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East County Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013 4 years ago

CDDs put Balmoral gate decision on hold

by: Josh Siegel Staff Writer

LAKEWOOD RANCH — Trying to break through the muddled fate of the gate at Balmoral Woods and Lakewood Ranch boulevards, Bob Burstein made an emphatic promise.

“The gate will not close Jan. 1, or tomorrow or in the near future,” said Burstein, chairman of Lakewood Ranch Community Development District 6. “We will go through fiscal year 2014 as we are.”

At the first joint workshop between Lakewood Ranch CDDs 2, 5 and 6 Aug. 13, Burstein promised to delay a decision of the Balmoral gate’s fate until after fiscal year 2014. However, supervisors made preparatory moves to ensure a decision will be collaborative — and that joint workshops will become habitual.

Lakewood Ranch Town Hall staff, who oversees the business of the CDDS, now has advertised for CDDs 2, 5 and 6 to have joint workshops every month.

Their next meeting will be at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 17.

“There is a consensus that we will make decisions as a unit,” Burstein said. “We’re one group with our own responsibilities. There is no friction between boards.”

Currently, the Balmoral gate has transponder-only access from 10:30 p.m. until 6:30 a.m., and a security company mans it during the day.

Supervisors want to find a more efficient way to run the gate.

Last month, CDD 6 supervisors rejected a joint proposal from CDDs 2 and 5 to add a third shift for security services and to share equally in costs for all gates accessing the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club.

The chairs of the three districts already have held four meetings, Burstein said.

“Communication among us is fundamental,” said Alan Silverglat, a CDD 5 supervisor. “People sometimes feel decisions are made in a vacuum of comments and would welcome the opportunity to bring concerns to you (CDD 6).”

As the CDDs vowed to come together, an emotional audience still had doubts.

One woman tried to settle a stream of accusatory comments.

“Why is there all this emotion and animosity?” she said. “Let’s see how we can make this one Lakewood Ranch.”

From the start, Burstein has said CDD 6, which has the final say on the Balmoral gate because it is within CDD 6’s boundaries, will make a decision that benefits everybody.

His district decided to delay a decision until the next budget cycle because supervisors want to ensure they make good on Burstein’s word.

In another push for collaboration, unrelated to the discussion about the Balmoral gate, CDD 6 agreed to assign a liaison to the Country Club/Edgewater Village Association’s Safety Committee.

Supervisor Dick Moran already represents CDD 2 on the committee, while Marty Cohn, of CDD 5, also attends meeting.

Supervisor Doug Ferry will represent CDD 6.

Contact Josh Siegel at [email protected].


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