Thank-you to Palm Beach Town Council for PUD-5

Mary Watkins 2Letter to the Editor at the Palm Beach Daily News
By Mary Watkins, Chairperson, Palm Beach Civic Association Royal Poinciana Way Committee.

The Palm Beach Civic Association joins others to thank the Town Council for its strong and visionary leadership to promote the preservation of our historic Main Street on Royal Poinciana Way.

Town Council’s approval of the PUD-5 ordinance on Nov. 13 was a meticulous, well-researched decision that should satisfy all Palm Beach residents.

The emotional argument by a few that PUD-5 would result in a development with too many apartments similar to CityPlace is simply not supported by the facts. Those facts became further clarified to residents in the questions and answers produced by town staff at the last Council meeting on November 13.

The Council recognized that the existing zoning encourages a strip-mall style of development that could demolish the majority of our existing buildings and degrade instead of enhance the pedestrian nature of our beautiful street.  In fact, under current zoning, there is no preservation component and only one building in the entire block is protected from demolition.

Under the new ordinance, existing buildings that contribute to the historic and architectural character of the Royal Poinciana Way area can’t be demolished. New buildings won’t be permitted unless they enhance that character.

Based on existing lot sizes, town staff has determined that the 33 apartments that now exist could only increase to 39 (49 with underground parking) should property owners develop under the new ordinance. The maximum lot size for a PUD -5 development is restricted to 1.5 acres with 30 percent of the land required for public/open space.

The Civic Association isn’t alone in applauding the decision to approve the PUD-5. The Preservation Foundation, Citizens’ Association of Palm Beach and the Chamber of Commerce all join us in support of the PUD-5.

The Civic Association thanks the Council for establishing the Royal Poinciana Way Committee with Councilman Michael Pucillo as chairman. The committee produced and the Council approved a clear and compelling opportunity to preserve our historic Main Street on Royal Poinciana Way.

North End