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Beach Community Redevelopment Agency Meeting Minutes
meeting was called to order by Vice Chair Popelsky at 6:05 p.m. on the above
date in the City Commission Chambers, City Hall.
Ms. Pam Militello
Ms. Sylvia Poitier
Chair Martin Popelsky
Chair Albert R. Capellini, P.E. – Tardy
Michael Mahaney, City Manager
Maurodis, City Attorney
Ada Graham-Johnson, CMC, City Clerk
November 20, 2007
MOTION was made by Ms. Poitier and seconded by Mr. Gonot to approve the agenda
Voice Vote: YEAS: Mr. Gonot, Ms.
Militello, Ms. Poitier, and Vice Chair Popelsky. NAYS: None.
1 TAPE 1, COUNT 0078
Presentation and Discussion of Draft Cove Charrette
Gerald Ferguson, Director of Planning and Growth
Management/Building, introduced Henry Iler, Iler Planning Group, to present the
design of the Cove Charrette Master Plan
Henry Iler, 11000 Prosperity Farms Road, Suite 206, Palm
Beach Gardens, Iler Planning Group, introduced his planning team who
participated in the design of the Cove Charrette Master Plan. Mr. Iler
outlined his presentation, as well as a brief description of the history on
planning the design.
Continuing, Mr. Iler stated that design Alternative #1 was a
basic change which allowed maintaining the current layout to improve the
existing façade, versus structural changes. To increase that total parking in
Alternative #1 was 618 spaces. Alternative 2 included a parking garage at the
northeast section of the Cove, closest to Hillsboro Boulevard. He stated that
the parking garage would create additional green space in the parking lot. A
greenway from Hillsboro Square from 15th Avenue to the Cove was also
a part of the plan; total parking was 634. Design Alternative #3 would include
a five story parking garage with 400 parking spaces; additional offices over
the existing buildings, additional landscaping, pedestrian elements and total
maximum parking of 868. The consultant team combined Alternatives 1 and 3, because
those alternatives received the most votes, which led to a mall and green space
closer to the stores, eliminating a row of right of way, drive aisle, and the Key
West architectural design.
Mr. Iler stated that there were a number of people interested
in the parking garage, but the majority desired to keep the basic design and
improve it. Phase I entails upgrading the basic layout, no parking garage, but
improving the flow of traffic and the landscaping in the parking lot, by adding
additional spaces. He stated that the plan would provide 14 additional
Vice Chair Popelsky asked if a parking space is based on 10
x 20 size.
Mr. Iler replied yes, that is the standard parking spaces
according to code.
Vice Chair Popelsky asked if the idea of utilizing a 9 X 18
parking space considered.
Mr. Iler replied he would answer the question after his
presentation. Mr. Iler highlighted the entranceway of the shopping center to
include a clock tower for greater visibility, decorative pavers, and a
connection from the parking lot and the Cove center to the northern park. He
also stated that the plan would include a green buffer for residential uses,
decorative landscaping along the west side and additional neighborhood
Continuing, Mr. Iler stated that Phase II addresses major
issues of parking. The plan would accommodate 928 spaces; however, this plan
would be a long term plan, approximately 5 – 15 years, if so desired by the
community. Moreover, he stated that if the community desired, Phase I could
only be utilized. He stated that there is still walkability in Phase II. He
described in detail how implementing a paseo would allow for connectivity. He
said that with Phase II, landscaping would increase due to the parking garage.
Mike Grosswirth said the reason they were able to gather
more parking spaces they went from the 90 degree 10 x 20 spaces and angled them
into one way drive aisles. This change would narrow the drive aisle
requirements thereby allowing them to widen the landscape areas. Also allowing
a safer pedestrian area, since the traffics would flow in one direction. Additionally,
changing the spaces to 9 X 18 would widen the area. He stated that currently,
the striped pavement could be redesigned to provide additional landscaped
Ms. Poitier asked what would be in the area near 15th Avenue to the medical office.
Mr. Grosswirth replied that it would be an open pass through
pedestrian walk way to provide walking connectivity from the Cove to Hillsboro.
He stated that the stakeholders did not want to lose any parking, which was of
utmost importance. They also wanted the ability to move safely from one end of
the center to the other.
Vice Chair Popelsky asked if Phase I will include a sidewalk
on the west side.
Ms. Militello replied that there will be crosswalks
intermittently to guide people. Additionally, she stated that inside the
parking lot there will not be sidewalks, but the design proposes pedestrian
crossing areas to guide people.
Continuing, Mr. Grosswirth stated that they will increase
the landscape green space, adding an employee parking lot on the north side of
the northern buildings, enhance the parking lot lighting, reduce street
markings, making it safe and easy to read. The landscaping would use
predominantly native planting to keep the use of water low. He described the
various trees included in the landscaping plan.
Chris Zimmerman, President CPZR, stated that the Key West style tended to blend well with the community and the surrounding areas, as well
as many of the design implements already in place. In the design palette, the
design recommended building walls to reflect the old siding, trim ideas, sloped
roofs, and various details that could be incorporated due to the gable roof
ends. Moreover, she stated that the use of operable doors and windows prevent
fixed glass and storefronts, but to allow more residential and tropical
character. She elaborated on the use of decorative or hurricane shutters, doors
with use of transoms, and other decorative items are a part of the design
palette. Additionally, porches would provide shade on the storefronts, with
overhangs and decorative trim ideas to enhance buildings on a second story. Ms.
Zimmerman continued to describe various design ideas that could be used
throughout the Cove.
Mr. Iler stated that connectivity and buffering is another
major feature of the design charrette. He reiterated various design
implementations previously discussed for Phases I and II. Mr. Iler stated that
due to the Cove’s current design, it is easily passed; therefore, for the main
entrance they would like to include some type of landmark that would identify
the shopping center.
Continuing, Mr. Iler stated that there will be amendments to
the CRA Master Plan. He suggested updating the Capital Improvement Program,
which currently shows the parking garage being funded between 2008 – 2010, as it
would be postponed for a number of years, and the parking lot redesign would be
put forward in a shorter priority. Additionally, Mr. Iler stated that the
Master Plan should be included, as well as a reference to the Cove Center design report, and include standards for façade grants. He suggested the CRA
providing loan/grant programs to owners within the Cove to provide an incentive
for them to redesign the front of the buildings.
Mr. Iler continued to outline changes to the Capital
Improvement Program and the master plan design. He further suggested adjusting
the date of the parking garage from 2008 into the future. He stated that in
order to implement the charrette report, Land Development Regulation changes
would need to be made. He also proposed an overlay district; a district that
would keep the underlying zoning of B-1, but would place additional
architectural standards into the City’s Code as an overlay
district for the Cove Center only. Nonetheless, uses or densities would not
change, but would add a layer of requirements to reflect what the community
would like implemented in the Cove. He suggested that retail be placed on the
first floor and offices on the second floor. Also, adding a view corridor along
the waterfront. He commented on including a view corridor requirement in the
City’s Code. He recommended clarification of code language, as to not violate
the maximum height of signs in the B-1 district.
Continuing, Mr. Iler stated that the Cove Center parking lot
improvements are in the amount of $2.5 million for 2007/2008; the parking
garage is shown from 2008 – 2010; the façade grant program is a current funding
source. He continued to recommend various funding ideas to improve the Cove Center.
Chair Capellini arrived at 6:30 p.m.
Additionally, Mr. lIer stated that there would be an
additional master plan charrette report. He stated that the final report would
be presented to the Board on December 18th. On January 8th,
they would provide changes to the Zoning Code for consideration.
Vice Chair Popelsky suggested possibly changing the parking
lot to 9 x 18.
In response to Mr. Iler’s question, Mr. Grosswirth replied that the 9 X 18 spaces would be angled
and allows a narrower drive aisle between the spaces since much back up space
would not be needed.
Chair Capellini stated that 9 X 18 is tight.
Vice Chair Popelsky asked if the handicap parking will be
standard or doubled.
Mr. Grosswirth replied that they will conform to the minimum
ADA standard, 12 feet wide, with a walkway. If possible, there will be a
space, a walkway, and a space to double use of the access way.
Ms. Militello asked if additional handicap parking will be
near the medical offices.
Mr. Grosswirth replied yes, the handicap spaces will not be
reduced, but will add more near the medical complex.
Vice Chair Popelsky suggested handicapped parking around
various areas, in the middle, near the curbing. He further commented on page
9, property ownership, he asked if the City owned the parking spaces.
Chair Capellini replied yes, since 1954.
Mr. Gonot said that there were 19 owners and asked what was
Mr. Grosswirth replied that a poll was not done for the business
owners only, but it appeared that the individuals operating the businesses and
renting the spaces preferred incremental parking lot improvements; they did
not want to lose parking, especially close
to the business. He stated that it appears that they were
in favor of Phase 1 plan.
Zack Gray, Iler Planning Group Graphic Designer, said that there
were approximately 15 business owners in attendance in at the stakeholder
meeting and they were in favor of Phase I and II; however, most were anxious to
begin Phase I.
Mr. Gonot asked what the feedback in the special taxing
Mr. Grosswirth replied that they did not concentrate on that
so much during the charrette, but it did not appear that they were interested
in an additional tax bill. He said that it maybe due to the business climate;
during the summer business was winding down.
Chair Capellini said that the Cove owners have reduced from
34 to 19 and the City has made various attempts to reach an agreement
concerning the Cove Center, but was unsuccessful. He asked if the owners will
cooperate with the current design proposal.
Mr. Grosswirth replied that it may be doable, but there is
Chair Capellini said there was once an interest in purchasing
the center, but it was difficult to get in touch with all the owners.
Andrew Maurodis, CRA Attorney, said that it was his
understanding that the project would be financed by the tax increment fund (TIF)
and not a special tax district fee.
Mr. Gonot said that although the TIF is the primary source, extra
funding may be needed.
Mr. Iler said that if Phase II is implemented, the City may
consider a business improvement district or special assessment; however, for
Phase I, most were assuming that funding would be provided by the TIF.
Mr. Gonot stated that those were his primary thoughts also.
He asked if there was a significant opposition to any portion or aspect that is
Mr. Iler replied that one aspect that may have opposition is
the parking garage. He stated that a number of people did not want it, due to
cost and the changing of the Cove. Additionally, there were thoughts that it
might generate more development.
Vice Chair Popelsky stated that approximately 1000 parking
spaces are needed and the Cove only accommodates half of that.
Mr. Iler stated that concerns were voiced by the owners, the
lessees, and people from the community.
Chair Capellini said that with the enhancement of the Cove,
additional parking will be needed as visitors currently use the Cove Center for parking when visiting the beach. He further stated that the parking garage
will be needed in the future if the Cove Center continues to enhance the
Ms. Poitier stated that TIF funds will need to be invested
with private partners.
Ms. Militello stated that the goal was to implement the
design changes in phases; funds are not available for a parking garage. She
stated that the shortage of parking is due to one business in the Cove on
Friday night, who was given 500 parking deviations a few years ago. She stated
that the plan is to make improvements to the Cove for better business; and the
improvements will hopefully encourage the owners to make façade improvements.
Additionally, she stated that if a parking garage is needed in the future, then
it should be reviewed; however, it would not be prudent to tie the project up
based on a parking garage.
Chair Capellini stated that he is not suggesting a garage;
nonetheless, he would like to know if a trip analysis was done.
Mr. Iler replied no; however, a study was performed to
determine how much parking all the businesses needed and they were up to Code.
Ms. Militello said this will not change the Phase I design.
In response to Chair Capellini’s question, Gerald Ferguson,
Director of Planning and Growth Management, replied that the Cove Shopping Center is short approximately 400 parking spaces, as required by Code.
Discussion pursued regarding a trip analysis and concurrency
Chair Capellini said that he does not wish to make the
parking situation worst than what it currently is.
He further stated that he is trying to determine what kind
of impact this would have if the shopping center became successful.
Mr. Ferguson said that we can look at the businesses, but
cannot project the future. He said that there are 500 plus spaces now, short
Ms. Poitier said that in the charrette, comments were made
regarding apartments. She stated that the neighbors and the owners must
determine if they want the area to become successful. She said that the CRA
requires that the money is put back into the area.
Mr. Gonot asked if adding the paseo would result in the loss
of a business.
Mr. Iler replied yes, if the Board decided implementing
Phase II in the future, it would include removing one of those spaces.
Mr. Gonot asked if there is a process in place to buy a
Mr. Iler replied yes, if the City wishes to; however, it
cannot be done through eminent domain, but a friendly acquisition of a business
space for the paseo.
Mr. Gonot asked how long would Phase I take and during the process,
how many parking spaces would not be available.
Mr. Iler replied that there are currently 501 spaces and the
Phase I plan would provide 528.
In response to Mr. Gonot’s question, Mr. Iler replied that
the parking spaces would be usable for six (6) months. He further stated that
the changes would be done in sections so that the entire parking area is not
Brett Knight, Engineer, stated that there are four (4)
natural sections in the Center that would be worked on at different times,
which would allow part of the lot to remain open. Since there are two (2) drains
in the parking lot, underground work would have to be done. Additionally,
corridors for additional lighting would be made because the current standard of
lighting is at a deficiency. He stated that these improvements would be
performed so that the lot would be disturbed minimally. Moreover, he stated
that the business owners would be made aware of what portions of the parking
lot are undergoing renovations so that temporary parking is established.
Mr. Gonot asked if there was a desire of any of the owners
Ms. Militello said that she did not her anyone comment on
Vice Chair Popelsky stated that during the analysis, there
was mention of a State mandate that after 40 – 45 years, reinspections had to
be performed; he asked when was the Cove built.
Chair Capellini replied in the 1960’s.
Vice Chair Popelsky asked if renovations to update the Cove
are a part of Phase I design plans.
Ms. Poitier said that the Cove was built in 1953.
In response to Vice Chair Popelsky’s question, Mr. Iler replied
that the plan deals with the public lands in the parking lot. He stated that
private properties would have to upgrade their electrical as they redevelop in
the future, as a result of the parking lot improvements. Moreover, he stated
that if spaces are upgraded, there would have to be a redevelopment plan to
come up to Code. Furthermore, Mr. Iler spoke about the drainage improvements
Vice Chair Popelsky asked if the electrical was underground.
Mr. Iler replied that the electrical will be kept above
ground, but will possibly update the lighting standards and provide shields to
deter light from entering the residential area.
Ms. Poitier began discussing having a consultant for CRA;
she indicated that the Iler Planning Group is a planning entity. She went on
to discuss the costs associated with the Cove renovations and said that the
owners should have been present at this meeting, because the cost is going to
be prohibitive unless the City is going to be responsible for improving the
area. Furthermore, if the TIF is spent as was done in the past, the CRA will
Mr. Gonot said that the charrette is a plan that the City
will need to implement. If the City moves forward, the Cove Center will have to be managed, if owners desire to sell. He said that there will be a down
turn during the improvement phase. Additionally, he stated that there are
businesses that he would like to see removed because they take up parking
spaces and because of plans of expansion. He further expressed concern on how the
plan will be implemented. Once the buildings are upgraded, the properties will
improve, along with the tax benefits for the TIF. He said that the idea of the
special tax district is not so outlandish, because the City is putting in more
capital improvement in the area and the owners will receive greater equity.
Ms. Militello said that the people she has spoken with felt
that with continued maintenance of the parking area, they felt that the
business owners should contribute to assist with maintenance. She stated that
if the parking garage is considered, the City will need financial assistance;
however, Phase I is in place to encourage the business owners to invest in
their businesses. She said that Phase I sets the ball in motion to begin
improvements in the Cove Center. She expressed concerns of road blocks that
continue to erupt with starting the process.
Mayor Capellini said that he does not have a problem with
moving forward with Phase I, but would like to his concerns to be addresses to
determine what the impact will be in the future.
Mr. Iler said that the improvements should be timed during
the off season, and it may take approximately two (2) or more years to complete.
Mr. Gonot said that since he did not attend the charrettes,
it is very important to ask questions now, they are not road blocks. He said
that he is happy that there is a plan.
Mr. Ferguson asked if the team is directed to finalize the
Chair Capellini asked that his concerns be reviewed. He
stated that it is important that all issues be addressed, as to not create
other problems in the future.
There being no further
business, the meeting adjourned at 7:00 p.m.
ALBERT R. CAPELLINI, P.E., CRA CHAIR
CMC, CITY CLERK