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Brightline update before final public hearing

Brightline executives promised the city an update before the final hearing on the train station and parking garage lease.

“Council asked us to come back, but we’re still working out the business and legal terms with the staff. We’re close,” senior vice president Jose M. Gonzalez told council earlier this week.

Vice president Brian Kronberg narrated a video of the proposed site plan. It includes public space between the proposed garage and train station.

Brightline/Virgin Trains want to put a station on the tracks they already use on Dixie Highway downtown. Their parking garage on the Downtown Library site has gotten the most pushback. Especially from neighboring Library Commons.

Brightline’s proposed train station and parking lot in downtown Boca.

The company agreed to move the garage 20 feet south, and another 25 feet to create a 45-foot buffer, Gonzalez told council.

Still, neighbors showed up to speak at Tuesday city council meeting.

“What you are about to vote on is 45 feet from private homes. That’s still too close,” said Martha Parker.

The firm took the immediate sale of other land parcels off the table. But Parker said the lease still gives the right of first refusal for future land sales. “That’s a dangerous precedent,” she said.

The business community has backed Brightline’s plans since they were introduced.

“The Boca Chamber supports Virgin Trains, USA (Brightline) in their efforts to create this train stop in Boca,” a Chamber alert said. Supporters were asked to attend the Nov. 12 and 13 council meetings.

The final public hearing is 6 p.m. Tuesday Dec. 10 as part of the regular council meeting in City Hall.

By Marci Shatzman


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