The city's Planning & Zoning Board met Wednesday night at Fort Lauderdale City Hall and recommended approval for the Marina Lofts development high-rise apartments proposed for near downtown Fort Lauderdale, without even considering the 100-year-old rain tree at the center of the controversy at the meeting.
A city resolution that declared commissioners must consider the tree in any proposed development years ago, but that was evidently ignored at the City Hall meeting.
Commission will vote on it all at an undetermined later time. But things don't look good for the tree, and those seeking to save it.
Chris Brennen, the former Water Taxi, who was fired after making a YouTube video in defense of the tree, voiced his displeasure on the meeting's lack of mentioning the tree on his Facebook page:
His supporters have voiced their encouragement to not give up on his crusade to save the rain tree.
Meanwhile, activist Jessica Kross has organized a petition to save rain tree:
No determinations have been made at this time by Planning and Zoning and there will be another City Commission meeting based solely about the Tree - last night was the night for the Developer, Asi Cymbal and his Hired Crew to present their plan which is incomplete, did not address the SERIOUS issues about this project, 4 inch sewer pipes, ingress and egress out of that tiny neighborhood, the height, # of units and over-density of the buildings, THE SHADOW effect over all of Riverwalk - HUGE and he left out the MOST pertinent times out of that report and thank goodness someone caught all that and did get to present the truth on that. And much much more, Oh, THE Massive FPL power poles 300,000 volt transmission lines, he thinks he can move to within 25 feet of where people live! Well - they won't have to buy microwave ovens! And MORE! Read all the posts join the Group page Save The RAINTREE its open to all - and LEARN MORE.
A member of the Fort Lauderdale Garden Club, Rose Bechard-Butman, wondered allowed how the commission can make a decision on the complex without considering the tree.
"Do we degrade our history and all of our natural resources in order to do this?" she asked.
The date for commission action has not yet been determined.