This site is dedicated to preserving Smoker Family Park, located on the south bank of the New River in Fort Lauderdale,
Florida just east of SE 5th Ave.
Although the park was officially designated as Smoker Family Park in 2009, it never
received the city's park zoning classification of "P
-Conservation Area." The park was named in honor of Stanford Smoker, a longtime resident of the city who was instrumental
in saving grand oak trees and historic homes in the city.
The park is currently zoned RAC-CC which allows for the construction of a massive highrise, multilevel parking garage, nightclub etc. by mere resolution by
the City Commission. The City Commission just proved this by unanimously approving an 18-story apartment building on the narrow
sliver of land between the park and SE 5th Ave. which also has the RAC-CC zoning.
Smoker Park is part of a 99-year land lease between Broward County and developers that was initiated in the
early nineties. Although the lease restricts use of 4.19 acres of parcel B (where the park is located) to park use,
one of the initial developers is strongly opposed to preserving the park with the P-Conservation Area zoning classification. This is in spite of the park already being listed on the city's list of parks as a conservation area, already wide open for public use. The County Commission has already approved reducing the park area
from the original 4.19 acres to Smoker Family Park's 2.224 acres (through plat amendment).
The developer could seek
to (1) remove the park restriction in the lease, and (2) have the park easement agreement relinquished, clearing the
way for demolition of the park. MOST DISTURBING, THESE PARK PROTECTIONS COULD BE REMOVED WITHOUT ADVANCED WRITTEN NOTICE BEING
SENT TO THE HUNDREDS OF PARK NEIGHBORS ALLOWING THEM TO STRONGLY OBJECT.
It is important to note that separate and major
parts of Smoker Park are within the property boundaries of two condominium communities, Las Olas by the River (520 SE 5th
Ave.) and Nu River Landing (511 SE 5th Ave.). This is confirmed by land surveys included in the Declaration of Condominium documents
recorded in Broward County and by mapping on the Broward County Property Appraiser's web site. This would suggest that the
leaseholders of Smoker Park are these two condominiums, not one of the initial developers of the entire land lease property.
However, one of the initial developers was still able to halt the park's rezoning process back in 2010 when the City Commission
had voted unanimously to move the rezoning forward.
Remember, the park's current RAC-CC zoning permits the construction of a massive highrise, multilevel parking garage, loud nightclub etc. by mere resolution
of the City Commission. However, if the park were rezoned to P-Conservation Area, the city would be required to send advanced written notification to neighboring property
owners (including each condo unit owner) before it could approve demolition of the park. This advanced written notice
would allow residents to voice their strong opposition to the park's destruction before the City Commission's vote.
us in helping to rezone the park by doing two things:
- Send a quick email to Broward County Commissioner Tim Ryan,
the County Commissioner for the park's district, at TRyan@Broward.org to say: "I want Smoker Family Park rezoned to P (Park)-Conservation Area."
us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and include your full name and home address so we can add you to our list of rezoning supporters.
you for helping to save Smoker Family Park!
Please Note: For important details regarding the rezoning, please click
on "Clarifying Points" in the left margin of this page.