WPB Commission Votes to Delay Chapel by the Lake Decision
October 28, 2013
(West Palm Beach, FL) – Following another night of passionate public comment on both sides of the issue, the West Palm Beach City Commission voted to delay their decision on the Chapel by the Lake project until after the new year.
The Commission decided to give more time to the developer to talk to residents about the project, and voted to delay their vote until January 6th, 2014.
Dozens of those residents spoke during the meeting. While they were asked to only talk about whether they supported a delay in the vote, most wanted Commissioners to know how they felt about the overall project.
The Commission decision followed significant changes to the design between the first vote and Monday’s meeting.
During the meeting, developer Kieran Kilday explained the changes he made to the project, including proposing two separate towers rather than one tower. He also addressed critics who claimed granting his requests for zoning waivers would set a precedent.
Kilday listed several existing buildings in the city and described the waivers they had been granted in the past.
But following questioning by Commissioners, Kilday pointed out that all but one of his examples were buildings constructed on the west side of Flagler Drive.
One of the most public criticisms by residents is their claim that the project is too large to be built on the east side of Flagler Drive and would ruin the city’s waterfront.
Following the initial approval by the City Commission, the developer scrapped plans to build the one single tower and redesigned the project to include the two separate towers.
In a letter submitted to the city after the first meeting, the developer asked that the second vote be delayed.
The request, according to the developer, was to “allow for the distribution and evaluation of the significant changes to the architectural site plans and elevations submitted today in response to concerns expressed by several of the City Commissioners at our previous public hearing.”
Those “significant changes” included changing the original design which was one single tower on the site and replacing it with two towers.
Project planner Kieran Kilday reportedly said “the new design, which will be more expensive, leaves the same number of units but makes two round towers instead of a more rectangular single structure.” Kilday added the new design “opens up the sky.”