Dear Bal Harbour Neighbor,
The Whitman family and Bal Harbour Shops have been proud members of this community for half a century. Since 1965, when my grandfather founded the Shops, we have been fully dedicated to the wellbeing of Bal Harbour Village, and we are committed to continuing this legacy for years and generations to come. As we begin the new year, we want to wish you and your family a very happy, healthy 2016 and take a moment to share with you a few updates on the Bal Harbour Shops enhancement plan.
First and foremost, while Bal Harbour Village Council Members have said they are moving towards allowing residents to vote on the enhancement plan, they have yet to set a date for the public referendum. After five years of working with the Village to develop a plan that will provide numerous public benefits, it is time for the Mayor and Council to allow residents to have their voices heard. I encourage you to contact the Mayor and Council members to let them know you would like the opportunity to vote on the enhancement plan. Their contact information and further details about our Bal Harbour Shops enhancement plan can be found at http://www.balharbourshopsvision.com.
Additionally, the Church by the Sea continues to move forward on its plan for a new building that will better serve its congregants and the greater community. With overwhelming support from its congregation, the Church moved out of its building by the Shops to pursue its future plans.
It has become clear in recent months that outside interests are trying to manipulate Bal Harbour’s future through an organization called the Bal Harbour Neighbors Alliance. When established last year, the group ironically did not include a single Village resident among its registered agents, and has yet to disclose who is funding its well-coordinated campaign. Regardless of your opinions about specific elements of the Bal Harbour Shops enhancement plan, we can all agree that outside interests should not be manipulating Bal Harbour Village’s government process.
For now, our family looks forward to working collaboratively with you – our longtime neighbors – on a lasting enhancement plan that provides real benefits to Bal Harbour Village. Those benefits include more than $100 million to the Village in cash and in-kind enhancements, improvements to our public spaces and better traffic flow.
Let’s come together and work through this process in a way that enhances Bal Harbour Shops, increases tax revenue for the citizens of the Village, improves the quality of life for the people who live here and keeps Bal Harbour Village the incredible place that we all know it to be.
Matthew Whitman Lazenby