OCTOBER 2, 2020
We have all used the term “when lightning strikes.” Sometimes we are describing the moment when we got an idea or when something surprising, and usually positive hits us. The picture above, captured by the PBSO parking lot surveillance camera, shows us the moment when lightning struck a tree, just behind the PBSO offices. It was a light rain and thunderstorm, the usual thing we experience during the summer months. Then the Town Hall windows shook, and it sounded like a bomb exploded. I rushed to the office window to see what had blown up. Sgt. Langevin did the same. Nothing. Then Steve checked the camera and “bingo” the frame, showing the precise moment lightning struck. I thought you would enjoy the picture; it is quite unusual. Now on to the news of the month:

The progress on the ungrounding project is sufficiently complex to warrant a special report, which was sent out on September 30th. 

The September Commission meeting addressed the following resolutions and ordinances:

  • The 2021 Budget Resolutions, which approved both the 2021 operating budget and the 2021 debt service millage was passed on a 5–0 vote. The detailed budgets are available on the Town website. In summary, the operating and debt service millage remained unchanged at 6.3500 and 0.4290. respectively.  The operating budget is $5,377,248. The debt service budget $495,855 with $247,927.50 coming from the assessed millage and the same amount coming from the Town utility tax. For questions on the budget or debt service, call either Town Administrator, Wendy Wells, or me.

  • A resolution was passed adjusting and updating various fees for Town services. Included in the resolution was a stipulation directing Town staff to collect development site review expenses that exceed the $350 fee, as follows: District A 50% of excess; District B 75% of the excess, and District C & D, 100% of the excess. This action will bring the expenses of the Building Department into balance. Before this adjustment, the Department has been running a deficit, which means residents have been subsiding new development approvals.

  • A District C ordinance authorizing street-level parking and increasing building height by four feet to compensate for the height lost by eliminating depressed parking was passed on the first reading by a 4–1 vote. Commissioner Mills was the dissenting vote. At the suggestion of Commissioner DeReuil, language to increase the rear building setback from 25 to 30 feet and decrease density from 30 to 20 units per acre when using the new height allowance was added as a stipulation in the ordinance. The second and final reading of this ordinance will be at the October Commission meeting. Commissioner Mills felt the height increase is sufficient to require a referendum.

  • An ordinance regulating the use of storage PODS was passed on a 3-2 vote. The ordinance authorizes the use of PODS in residential (District A) for 30 days with one extension for an additional 30 days. A no-cost permit for PODS will be required. In multi-family dwelling, PODS are allowed ONLY when a valid building permit has been issued by the Town. Commissioner Mills and I voted in the negative. Mills wants no POD authorization and I wanted the 30 + 30 day limitations of POD placement at multifamily dwellings.

  • An ordinance updating parking regulations was passed on the second reading by a 5-0 vote. This ordinance reiterates, clarifies, and enhances Town parking restrictions. It is also authorizes PBSO Deputies and the Code Enforcement Officer to enforce the parking regulation. It adds a stipulation regulating parking in undeveloped lots. 

  • An ordinate updating Town code enforcement procedures was also addressed. This is a “housekeeping” ordinance updating our code to reflect the changeover to the PBSO and the existence of a full-time Code Enforcement Officer. It passed on a 5-0 vote.

  • And, an Ordinance eliminating the requirement for all vendors and service suppliers who do not pay a Town Business Tax to register with the Town was passed on a 5-0 vote. The registration requirement has not been enforced for at least five years, and it seemed unreasonable to require ALL cleaning and yard services providers to register. 

  • The last item on the agenda was an update on plans to address the stormwater drainage issue on Lake Drive. As everyone who lives in Town is aware, we have chronic King tide flooding at Lake and Bamboo, chronic stormwater flooding at Lake and Cascade, as well as on the west side of Lake at the Buccaneer and north Sailfish parking lots. We will address and eliminate these issues by:

  1. Installing a back-flow valve at the Bamboo stormwater outflow pipe that flows into Lake Worth. This will stop the saltwater flooding during high tides;
  2. Water tests on the flows to the stormwater catch basin on the east side of Lake at Blossom, Cascade, Edwards, Tacoma, and Claremont Lanes. If the water flows into the catch basin is obstructed, we will correct the grades, using the Town 10 foot right of way, to channel stormwater runoff into the catch basins. And, if necessary, we will install a new catch basin on the west side of Lake somewhere near the Buccaneer fire lane.  All but this last step will be done within the next few months.

As we addressed in a separate new blast, by the Order of the Governor almost all COVID-19 related restrictions have been eliminated. Only the requirement to wear masks when visiting Town Hall and Social distancing remains. Some favor and some oppose this change. Only time will tell what the impact will be.

Thank you for your interest, and welcome home to the folks who are returning from their annual migration to the northland. If you have any questions, give us a call.
We extend to Chief Trevor Steedman and his family our deepest sympathy, as they experience the pain and loss in the passing of his brother. Our thoughts/prayers are with Trevor and his family during this difficult time.


Normally, this is the time of year that we eagerly anticipate seeing our residents from the north returning to enjoy the “cool weather of south Florida.” Well… as cool as it can get down here! For those of you who will be returning, you will find Town Hall looking a little different, but still very familiar! We are ready for those impromptu visits from YOU, our residents! New protocols are in place to maintain social distancing and to keep everyone safe. Only 1 person is allowed in the Town Hall lobby at a time (unless you have a family member with you, and then only 2). Masks are still mandatory, and we will clean and sanitize all surfaces and doors after each visit.  Our Public Works team will be installing a “buzzer” on the Town Hall door which will allow us to unlock the door from our desks, and it will lock behind you so that your time at Town Hall is uninterrupted and safely maintained. There are orange cones outside the building providing the 6’ social distance requirement. We ask for your patience as these very important protocols are put into place. You do not need to make an appointment, but it is still a good idea to do so to ensure you do not have to wait.

Since the opening of the office for business this past week, we have had many residents and contractors come in who have expressed their gratitude. Everyone has respected our mask wearing policy and the social distancing rules. Thank you for making this a smooth, safe, and easy transition for us as we continue to strive to look out for each other.

The overhaul of our sound and recording system is complete and it is AWESOME!! A big thank you to our Mayor and Commission for providing the tools to make this transformation happen. We still need to adjust to the new protocols for all meetings which I discovered this past Tuesday night, as I was absent from the meetings. I was able to listen from my cell phone, and the sound was amazing, and it was better than being in the room! However, I forgot to “mute” my phone in the beginning and you could hear all the background noise from my home in the meeting room. I immediately “muted” my phone and kept it muted. Therefore, if you are tuning in virtually, please be sure to MUTE your device! The best practice for this new process is for you to treat your device as a virtual seat in the actual meeting; meaning use the same decorum at home as you would if you were in the actual meeting. In addition, if you are using the “live” streaming video, everything you do is seen by those in attendance at the meeting in person and virtually. If you have any questions, please let us know and we can help get you set up and able to sit back in your comfortable chair at home and attend the meetings!

Please see our Electronic Public Comment Card - Rules and Instructions for PBS Meetings

In person attendance at meetings will also be available. At this point, we need to determine various scenarios to see how many additional seats we can accommodate and still maintain the social distancing requirements.  We also need to determine a standard practice on how to manage those additional participants. Perhaps some type of reservation sign up process would work… I would like to hear your thoughts on how YOU think this could be handled, and I would like these to be in writing by sending me an email at

As a reminder, the Building Department is open for submitting building permits on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Please make sure that you have everything you need before you come to Town Hall. If you are not sure if your submittal is complete, please speak with Laura ahead of time and she can walk you through the requirements for submittal. 

Our notary services continue to be available by appointment only. If your document requires witnesses, the Town Hall Staff cannot do this for you. You can bring one (1) additional person with you to be your witness. However, if your document requires more than one witness, you will need to find another notary service. Most banks will provide this service for you as well.


Welcome home to some of our Northern folks! As you make it back into Town please let us know if you were on our closed-house checklist. You can email me at or you can call Mary, our law enforcement aid at 561-844-9269, Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Please remember this will not get you to dispatch to have a deputy respond to your home, its only to reach Mary or me during those times.

For actual law enforcement response please continue to use 561-688-3400, or of course 911.

I know last weekend many of you awoke to the sound of a helicopter in the air, Sheriff's Marine Patrol offshore, and road deputies throughout the Town and Island. This was due to a smuggler bringing persons illegally onto our shores. Our midnight deputies observed three (3) men walking in the middle of Lake Drive toward Inlet way. When asked to stop, one (1) did, two (2) others fled, and ran behind homes on Inlet Way.

From speaking with the one individual we learned that they had been smuggled here from Haiti. The boat they were brought in, landed just east of Johnny Longboats, the occupants ran onto the beaches.

After many hours, the additional two (2) individuals were found on our parkway, they were detained and transported to the Customs and Border patrol agents who were also in Town. An all-around great coordinated job handled well and safely.

I hope you read our notice of the combined Town of Palm Beach Shores and Sheriff’s office event this coming week, October 7Th at 11 am at the Community Center.

The event is to add to the awareness brought to cancer, a terrible disease that has affected almost all of us in some way. PBSO will have the pink patrol car on hand so each of us can sign, the pink fire truck will be here also. Sailfish Marina has donated hot dogs and the Sheriff's events team will be here with refreshments.

As of this writing, the POA will be deciding whether it is a safe and a good idea to have the yearly Halloween event at the Community Center. I will let you know as it gets closer.

As always we are here for you, and look forward to a great season to come, with any luck COVID-19 free!

Sergeant Steven Langevin
Commander, District 20
Town of Palm Beach Shores
Palm Beach County Sheriffs’ office.