When Commissioner Steven Abrams became chairman of the Palm Beach County Commission, he felt he needed another more important title to get more attention and respect. He decided that “Mayor” of Palm Beach County would do it. I suggested “King Abrams” for even greater attention for his big ego.
At the recent commission meeting, King Abrams made two edicts:
(1) Over 200 Century Village residents who came early to speak on a very important topic (the rezoning of their golf course) were told they would not be allowed to speak and should sit quietly and behave, while the commissioners decided on allowing the construction of homes and commercial buildings on their golf course.
(2) The recorded public agreement stating that the Century Village golf course would remain a golf course “in perpetuity” would end with the vote of four county commissioners! The opposing three commissioners did not stand a chance, because of the very shrewd manner King Abrams controlled and directed the discussion.
King Abrams has forgotten that all county commissioners are “public servants” and that we still are a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” The “kingdom system” ended in 1776!
Jess R. Santamaria, Palm Beach County Commissioner, District 6
I was shocked to see that a letter calling Commissioner Abrams “King Abrams” came from Commissioner Jess Santamaria. Frankly, I would expect more professionalism from Commissioner Santamaria. The letter sounded a bit like a child who didn’t get his way. Nevertheless, Santamaria may have a point that is worth considering.
The argument against “rezoning” is that the land was to be used in perpetuity as a golf course. Santamaria asked what the word “perpetuity” means. “the state of continuing for a long time or indefinitely”, might be a good definition. I think Santamaria is on solid ground when he argues that the plot plan shows a dedication of the land for use as a golf course and cannot be “rezoned”. Quite frankly unless there is something that is not being reported, a land restriction in a plot plan should give residents a right to challenge any other use since the dedication would create at least an implied deed restriction upon which the residents who purchased homes in the community relied. It is a common scheme or plan and should be enforceable even if the County rezones the land.
If that is the case then it is not within the power of the Commissioners to “rezone” the property. Deed restrictions that predate a zoning changes are enforceable as long as they are not against public policy. Santamaria might do well to look into whether the County has the power to “rezone” the golf course.
I have not heard that the Century Village residents have legal representation, but that might be the next logical step. That is a challenge in the court, because Santamaria may have a good point when he implies that the Commission is acting beyond their authority.
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