Riviera to fight Singer Island traffic proposal

WEST PALM BEACH A county advisory board on Friday supported traffic restrictions that could limit Riviera Beach's redevelopment attempts on Singer Island.

City Manager Bill Wilkins vowed to work to persuade county commissioners to not "impose these extra regulations and rules on the city" that don't exist anywhere else. The standards could probably stop any additional significant development on the island, city officials say.

County commissioners will consider initial adoption of the traffic standards on July 19. If approved, it would then be subject to state review and return to county commissioners a second time before the state gets a final look.

On Wednesday night, city council members voted 4-1 to pass a resolution vowing the city would take control of Singer Island's redevelopment plans and oppose the county's proposed traffic standards.

Part of Riviera Beach's mammoth $2.4 billion waterfront redevelopment includes a 28-story Marriott hotel and 60,000 square feet of shops on Singer Island where the Ocean Mall is now located.

Several Singer Island residents spoke Friday in support of the county's proposal, saying hurricane evacuations would be more difficult and runaway development likely without more control. County Commissioner Karen Marcus has expressed similar concerns.

But city council member Norma Duncombe said the county is singling out Riviera Beach.  "There is no other (city) that they would impose that kind of thing on," she said.

The county's Land Use Advisory Board supported the traffic measures with a 7-3 vote.

"It is the responsibility of the county to have an overall view of the traffic that does have an impact" on Singer Island and the immediate area, board member Katharine Murray said.