The Preservation Foundation

Historic Preservation PUD-5 Points
Posted Date 11/10/2013
The Historic Preservation PUD-5 is the only plan for Royal Poinciana Way the Preservation Foundation has ever supported.  Anxiety, misconception and misinformation have at times dominated the news about the area.  The reason we support the PUD-5 is because it is a good plan, intelligent, structured, restrictive and resident driven. 
 
The PUD-5 will allow for the preservation of the historic character of the street and provide an opportunity for compatible new architecture. It is elective and flexible, not a piecemeal approach.  It is unique for a unique street.
 
Under the PUD-5, 18 of 24 properties in the area are considered ‘contributing’ and the complete destruction which now threatens them is prevented.  The other, non-contributing properties can only be redeveloped under the PUD-5 in a way which is consistent with the existing character, architecture, and scale of the area.
 
Landmarking is not an option for the street, as it has already been looked at and declined.
 
Our current zoning cannot be made to control applicants because state law (i.e. the Bert Harris Act of 1995) makes it illegal to change zoning in any way that could limit a property’s development value.
 
In fact, the current 70’s style zoning encourages, if not enforces a suburban 3-story strip mall development, large fronted parking lots and the combination of numerous small properties into single enormous ones.
 
With the PUD-5 no one can combine to make numerous properties into enormous ones.  This is because no more than the lot size of 1.5 acre may apply under the PUD-5.
 
Unlike with the current zoning, the PUD-5 allows no variances as to height and lot coverage. A 2-story height restriction for contributing buildings is in place.
 
Currently, applicants need only go through the Architectural Review Commission for project approvals.  Under the PUD-5 developers must go through 3 boards: the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Town Council.
 
Though particular individual property owners may get an increase in density, density analysis presented to the Royal Poinciana Way Committee predicts there will be a net decrease in density for the entire street.  The analysis shows that under the current zoning the street will reach an overall density level of 55 units, while under the PUD-5 the overall density level will reach between 39 and 49 units.
 
The PUD-5 is good for the street.  In the end, the PUD-5 will control growth, save buildings, and increase green and public space. 
 
This is the unanimous opinion of the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach’s Executive Committee.
 
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To download the PUD-5, its contributing buildings report and design guidelines, please click the following link for the 11MB Adobe PDF backup file provided by Town of Palm Beach: PUD-5 documents.