The Preservation Foundation

2015 Baker Intern Project - Seabreeze Zoning Analysis
Posted Date 11/16/2015
Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach 2015 Anthony K. Baker Intern Project
 
CONFORMING AND NON-CONFORMING STRUCTURES IN AN AREA OF DISTINCT AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE - A CASE STUDY OF SEABREEZE AVENUE MIDDLE BLOCK
 

In the summer of 2015, the Preservation Foundation’s Baker interns Carolina Downey and Gemma Tierney did an analysis of zoning in the middle of the “Sea” Streets area.  The goal of the project was to see how the properties which exist in the area conform to current zoning.  Many of these older properties may not conform to current zoning.  As such, if demolished their replacements would likely be of a different size and footprint.

The area today known as the “Sea” Streets area is comprised of three streets: Seabreeze Avenue (platted 1914), Seaspray Avenue (platted 1918), and Seaview Avenue (platted 1923). Originally the Poinciana Park development, it was one of the first neighborhoods in Palm Beach. Since the area is not a designated historic district, buildings are landmarked individually.  The character of these streets consists of one and two-story homes of varying architectural style including Craftsman, Mediterranean Revival, Monterey and others.  Many of these properties which make up and define the character of the area were built over 75 years ago.  Existing zoning regulations (known as R-B low density residential) date mostly from the 1970’s.

The focus was the center of this area; that is the middle block of Seabreeze Avenue.  While the surrounding blocks in the area contain landmarked properties, at the time of this study the middle block of Seabreeze Avenue has none. By seeing which properties conform to current zoning and which do not this projects hopes to create a better understand of how the character of the area and the zoning of the area interact.

The study concluded:

“The properties on the middle block of Seabreeze Avenue exhibit numerous site features that do not conform with R-B zoning, most notably lot size and side setbacks. The street’s asset is its considerable architectural diversity in style, siting, scale, and massing. Some of the pre-war architectural conventions found on this street, such as garages located in the back of the house instead of being incorporated into the façade, are rarely seen in new construction and nearly impossible to duplicate given current zoning regulations, which largely date back to 1974. However, these conventions give Seabreeze Avenue its charm. It is reasonable to conclude that R-B zoning is in conflict with the distinct aesthetic experience of the area.”

The full report runs to over 50 pages. It goes into further detail and represents the work of the Preservation Foundation’s 2015 Anthony K. Baker interns Carolina Downey and Gemma Tierney.

If you would wish download the report as a 49MB Adobe PDF file please click the following link: 2015 Baker Intern Seabreeze Zoning Analysis.