Posted: 5:10 pm Monday, July 15th, 2013
By Eliot Kleinberg
The city’s planning board meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday — at city commission chambers at City Hall, 401 N. Clematis – to discuss a proposed a 29-story condo that would replace the Chapel by the Lake, an open-air worshipping amphitheater on the east side of Flagler Drive across from First Baptist Church.
It’s one of four projects cited by business owners and residents worried about controlling growth in the city who have created a group called “Citizens for Thoughtful Growth – West Palm Beach.”
The group sent out a notice July 1 complaining that the city has “ignored the zoning code and comprehensive plan” by using loopholes to allow building sizes “totally inappropriate for the size of lots.”
It said developers have worked out a strategy of asking more than is reasonable, and after residents complain, city leaders approve projects with minor concessions from developers.
“A select few are making substantial money and West Palm Beach neighborhoods will forever be changed. We should expect better from our ‘leaders,’ attorney Robert D. Critton Jr. said in the release. He was out of the country last week and could not be reached.
City spokesman Elliot Cohen said he could not comment on the group’s allegations of because they were so vague.
The group cites the First Baptist project and three others:
1. North Flagler Drive: a major development north of downtown has been under discussion.
2. 1515 South Flagler: The hurricane-damaged condominium was razed in 2010. Developers propose a 300-foot-tall rentals tower.
3. Former City Hall site. One proposal is for a hotel and condominiums.