W
UPDATE: The city did the right thing and okayed residential-friendly lighting that uses short bollards instead of tall 20-foot poles. The property looks great and is an asset to the neighborhood. Sadly, on 7/10, the United Way installed huge, intense, blinding lights in its parking lot across the street. Efforts are being made to have those toned down.
The city claims it is being sensitive to lighting issues in the South Andrews Redevelopment project. Time will tell. — Cal Deal 7/16/10

FORT LAUDERDALE

City's demand for intense parking lot lighting
would ruin neighborhood's residential character

Click for an even larger image!


"It would be a ruinous thing for this quiet little
historic neighborhood to have lights on at night."

— Chuck Ritchie, former city planner and the father of the ROA zone
(he wrote the ordinance). He also grew up in the neighborhood.


VIEW A PANORAMA OF THE STREET Click here

The intense lights would go to the right of the pink house behind my dog Witney.


360-DEGREE PANORAMA Click here for PDF file

The building in question is the pink building at center. This is at the intersection of SE 13th Street and SE 1st Avenue.
Click here to view a PDF of the image.


 

THE PROBLEM

The city wants to force a small business owner to put Wal-Mart Parking Lot-intensity lighting next to single family homes in a quiet, dimly-lit, cozy, residential-office neighborhood just north of Broward General.

THE ZONING Read the ROA section of the code (PDF)

“Limited Residential Office” (ROA) — Allows the intermingling of single family homes and businesses. It was designed to save a dying residential neighborhood by allowing offices to take over homes. It worked!

• ROA is part of the residential section of the zoning code (47.5).

• ROA severely restricts business uses, which ensures compatibility with neighboring homes. Offices, churches, schools, public buildings and gardens are allowed — that’s it! NO retail! NO service businesses. NO trade schools.

• ROA requires any new office building to “substantially resemble” a house!

• ROA limits new buildings to two stories.

• ROA limits offices to a single 2x5-foot wall sign.

• ROA restricts new, two-story offices to 35x35 feet, or the equivalent.

THE BUSINESS IN QUESTION

A law office that’s moving into a small, 1940s-era apartment building at 100 SE 13th St., a corner property. It is owned by Tim and Julie Hager, who are doing a terrific job at fixing up the building. The lighting requirement is being imposed by the city.

This night photo of the subject parking lot shows you just how dark and cozy the neighborhood is.
Click here to get night panoramic photos of the area in PDF format.

 

Here's the kind of lighting we're worried about. This is a business parking lot next to small apartments
in the 1900 block of SE 4th Avenue. All this light after 8 p.m. for two cars! Plus ... a streetlight!


THE CITY’S POSITION (so far)

A business is a business. The residential aspect of the zoning is to be ignored. Wal-Mart-intensity parking lot lighting is required.

THE NEIGHBORS

The abutting properties hold single family homes.

THE BLOCK

Six single-family homes; six small offices.

ACROSS THE STREET

To the north: A 40-foot-wide, park-like median, single family homes, zoned RS-8
To the west: A 20-foot-wide, park-like median, and United Way’s large parking lot, which has no freestanding floodlights.

THE SOLUTION

This neighborhood has been designed to allow offices while emulating a typical residential neighborhood. Therefore, the lighting for this business should emulate that of a typical home as closely as possible — just as any new building must “substantially resemble” a house.

Residential is the higher use. Lighting should conform to that higher use.

One neighbor imagines the type of lighting you would use for a backyard pool. That’s a good thought.

— Prepared by Cal Deal
1317 SE 2nd Ave.
954-295-3726

 

 

NORTH SIDE OF SE 13 STREET • Panorama Click here

Looking north from the subject property. Single family homes, a school, a church, small apartment buildings
make up most of what's visible. Click here.


WEST SIDE OF BLOCK AT NIGHT • Panorama Click here

This is SE 1st Avenue just south of the subject property. Dimly lit, mostly single-family homes. Click here.


EAST SIDE OF BLOCK AT NIGHT • Panorama Click here

This is SE 2nd Avenue east of the subject property, which is behind the law office toward the right in the picture. Clearly this is another dimly-lit street. We like it that way! Click here.

Click here to get night panoramic photos of the area in PDF format.

 

NIGHT VIEWS OF PARKINGS LOTS Click here


THE NEIGHBORHOOD from Broward General's Parking Garage CLICK HERE

The affected neighborhood is the area in the foreground, which is between Andrews Avenue and SE 3rd Avenue, just south of Davie Boulevard.


STREET-LEVEL SHOTS Click here


LIGHT POLES Click here


SEE THE NEIGHBORHOOD on GOOGLE STREET VIEW! Click here


Email CommentsEmail Corrections

Cal Deal
1317 SE 2nd Ave.
Fort Lauderdale 33316

(954) 295-3726

As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs,
and if no man objected and no man rebelled,
those wrongs would last forever.
— Clarence Darrow

Always do right. This will gratify some people
and astonish the rest.
— Mark Twain