March 26, 2009

From: Sandy Parker <>

Date: Thursday, March 26, 2009 3:31pm

To: George Webb <>; Addie Greene <>; Burt Aaronson <>; Jeff  Koons <>; Jess Santamaria <>; Judy Collier <>; Karen Marcus <>; Shelley Vana <>; Tanya McConnell N. <>

Subject: RE: Palm Beach Ranchettes

Mr. Webb,
After reading your email concerning our petitions I have a few questions that I hope you will be able to answer.  The first one being when I spoke to Mr Rich I was told our petitions were still in to have our roads paved and if necessary to just keep calling.  At no time was I told that they were taken off the MSTU list.  I feel that we have not been given the proper information concerning any of the things going on with this whole situation.  My next question is if no new petitions are being accepted I have a real problem that the county is allowing Fargo who has never even petitioned to have their road paved submit petitions at this time.  First of all the idea that Fargo is a thru road is ridiculous.  If any road is a thru road it would be Lyons Road and the gentleman living on Fargo I believe has greatly misrepresented the reason for that road being paved.  I am not willing to accept without a fight that he is going to get his road paved and we are not especially knowing that we did not know about the removal of our roads from the MSTU list.  My next thing is you are saying that you got 51% of the roads on the west side of Blanchette Trail and I know for a fact that there was not 51% that signed them and sent them back at the $20,000.00 or so estimate which was the last one that all of us got until Michael Marquis sent out one only to the residents on the west side for $33.75 per front footage and that was done last August.  Why if they  got that opportunity to have the price lowered without having the 51 % on the higher price of $20,000.00 were we not offered the same thing. And I hope this doesn’t come across wrong but if the county is saying that the 51% with the higher price was received I would like to see the singed copies of those petitions.  I am hoping that this is not sounding to brash but I know a lot of people in Palm Beach Ranchettes on the West side and I haven’t found one yet that signed the petition at the higher price.  Last but not least I will fight to the end about Fargo being paved because if what you said about no more petitions being accepted then no matter what the gentleman said about thru street, traffic or what it would be extremly wrong an unfair to go forward with this.  If a reason is needed then we too on El Paso and Pancho Way could say that now with all the other roads being paved on the west side all of the four wheelers and dirt bikes are coming on our roads tearing up what maintenance we do on the road and also at the speed they come down our road the canal poses a hazard to their safety as there is no guard rail.  I would like to thank you for writing me back and we will all still be at the meeting on April 7th.  I hope that you understand my passion on this matter. 
Thank you,
Sandy Parker

Date: Thu, 26 Mar 2009 13:29:10 -0400
Subject: RE: Palm Beach Ranchettes

Mr. and Mrs. Collier:

 County staff will be covering your situation in detail as part of the April 7 meeting. 

 Residents along your street and El Paso and Pinto, east of Blanchette expressed an interest in getting your roads paved in 2004.  We provided petitions (with estimated assessment levels) to be circulated requesting that each property owner sign to indicate support for the project.  We received petitions of support indicating that more than 51% of the residents along Pancho and El Paso were in favor of paving.  We did not receive that same level of support for paving Pinto.  We then decided to place your two roads on the overall MSTU list for potential paving.

 This same scenario was repeated in the 2000-2004 time frame on many other roads in the Ranchette community, as well as other roads throughout the County.  We accumulated many petitions that satisfied the 51% criteria and placed them on the overall MSTU list. 

 However, in 2005 and 2006 construction costs dramatically increased for MSTU projects and staff determined that we would not be able to construct all the projects on the list with the funding that was associated with the program.  Further, when we did try and place assessments, that in some instances were 75-100% higher than our previous estimates (that may have been calculated five years earlier), on a neighborhood, the residents informed our Board that they did not want the project at the higher assessment level. 


In December 2006 we received direction to not accept any new petitions and, in effect, void all previously received petitions that were reflected as projects on the MSTU list and “repetition” all the projects on the list.  The new petitions were sent out to residents on roads that were on the MSTU list, but the new petitions had the much higher expected assessment amount included.  This corresponds to the petitions that you and your neighbors received in 2007 with the expected $20,000 assessment vs. the original one that indicated a max of $7000+/-.

 Many of the repetitioned projects on the MSTU list did not receive the 51%+ support that was required as part of the repetitioning process and were removed from the list – your two streets were removed as we did not receive any support for paving at the higher expected assessment level.   On a countywide basis we repetitioned 16 projects in total, and only five projects had support for the higher assessments.  We thus removed 11 projects from the MSTU list including the one project that included El Paso (east of Blanchette Trail) and Pancho.  Of the five projects that did indicate support at the higher assessment levels, two projects involving four Ranchette roads were kept on the MSTU list.  These four roads were segments west of Blanchette Trail – Yearling, Rodeo, Pinto, and El Paso.  The County went forward with paving those Ranchette roads in 2008-2009.

 So, from the County’s perspective, we are operating from an MSTU list that includes projects that neighbors supported in the repetitioning process.  Those projects that previously had 51% support, but did not meet that level upon repetitioning, are no longer on the MSTU list.  Even after the list was reworked, there is not sufficient funding expected in the MSTU program to, in the next five years, complete all the projects on list, so staff has removed a $2+m project that would have constructed a new bridge over the M canal in the Acreage area, from the list. 

 The additional factor in this discussion is the Board change of the MSTU process, in late 2008, to now require road projects to pay 100% of the costs – instead of the historic 50% that had previously been used.  So when the time comes to accept new petitions (if ever), the homeowners will be expected to pay the entire amount.

 Summarizing – Your two roads are not on the current MSTU list as the list does not include any regularly petitioned projects associated with petitions received prior to December 2006.  We are not accepting new petitions as there is no funding identified to construct roads associated with the new petitions during the next five years. 

 I would respectfully request that you and Mrs. Parker please let me know if the statements above are not accurate as they pertain to the assessment process for your roads.  I would suggest that you consider asking the Board to increase funding for the MSTU program so that paving requests such as yours could be considered.  However, you need to understand that we are in the process of preparing our budgets for next year and the County is going to be forced to make significant staff cuts and program cuts to stay within our projected revenues – and money for a larger MSTU program is not currently being considered at any level.

From: []
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 10:15 PM
To: Jeff Koons; Addie Greene; Karen Marcus; Burt Aaronson; Jess Santamaria; Shelley Vana
Cc: Michael Marquis; George Webb; Tanya McConnell N.
Subject: Palm Beach Ranchettes

 To the Palm Beach County Commissioners,

CC:  County Engineer, Deputy County Engineer and Street Improvement Coordinator

 We have a situation going on in our neighborhood which is getting worse and not better. 


Way back when the original offer was made to pave our roads, we got the required paperwork filled out because our two streets (El Paso, east of Blanchette Trail, and Pancho Way) wanted to have our roads paved.  We had enough yes votes to be approved with the paperwork properly filled out and submitted.  It was to cost somewhere around $7000 per home.  The next communication was after Pinon was paved and the water mains were installed and then we were told that if we wanted our roads paved, the cost PER HOME would be in the $20,000 or more, range.  Obviously no one was interested or able to spend that amount of money, so the idea that we could ever have something other than dirt roads, was shelved but not forgotten.  When work began on El Paso (west of Blanchette Trail), for the original amount in the $7000 range, we were all hopeful that our turn was next.  Then suddenly paving work also began on ALL the other east/west roads.  We have called and called but never got anything more than excuses as to why we were still not even on the to be paved list, even as everyone was admitting that our paperwork was all in order.

 So here we sit in a community where half of the roads are paved and half are not and that is where the getting worse situation begins.

 We moved here because of the acre lots, the native land and animals and the dirt roads for the kids to use for horses, dirt bikes and ATV’s.  We would never be upset with them using the roads but suddenly the places that they can ride have been cut in half, so now our dirt roads have turned into a destination.  That is still not a problem … unless it happens after midnight and the racing around has turned into a loud and dangerous sport.  We have neighbors that have called the police and others who have confronted or been confronted by these kids.  We have watched the roads, that we spend hours working on, being torn up in one evening.  Now we have neighbors who did not vote yes before, ready to change their vote … because of this.

We wonder about the canal with nothing to keep an out of control vehicle out of the canal and we wonder about the county’s liability in all of this.  But mostly we are left wondering how and when it became fair to do something for only half of a community?

 We will be at the meeting and we will be looking for answers.  There were other times in the past twenty years where we looked to the commissioners to do the right thing and it never happened.  Hopefully that is not what will happen now.

 Bud and Judy Collier

3439 Pancho Way

Lake Worth, FL 33467



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