The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 31, 1998 · Page 63
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March 31, 1998

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 63

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Tuesday, March 31, 1998
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The Palm Beach Post s SECTION B V POWERFUL TIDES f J Dangerous rip currents along I area beaches could last j through the weekend. STORY, 4B RANGE GUILTY Ex-Delray housing chief Ronald Range admits theft and gets three years' probation. STORY, 4B TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 1998 LOCAL Tough team to make Developers must pay to exceed home limits C V ' ! I " WV. " ''"'' . $ i H'v"-'1 t , ' ' : ,( :';. A:?;y-. I v ) I " V. ' '.;'''.'-"--'f I 1 1 ' v. JEAN HART HOWARDStaff Photographer Brian Kapper (center) and Ron Rowe (to right of Kapper) jog with other of SWAT team tryouts in West Palm Beach recently. The group had to run hopefuls to the Marine Corps rappel tower at the start of the second day from the police department to the tower and stay in step all the way. By Joel Engelhardt Palm Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH Developers who want to build more homes than allowed by the county growth plan will have to pay for the right, county commissioners decided Monday. And commissioners accepted a suggestion from the environment-friendly 1000 Friends of Florida designed to help farmers sell the right to develop their land in the county's Agricultural Reserve. Commissioners voted 4-1, with Commissioner Ken Foster opposed, for the mandatory-pay approach. Developers oppose the program, viewing it as little more than extortion. They say the county will be charging for rights it now gives away. The program has been in place on a voluntary basis but seldom used since 1991. Supporters like the mandatory program because it caps the number of homes allowed in the county at the number approved now. Landowners who want to build more homes than authorized can buy rights from the county or from landowners with excess capacity. , Commissioners Mary McCarty, Karen Marcus,' Warren Newell and Maude Ford Lee voted for the approach and Commissioners Burt Aaronson and Carol Roberts were absent. The approach, which still must undergo state and regional reviews, is called mandatory even though it allows developers to proceed under current rules, which allow for additional homes if planning criteria are met. But by pushing the mandatory label, commissioners make it clear they would not look favorably on developers who follow the current approach. The county charges $5,575 for every extra unit it ' allows. The amount is so low, critics say, private landowners would have a tough time competing. To give them a better chance, 1000 Friends of Florida Legal Director Terrell Arline suggested the county sell rights only for development east of Florida's Turnpike. Developers looking to add density west of the turnpike but within the county's urban service boundary could buy the rights only from private landowners. , That would create a market for farmers in the Ag Reserve, who could sell the right to put homes on their land but continue farming. Downtown projects deserve lower fees, developer argues By Rebecca Goldsmith Palm Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH The state policymakers who dreamed up Eastward Ho! the con- . cept of redeveloping urban coastal areas before breaking ground near the Everglades must have been thinking of places like Clematis Street and Two proudly joining W Palm SWAT unit mmf: - 'Www-"" -y" ;. i'j...., - 0 a y ill fnMTI i' mi imirrrniiiriiiiiiiliMn I n inn muni By Tim Pallesen Falm Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH Brian Kapper traces his desire to be on a SWAT team to his youth, when he watched the action TV drama SWAT. "It goes back to being a kid, the TV shows and all," Kapper told a lieutenant and two sergeants during his March 20 interview for the West Palm Beach squad. Kapper, 27, got his wish Monday. The West Palm Beach police officer was one of two chosen to fill vacancies on the elite 25-man team that's trained to handle the most dangerous situations such as hostage standoffs in Palm Beach County's largest city. "You're the last line of defense for the police department," Lt. Ron Sowers, the SWAT team commander, said as he congratulated Kapper and Ron Rowe. Only four of 10 original applicants survived the rigorous two-day physical testing that's required before the oral exams. Rowe made the team because of his "determination" after fire-rescue paramedics needed to assist him in his March 9 tryout when he threw up during the 50-minute run. "It would have been easy for him to have given up because of the weak- Please see SWAT45 JEAN HART HOWARDStaff Photographer Officers Ron Rowe (left) and Brian Kapper hear the news that they made the SWAT team from team commander Lt. Ron Sowers on Monday. School district computer system aims to end overspending Atlantic Avenue. These downtown hubs of pedestrian-friendly entertainment in West Palm Beach and Defray Beach draw people and cars to the urban east. So why are the visionaries who transformed these once sleepy, shabby downtowns slapped with hefty impact fees whenever they renovate a mom ' and pop furniture store to make room for The Gap? Renaissance Partners, the developer of Clematis Street wants county officials to answer that question, and in the process, to reduce impact fees in community redevelopment agency areas. David Frisbie, the managing principal of Re- . naissance, thinks the county should give investors an incentive to make downtown improvements. Please see IMPACT FEE45 Miltenberger, who is now on probation. The new system will be able to track bids spanning more than a budget year and give a warning when purchases get close to bid limits. Meanwhile, Swan said she may ask the board to allow buyers to go a set percentage over the bid limits, if deemed necessary, before returning to the board to ask for more money. "Right now, I don't have the authority to go one penny over," she said. By Stephanie Desmon Palm Beach Fast Staff Writer , This computer program won't let school staffers spend money they don't have. It won't let them spend more than authored by the school board. And it keeps track of how much they've spent over the years for specific items. At least that's what's supposed to happen once the Palm Beach County School District's computerized bid-tracking system is running full time in mid- to late-April, predicts Sharon Swan, director of procurement place to assure that overspending didn't occur. The first time the need for a tracking system became apparent was at the start of 1997, when the food service department spent three times more than approved on printing. At the time, there was an unwritten policy that allowed purchases to exceed board approval. The investigation into food service overspending led to findings that produced unrelated criminal charges against former food service chief Joy "We'll track everything we spend this way," Swan said Monday during a demonstration. The program was created after the school district spent hundreds of thousands of dollars more than approved on cleaning supplies last year. Superintendent Joan Kowal shut down the department for several days and put Gus Lopez, the purchasing manager, on paid leave and later said she would not renew his contract That was months after a computer system was said to have been put in Purchase of building saves synagogue from eviction 1 1 Clint Moore Rd. j j Turnpike J Epri 1 1 I f Yamato Ri i ; , 12 Mile , ) N I !, t l ROB BARGEStaff Artist Chairman Burt Aaronson said Monday. Residents and synagogue leaders praised Aaronson for shepherding the deal. "Once again, neighbor will be able to speak to neighbor," said Aaronson. calling the synagogue dilemma one of the toughest he's faced as commissioner. They will live in peace and harmony." Torah Ohr still must petition the county for a zoning change because the building is supposed to be used only for recreational purposes. Aaronson said getting the zoning change won't be a problem. The synagogue's future has been in jeopardy since a resident complained to the county a few years ago. Though the synagogue and Boca Admin were using the building illegally, code enforcement officials delayed levying $250-a-day fines in the hopes of a settlement. Boca Admin's phones were down Monday and representatives could not be reached for comment Torah Ohr's days were numbered By Marc Freeman Palm Beach Post Staff Writer No more unsettling stories of Jew against Jew. No more threats of Century Village West going commercial. No more zoning violations. Tiny Congregation Torah Ohr is being saved from eviction from its decade-old house of worship in a surprising deal that ends years of strife in the 5,712-unit village west of Boca Raton. The Orthodox synagogue's 180 members unanimously voted Sunday to buy the complex's administration building from developer Boca Admin Inc. for $500,000. The terms were announced to the membership before the vote; a portion will be mortgaged. "We waited for this for a long time," Torah Ohr President Max Rudoler said Monday. "We now have a place we can call our own and no one can throw us out" Boca Admin substantially lowered its asking price late last week to make the sale possible. County Commission after a majority of residents last month voted against a plan that would keep the temple but also allow Boca Admin to lease part of the building to a medical practice. The vote put the mostly Jewish community in the awkward position of voting against a synagogue. Afterward, Aaronson kept the parties talking in an effort to keep the temple alive. "I think all the residents are happy now that there's no medical facility and the sliul will be there," said resident Helene Semmel. Rudoler was relieved the tumult is over. "I don't want to see any more fighting, not among Jews." he said. "Lefs act like brothers and sisters." E.A. KENNEDY IKStaft Photographer Woman convicted of masterminding hit for beau WEST PALM BEACH - Misti Ehrlich weeps as she is fingerprinted Monday at the Palm Beach County Courthouse. Ehrlich, 21. was found guilty on two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree attempted murder. Sentencing is set for May 14. STORY, 48

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