.”

Shovels are not in the ground yet, but Storey said the hope is to get the final plan before city commissioners by the end of the year. It would require a 5/7 vote of the commission, or super majority. It also could be taken up for a referendum.

Fortnash said she would like to see it taken up for a vote to let residents decide.

“We support City Hall. We love a lot of what’s happening in Hollywood right now,” she said. “We just want them to hear the voices of us, the people, the ones who are saying step back, talk to us.”

At ArtsPark on Wednesday, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., there will be an open forum with commissioners, where people can share suggestions or concerns. Fortnash said they will have a group there to address this.

For more on the Hollywood proposal, the city addresses common questions here. 

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To read about the campaign against the proposal, more information here.

Karli Barnett