Palm Beach County gets kid-friendly with alcohol warning signs, Boca skate park

Palm Beach County commissioners struck out in favor of the county’s youth on Tuesday, requiringwarning signs against selling alcohol to minors and paving the way for a new skate park in Boca Raton.

Giving a nod to a new ordinance on first reading, the commission agreed to mandate that all establishments selling and serving alcohol, including grocery stores, be required to post signs warning that selling alcohol to those underage is illegal.

One commissioner, though, wondered why the new legislation was necessary.

“Who doesn’t know that it is illegal to sell alcohol to minors?” Commissioner Steven Abrams asked, prompting Commissioner Priscilla Taylor to respond that the Sheriff’s Office was trying to be proactive.

In fact, county staff said, underage drinking and access to alcoholic beverages is an increasing problem in Palm Beach County. The commission will hold a final hearing on the measure on March 20.

In a nod to a request by the West Boca Community Council, commissioners also approved leasing nearly two acres at Loggers’ Run Park for a new skate and BMX bicycle park. Council Vice President Alan Grubow told the board that more youth-friendly activities would help generate more interest at a pavilion that is now being underutilized.

“Not everyone is involved in team sports,” Grubow said. The venue will offer opportunities for instruction, clinics and special events.

In exchange for the lease of the land for the skate park, the nonprofit group, Drop In Sk8Park, pledges to invest up to $500,000 in property improvements to accommodate skating, biking and skateboarding, Drop In President and CEO Cindy Shindell said in a letter to the commission. The group also expects to spend up to $80,000 a year in staff and operating costs.

Costs for construction, operation and maintenance of the facility will not require county funding and will instead be paid for with revenue from user fees, lessons, foundation grants, fundraisers and a pro shop.

In other business, the commission approved renaming the Central Palm Beach County Homeless Resource Center when it opens, calling it the Senator Phillip D. Lewis Center. Sen. Lewis served in the Florida Senate for 10 years and was Senate president from 1979-1980. He was an original member of the Homeless Advisory Board and was instrumental in obtaining funding for initial homeless efforts in the county.


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