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Keep the Bronx out of Boca

Keep the Bronx out of Boca

by Judith Teller Kaye

In her usual down to earth manner, Dolly Parton famously tweeted “If you try to put 10lbs of mud in a 5lb bag, things don’t go well.” Boca faces another attempt by a landowner to overbuild a downtown parcel with a 6 story building and a postage stamp lot.

We’ve seen this movie before. At the recent Planning and Zoning Board, the land use attorney argued the only opposition was to the view. How tone deaf.

  • At the Feb. 27th meeting of Boca’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), the Commissioners debated:
  • Whether to allow a developer to build a six story residential high rise building on a micro lot (just 50 ft. wide) in Downtown Boca;
  • Whether to allow a side setback of less than three feet from the property line of a neighboring residential high rise and an even smaller setback from the property line on the other side (where another high rise is already planned);
  • Whether to allow a high-rise residential building with windows less than three feet from the neighboring residential building’s property line — windows that would stare into the windows of the neighboring residential building with the result that there would be no privacy for the residents of either the new proposed tower or the existing residential building.
  • Whether to allow a residential tower on a block with no on-street parking to be built with only one guest space.
  • Whether to allow a building to put its generator on its roof, blasting out noise for at least a one block radius throughout the Downtown.
  • Whether to allow technical deviations to eliminate turnaround space in front of its garage, forcing service and other vehicles to back onto the street.
  • Whether to allow service, guest and other vehicles to stack on the entrance driveway in a manner that encroaches on the sidewalk; and
  • Whether to exercise the CRA’s discretionary authority to allow a developer to exploit an unintentional quirk in an ordinance passed a year ago to allow the developer to build a building that could not have been built under the decades-old land use ordinance covering the Downtown. There are 10 identically sized lots within a block or two of the developer’s proposed high rise, including five in a row in the block leading to Silver Palm Park. A decision in favor of the developer would pave the way for 10 additional high rises to be built on equally small lots.

The proposed building — at 343 E. Royal Palm Road — is bad in almost every respect.
To its credit, the CRA did not approve the Developer’s request. The members listened carefully and respectfully—and raised many of the issues stated above.

But the CRA did not disapprove the request. Rather it ask the developer to meet with residents of the adjoining condo building to determine if a compromise could be worked out. The developer was asked to present the compromise plans to the City by April 3, in time for the City’s Development Office to review them and bring them back to the CRA for the CRA’s May 8th meeting..
Stay tuned . . .

For your convenience, this is the list of City Council’s emails: ssinger@ci.boca-raton.fl.us aorourke@ci.boca-raton.fl.us mmayotte@ci.boca-raton.fl.us Ydrucker@myboca.us fnachlas@myboca.us


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