Origins of the "Original Save Our Beach"

By Marge Hilton

I have been of resident of Deerfield Beach since 1968. I spent many sunny days with my children at our beautiful beach with its safe and easy access.

In 1998 my friend Mary Beiriger and I read in the newspaper about plans a developer had for a 7 story, 240 room hotel - condominium complex to be built on city owned beach front property. Idealistically we decided to start a petition against the hotel. We were under the impression that a petition would carry some weight with the City Officials. As we know now, it did not.

We later found out, after consulting with Tom Connick, a like minded lawyer who agreed to help our cause on a pro-bono basis, that what we needed was to initiate a referendum to protect city owned beachfront property.

We joined forces with a group of Deerfield Residents who on their own had also started a petition against the hotel, named our group "Save Our Beach" and started our campaign. We formed a Political Action Committee (PAC) "Save Our Beach" so we could legally campaign for the referendum. We made the scope of the PAC the entire beach area, not just this referendum. We invited residents of all areas of our city to join our cause and circulate information. Voters overwhelming approved the referendum, saving our city-owned beachfront property from a hotel.

After the referendum passed we closed the "Save Our Beach" PAC because naively we never thought that the City would try to overdevelop the beach again.

 

In 2000, what we never imagined came to pass. The city again proposed a commercial development to be built on city owned beachfront property; calling this development "Ocean Park".

A committee that was in favor of development and this new project opened a PAC and took our former name "Save Our Beach" in hopes that the public would not realize that the proposed "Ocean Park was not in fact a park, but a commercial venture, again targeted for our city owned beach property.

We were shocked that they took our name but we opened another PAC under the name the "Original Save Our Beach". We also broadened the stated purpose of our PAC to "appropriate use of the beach and beach area" which gives a wider scope.

We reorganized and campaigned and again the voters showed that they did NOT want the beach property commercially developed. The voters overwhelmingly came out and defeated the proposal.

 

In November 2002 for the third time in four years we campaigned and went out again to protect not just beachfront city owned property, but the entire beach area from over-development. We initiated a referendum to protect the main beach parking lot, and another to reinstate building codes which the commission had discarded in favor of developers.

Again the voters spoke and in no uncertain terms told the city commission that they do not want our little gem of a beach overshadowed by mammoth high-rises.

75% of the voters voted for the referenda!!!

Because the Original Save Our Beach group want to preserve the remaining beauty and tranquility of our beach - it is our inheritance from the past and something to pass on to future generations - some of the members formed a non-profit corporation called Original Save Our Beach, Incorporated. This group is running this site. This group , as the OSOB Inc. will not campaign or support ballot issues, the PAC group will still be active for those purposes.

 
 

 

HOME | HISTORY| PHOTOS | MEMBERSHIP | NOTICES | ISSUES

 

Site © 2002 by "Willett World Designs"