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Coconut Grove: “Miami will bloom with new orchids”

Photo: City of Miami Twitter "Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood will be flush with orchids in the near future. On Monday morning, city of Miami officials, representatives from Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s Million Orchid Project and volunteers began planting...

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“Protecting Florida’s Waters by Planting Trees”

Photo: WGCU Pixabay "We’re looking at a preemptive approach to reducing the possibility of harmful algae blooms by reducing the amount of nutrients from stormwater runoff that wind up in the water in the first place -- by planting trees. A local nonprofit called...

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Forbes Analyst Overview of 5G Cell Tower Providers

Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images "In the July edition of the Forbes Real Estate Investor (monthly newsletter) I explained that “major telecommunications companies will soon begin to roll out 'new' 5G technology in the U.S., and I’ve been reviewing the issues,...

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“Coastal highways showcase wildflower diversity”

Photo: Steve Coleman "Georgia tickseed (Coreopsis nudata) is a short-lived native perennial that thrives in wet conditions." "While driving or riding around the local roads at this time of the year you might think – wow, look at all those wildflowers. They may all...

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“Pasco code enforcement tactic zeroes in on blight”

Photo: Pasco County "The tents, blue tarp, stacks of pallets, barbed wire and general junky look at the side of Hicks Road in Hudson are gone. The business, called Home Discount Depot, popped up in August 2017, with an illegal sign and without proper zoning permits....

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Fun Festivals and Events

Central Florida

Oct 4-7
Port Orange Family Days, Port Orange
Oct 4-7
44th Annual Bicycle Festival, Mount Dora
Oct 5-7
Mineral, Gem, Bead and Fossil Show, Orlando
Oct 6
First Saturday Jam and Farm Swap, Barberville
Oct 6
10th Annual Mims Mullet Festival, Mims
Oct 6, Oct 27
Oktoberfest, Casselberry
Oct 6-28 (Friday and Saturday)
Lowry Park Zoo’s Creatures of the Night, Tampa
Oct 5
Jazz Friday at Foosaner Museum of Art, Melbourne
Oct 25-28
Southern Women’s Show, Orlando
Oct 13
Come Out With Pride Festival, Orlando
Oct 20
Rocky Water Brewfest, Melbourne
Oct 11
Alive After 5 Octoberfest, Sanford
Oct 12-14
Oktoberfest Tampa, Tampa
Oct 12-14
BBQ and Blues Festival, Clermont
Oct 13
Oktoberfest on the Beach, Indian Rocks Beach
Oct 13-29
Boo at the Zoo, Melbourne
Oct 13-14
Winter Park Autumn Art Festival, Winter Park
Oct 18-20
Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Clearwater
Oct 18-21
Biketoberfest, Daytona Beach
Oct 19
City of DeLand’s Hay Day Fall Fest, DeLand
Oct 19-21
Upper Tampa Bay Oktoberfest, Oldsmar
Oct 20-21
Winter Springs ARToberFEST, Winter Springs
Oct 20-21
Fall Art and Craft Fair, Cocoa
Oct 20
Annual Autumn in the Oaks Festival, DeLeon Springs
Oct 20
Tampa Pig Jig, Tampa
Oct 21
Florida Harmonica Championships, New Smyrna Beach
Oct 21
Festival Calle Orange, Orlando
Oct 25-28
John’s Pass Seafood Festival, Madeira Beach
Oct 26-27
Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic, Walt Disney World
Oct 26-28
Spooky Empire, Orlando
Oct 22–Nov 13
Space Coast Fair, Viera
Oct 27
Sand Art Festival, New Smyrna Beach
Oct 20-28
Zoo Boo Bash, Sanford
Oct 27-28
Mount Dora Craft Fair, Mount Dora

South Florida

Oct 5-28 (select nights)
Fright Nights, West Palm Beach
Oct 5-7
Oktoberfest, Oakland Park
Oct 5-6
Oktoberfest, Port St Lucie
Oct 6
Harvest Fest, Jupiter
Oct 6
Southernmost Marathon and Half, Key West
Oct 5-7
Miami Carnival Parade and Festival, Miami
Oct 13-14
Coconut Grove Pumpkin Patch Festival, Coconut Grove
Oct 18
Alive After Five, Punta Gorda
Oct 19-21
Florida International Air Show, Punta Gorda
Oct 19-21, 26-28
Oktoberfest, Cape Coral
Oct 19-28
Fantasy Fest, Key West
Oct 20
Lantern Festival, Delray Beach
Oct 20-21
19th Annual Downtown Stuart Craft Festival, Stuart
Oct 27-28
Stone Crab Festival, Naples
Oct 27-28
Haunted Pirate Fest and Mermaid Splash, Boynton Beach
Oct 22
Heroes and Villains 5K, Key West
Oct 26
The Smallest Parade in the Universe, Key West
Oct 27
10th Annual Palm City Fall Fest, Palm City

North Florida

Oct 5
First Friday Artwalk, Ocala
Oct 5-6
Florida Scallop and Music Festival, Port St Joe
Oct 5-7
Destin Seafood Festival, Destin
Oct 5-7
Pirates of the High Seas Fest, Panama City Beach
Oct 6
North Central Florida Peanut Festival, Williston
Oct 6
12th Annual Ocala Pride Festival, Ocala
Oct 6
Founding of the Castillo, St Augustine
Oct 6-7
Creekside Festival, Palm Coast
Oct 6–Nov 4
Corn Maze at Sykes and Cooper Farm, Elkton
Oct 7-14
Amelia Island Jazz Festival, Fernandina Beach
Oct 7
Flora-Bama’s Oktoberfest, Pensacola
Oct 12-14
Greek Festival, St Augustine
Oct 12-14
Panama City’s Ukulele Festival, Panama City
Oct 12-14
59th Pensacola Greek Festival, Pensacola
Oct 13
ButterflyFest, Gainesville
Oct 13
Artrageous Artwalk, Amelia Island
Oct 15-21
St Augustine Independent Restaurant Week, St Augustine
Oct 18-28
Pensacola Interstate Fair, Pensacola
Oct 20
Bloody Mary and Music Festival, Panama City Beach
Oct 24-28
Thunder Beach Autumn Rally, Panama City Beach
Oct 20
14th Annual Florida Bat Festival, Gainesville
Oct 20-21
WasabiCon, Jacksonville
Oct 26-28
Ocala Pumpkin Run Car Show and Festival, Ocala
Oct 27
First Coast Arts and Crafts Fall Show, St Augustine
Oct 27
Family Pumpkin Festival, White Springs
Oct 27
St Marks Stone Crab Festival, St Marks
Oct 27-28
23rd Annual Festival of the Arts, Destin

For many more events and details please visit the Orlando Times Travel Calendar here


Photo:The Defuniak Herald

Legal Update: “New motions filed in Federal lawsuit involving Private Beach signs”

“”Beachfront property owners who had sued Walton County in federal court over its ordinance banning unpermitted obstructions on the beach such as ropes, chains, signs, and fences, have filed new motions in the case.

Among other requests, they have asked the court for a stay on discovery proceedings in connection with common law customary right issues until the court resolves the property owners’ claims against another ordinance, the customary use ordinance approved by Walton County on Oct. 25…The ordinance banning unpermitted obstructions on the beach stated that it applied to the beach as defined as ‘the soft sandy portion of land lying seaward of the seawall or the line of permanent dune vegetation.’

The plaintiffs, Ed and Delanie Goodwin, owners of beachfront property at Fort Panic in south Walton County, had filed their lawsuit in July 18, soon after Walton County approved the ordinance disallowing beach obstructions.

The litigation was in the form of a civil rights lawsuit. It alleged that the county ordinance prevented beachfront owners from using signs to convey messages, including those indicating property boundaries and private ownership—and that the ordinance therefore impeded signs as ‘a medium of speech.’ As such, the property owners maintained, the ordinance ‘violates the First Amendment on its face.’ They asked the court to bar enforcement of the ordinance, among other requests. In an August 15 response, Walton County argued that the property owners’ case was not ‘about’ free speech but was instead a disguised property rights position aimed at securing ‘a beachhead against the potential determination that the public has gained the right of use of the subject beach through the Customary Use doctrine.’

The county further stated that the ordinance did not interfere with the property owners’ ability to ‘display on their property any message they like in any manner they like, even using signs, so long as they comport with the restriction as to location.’ Signs, according to the county response, ‘are implicated only to the extent that they constitute an obstruction on the beach.’

In an Aug. 19 order, M. Casey Rodgers, chief United States District judge and presiding judge in the case, ordered an evidentiary hearing, observing, in part that, ‘If a public use custom is established, the property owner does not have the right to interfere with the public’s right of use and enjoyment…and thus the Plaintiffs’ alternative means of communication, i.e., placing signs on the remainder of their property, would be adequate.’ Adding that the ‘custom and use doctrine requires a fact-intensive inquiry that must be determined on a fully developed record,’ Judge Rodgers stated that this issue would ‘decide the merits of the suit.’ She ordered thus proceeding with the trial on its merits, with it to be consolidated with a hearing on the preliminary injunction sought by the plaintiffs.

The Goodwins were allowed to amend their original complaint to include both the obstruction and customary use ordinances. On Nov. 14 they filed a motion requesting an injunction against the recently-approved customary use ordinance, arguing that it represented a ‘taking’ of their property.

The customary use ordinance provides for public ‘at large’ to utilize the dry sand areas of the beach without interference for traditional recreational activities—with the exception of a buffer zone to be set aside at a distance seaward of the toe of the dune, or at the same distance from any privately-owned permanent habitable structure on or adjacent to the dry sand areas of the beach, whichever is more seaward.

The Nov. 14 motion was followed the next day by a motion by the Goodwins for a stay of discovery proceedings in connection with common law customary right uses of the beach until their taking claims in connection with the customary use ordinance had been resolved.

In the latest filing, on Nov. 21, Walton County responded to the plaintiffs amended complaint, asking the court to grant a motion requiring a ‘more definite statement’ from the plaintiffs, calling the complaint: ‘a vague, ambiguous, incoherent jumble.'”

— Dotty Nist, The Defuniak Herald

Read entire article

Boca: “First sharrow placed in city neighborhood”

“The city has installed its first sharrow, a shared lane marking and sign for motorists and bicyclists that could be a model for other neighborhoods with a heavy bike presence…

The city makes its own signs, so the sharrow cost $240
A cyclist rounded the corner on a recent visit, but stayed to the right where bike lanes are usually marked. Sharrows use the existing travel lanes, but the marking makes it clear it’s a shared roadway, said Joy Puerta, a city transportation analyst and the former pedestrian and bicycle coordinator who’s known as a bike and pedestrian expert.
‘This is an informal pilot program, another tool to identify those corridors that have been designated as bicycle corridors throughout the city,’ Woika said. ‘The city’s bicycle map has them identified.’
‘It alerts the motorists of the location where bicyclists are likely to occupy the travel lane and where you should be, and those two elements combined help improve the safety,’ said Jim Sumislaski, chairman of the city’s Citizens’ Pedestrian and Bikeway Advisory Board and with Kimley-Horn, the design consulting firm.
‘I’m pretty confident it will be a successful pilot project and the city will look for other corridors to implement the same type of marking,; said Sumislaski, who specializes in roadway design…
He had ‘a few clients in Miami doing this and were successful with it,’ Sumislaski said. ‘So at one of the meetings we wondered if Boca Raton municipal staff had implemented it, and at the time it was no, but they said if they could find a good representative location they would do a pilot project and see how it goes. We had suggested an appropriate location and they came back and found a location.’
The Florida Department of Transportation’s Manual of Uniform Minimum Standards, also known as the Florida Greenbook, has sharrows in the plans, Puerta said.”
— Marci Shatzman, Sun Sentinel
Diagram: Figure 9-3 Florida Greenbook

Developer who supports scenic beauty, buys property and bulldozes billboard!

“This billboard was purchased by a local development company, Dream Designs, Inc. in Rapid City, SD, so that they could take it down, and use the land for housing.  They supported Scenic Rapid City in 2011 during the Billboard Initiative.

They knew we would love seeing this video!
‘Improving the quality of life is a responsibility of each one of us. Thank you both for doing more than your fair share.’
— Hani Shafai, President
Dream Designs, Inc.

This billboard was completely non confirming and Grandfathered in. It had two boards on each side.  They were two different sizes and OVERSIZED in a prime location; on a hill so that traffic had to view it.

It took away from the scenic beauty of our beautiful Black Hills since it was on the road to Mount Rushmore National Monument but still inside the Rapid City limits.'”

— Scenic Rapid City

Drawing: From Tampa Bay Times

“City planner Jeff Speck’s vision for Tampa’s downtown involves cooler temperatures and more walking. Speck is the lead planner overseeing the team working with Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and an engineering firm Stantec to redevelop land in the Channelside area…

Speck’s vision for the area includes making the city more walkable based on the premise that it has to be ‘simultaneously useful, safe, comfortable and interesting,’ he said. ‘If it’s not all four of those things, people won’t walk.’
Speck’s prescription for achieving that includes adding parallel parking along the road to make walkers feel more protected than they do now. ‘When a car passes you on the sidewalk, you lack that barrier of steel that makes you feel safe and actually protects you from vehicles coming at you,’ he said.
Speck also said plans call for creating ‘continuous deep shade’ in the Florida heat. ‘Every building will likely have either an awning or arcade or something that shadows the sidewalk,’ he said. Plans for the area involve adding retail and other destinations to the mix, but Speck said the biggest difference in the future may be ‘the number of people on the sidewalks.’
— Laura Mayk, WFLA.comRead entire article and view video

“The deceptive nature of architectural renderings”

“Architects use many mediums to express their designs, ideas, and concepts. They use orthographic drawings, physical models, as well as digital models…How can we differentiate between what is reality and what is a false and biased representation of a building? How about photographs of architecture?

When proposing a new design to clients, professors, or peers, an architect needs to find a way to express their ideas and sell them. One of the most successful ways to do this is to present a rendering, or photorealistic image of their project. This, however, has become a problem more recently with the advancement of digital technology in the 21st century with the introduction of 3D modeling, Photoshop, and CAD. Where in the past drawings by hand were clearly seen as ‘artistic’ interpretations of a project, now we have images that are practically indistinguishable as either reality or make believe. This brings into question the validity of every rendering and photograph and whether it is pushed too far from reality or not.
It’s not that architects want to be deceptive, but rather that they want to illustrate to clients what they see. Sometimes this can be taken too literally by clients, and in return they may feel deceived when the finished project is done. As the profession moves forward architects need to find a better way to bridge the gap between artistic representations and built reality.
Abdelhameed, Wael. “Digital- Media Impact on the Representation Capability of Architects.” Web. 17 Mar. 2015.
Asanowicz, Alexander. “Computer Renderings- “Reality Is Overrated”” Web. 17 Mar. 2015.
Freeman, Belmont. “Digital Deception: Architectural Photography After Photoshop.”Places Journal. 1 May 2013. Web. 5 Feb. 2015. .
“Harvard Design Magazine: Who Pays for the Picture?” Harvard Design Magazine: Who Pays for the Picture? Web. 6 Feb. 2015. http://www.harvarddesignmagazine.org/issues/38/who-pays-for-the-picture
Hopper, Tristan. “Architectural Illustrators Use Toolbox of Tricks to ‘manipulate’ the Way We Look at Buildings.” National Post Architectural Illustrators Use Toolbox of Tricks to Manipulate the Way We Look Atbuildings Comments. 9 Nov. 2012. Web. 8 Feb. 2015. .
McGuigan, Cathleen. “Picture Perfect.”Picture Perfect. Web. 8 Feb. 2015. http://archrecord.construction.com/community/editorial/2012/1201.asp
“Noticing New York: The Surrounding Light Smears Ratner’s Atlantic Yards Arena.” Noticing New York: The Surrounding Light Smears Ratner’s Atlantic Yards Arena. Web. 17 Mar. 2015.
Quirk, Vanessa. “Are Renderings Bad for Architecture?” ArchDaily. 6 June 2013. Web. 4 Feb. 2015. .
Quirk, Vanessa. “Rendering / CLOG.”ArchDaily. 21 Dec. 2012. Web. 8 Feb. 2015. .
Shkineva, Natalija. “Computer Graphics as a Method of Self-Deception.” Web. 17 Mar. 2015.”
— Tyler Garret Rafferty, Arch Daily, 311W, Penn State

Miami: Commission CHANGES SIGN CODE to eliminate advertising towers

Delete. Throw out. Discard. Trash.

“…The measure, championed by Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, deletes the term ‘media towers’ from the city’s zoning code known as Miami 21.However, an attorney for Michael Simkins, the Miami Beach-based developer of the innovation tower [Giant LED Billboard Towers], told commissioners that his client plans to move forward with pending permit applications to build the project.’We will continue to implement this development irrespective of what is done today,’ said Tony Recio, a partner with Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman. ‘We look forward to having the permits fairly reviewed and evaluated.’In a statement to The Real Deal, Simkins said he does not believe the new ordinance can be applied to his project. ‘We are disappointed by the commission’s action,’ Simkins said. ‘But we expect the city to comply with the law and respect our rights by honoring the sign permit applications and media tower approval by the CRA, and processing the sign applications in good faith.’City commissioners Frank Carrollo, Willy Gort and Marc Sarnoff again voted in favor of the ordinance despite an impassioned plea from Commissioner Keon Hardemon, who was the innovation tower’s main supporter because he believes the project will generate jobs and millions of dollars in revenue for Overtown. ‘That one time things are moving forward in a community that has been stagnant for such a long time, we make sure we put the roadblock right in the middle of it,’ Hardemon said. ‘This is a slap in the face of the Overtown community.’

Simkins has touted the tower as the anchor to a 10-acre technology district that will help revitalize one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. Hardemon, who represents the district and who is chairman of the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Development Agency, backs the project because Simkins has agreed to pay the semi-autonomous city agency $5 million prior to construction, and $1 million, or 3 percent of gross sales generated by the project every year after completion.

Recio also said Simkins has committed to giving local preference to Overtown residents on construction jobs and for the operation of the innovation tower. In June, prior to the city commission’s first vote, Simkins’ company Innovate applied for permits to embed the LED signs within the skin of the proposed tower’s twisting façade and along its pedestal.

— Francisco Alvarado, The Real Deal, South Florida Real Estate News

Read entire article

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Updates on Scenic Issues

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