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Sensing defeat, developer of huge Park West project west of Delray gets postponement

The developer seeking to construct an enormous growth west of Delray Beach at Atlantic Avenue and Florida’s Turnpike was granted a postponement Wednesday to permit him to make the project extra “palatable” to space residents.

The postponement was requested after it grew to become clear the builder lacked the assist wanted for the project to maneuver ahead.

Two weeks in the past, the Palm Beach County Planning Commission unanimously concluded that Park West shouldn’t be constructed. The proposal requires 734 residences, a 150-room resort, 200,000 sq. ft of industrial retail and workplace area and a luxurious condominium-style storage. The builder was searching for six modifications to the Ag Reserve zoning code that county planners warned would set a harmful precedent.

“Something is going to be built here,” mentioned County Commissioner Maria Marino, “but the applicant is going to have to make this more palatable.”

Critics referred to as for the fee to disclaim the postponement. Dagmar Brahs, a member of the Planning Commission who voted in opposition to Park West, mentioned there’s nothing that may be carried out to tweak the project to make it viable.

Jennifer Morton, the agent for Park West, mentioned the postponement is designed to permit the developer to “regroup” and to fulfill with neighborhood organizations. The project is anticipated to come back earlier than the fee in August.

County commissioners weren’t obligated to approve the postponement. It was made Tuesday evening, simply hours earlier than the Wednesday assembly. Drew Martin of the Sierra Club famous that residents got here to the assembly anticipating a public listening to to be held, noting: “We are ready and want this to be heard today.”

But the commissioners voted unanimously to grant the postponement.

WESTERN DEVELOPMENT: ‘A bridge too far’: Why county planners are frowning on mixed-use project west of Delray

Park West would dedicate 10 acres for a luxurious condominium storage for collector automobiles

An overhead picture of the site where longtime nursery operator Paul Okean wants to build a mixed-use project that would include commercial and retail space, a hotel and 734 apartments in the Ag Reserve at the intersection of the turnpike and Atlantic Avenue. Okean's agent was granted a postponement Wednesday sensing there was not enough support among county commissioners for approval.An overhead picture of the site where longtime nursery operator Paul Okean wants to build a mixed-use project that would include commercial and retail space, a hotel and 734 apartments in the Ag Reserve at the intersection of the turnpike and Atlantic Avenue. Okean's agent was granted a postponement Wednesday sensing there was not enough support among county commissioners for approval.

Morton famous that the applicant was in search of to provoke a “text amendment,” a change to the zoning code. It is step one in a course of that may take so long as a yr earlier than it may be thought of for last approval.

The 62-acre parcel sits on the sting of the 22,000-acre Agricultural Reserve. Ten of the acres on the south aspect of Atlantic Avenue are designated for a luxurious condominium storage that may home costly collector automobiles.

Building on the parcel has been troublesome for builders. Kushner Companies, affiliated with Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of former President Donald Trump, proposed to construct a 1 million square-foot Amazon-type warehouse in 2022 however deserted its plans within the wake of intense opposition.

In 2017, one other developer submitted plans to construct 360 residences, a 115-bed nursing dwelling, 155,000 sq. ft of industrial and retail area and a 130-room resort. Like the Kushner proposal, the plan was additionally withdrawn after robust opposition developed.

The newest bid to construct got here from the proprietor of the property himself, Paul OKean, who has operated Morningstar Nursery there for greater than 30 years.

WESTERN DEVELOPMENT: RV park could be coming to the Ag Reserve near West Delray Regional Park

Park West desires to be exempt from a number of Ag Reserve necessities

At problem is the extent of the modifications requested. County planners mentioned approval would lead to “major departures from most of the fundamental policy concepts” designed to guard the Ag Reserve. Planners have been additionally involved about extra site visitors being positioned on failing roadways reminiscent of Atlantic Avenue.

Among the breaks Park West is in search of is to be exempt from the Ag Reserve’s industrial cap of 1 million sq. ft. There is barely 10,000 sq. ft left earlier than the cap is reached. Park West would add 300,000 sq. ft of industrial sq. ft, so it might exceed the present cap by 30%.

It has additionally proposed a density of 12 residences to the acre, a lot increased than the present most of eight.

At the Planning Commission listening to, Morton acknowledged that main modifications have been wanted for Park West to be constructed, however she famous that circumstances have additionally modified through the years within the Ag Reserve and the county must adapt to these modifications.

She pointed to the development of Bethesda West Hospital and a Solid Waste Authority Transfer station as examples.


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Mike Diamond is a journalist at The Palm Beach Post, half of the USA TODAY Florida Network. He covers Palm Beach County authorities and transportation. You can attain him at [email protected]. Help assist native journalism. Subscribe today.

This article initially appeared on Palm Beach Post: Developer of Park West project west of Delray Beach gets postponement

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