What is happening with Royal Poinciana Way?

The Royal Poinciana Way (RPW) committee has completed its process and Councilman Pucillo (Chair of the RPW committee) will be presenting his recommendations to the Town Council on Thursday, March 14th at 11:00 am. The committee voted 6-1 to approve the PUD (Planned Unit Development). Susan Markin voted against the PUD plan stating the PUD plan gives too much density and height increases that will promote demolition and a total change/disruption to RPW. She felt that changing the Comprehensive plan to increase density was a terrible precedent for the Town.

Pucillo’s recommendation of the PUD plan to the council includes the following:

  • •· Changes the building heights from 1&2 stories to 3 stories.
  • •· Increases the density from 6 units/acre to 13 units/acres (100%+ increase or 65+ condos).
  • •· Changes the Comprehensive Plan from a directive of decreasing density to INCREASING density.
  • •· Will adopt “MOUZON Guidelines” which are an attempt to offer guidelines for rebuilding that will try to retain some historic elements in new construction.

There were many code and zoning changes made to facilitate the redevelopment on RPW but too numerous to mention here, where we are trying to highlight the major changes.

It is important to note that the PUD is not a mandatory zoning code. It is an elective choice for a property owner. In that, a developer can choose to participate in the PUD or they can opt to use the existing Commercial Town Serving (CTS) code. The problem with this is that the PUD zoning permits much larger and taller buildings over the existing smaller scale shops. Also, if a developer just wants larger buildings and isn’t motivated by more condos, they may choose to use the existing CTS zoning rules which, as currently written, do not reinforce preservation. The other problem with this PUD approach is, a developer, knowing the Town would much prefer they choose the PUD option, will have a strong bargaining chip with the Town saying, “if you want me to be a part of the PUD, then you must give me this (variance in parking or other variances), or I will just build a big ugly box-like building. Once the Council gives a variance to one property owner, it sets a precedent for all the other property owners/developers on the street – which is why PUD’s are rarely used for multiple properties but rather just one. These developer “giveaways” erode the planned outcome/look of the street and benefits the developers. It also ruins the integrity of our zoning codes going forward.

NAPB hired a well-respected zoning lawyer and architect to propose an alternative solution to the PUD. Our solution provided for rejuvenation of RPW while discouraging demolition and total redevelopment by keeping the density at 6 units/acre and keeping the heights of buildings at 1-2 stories. It permitted existing property owners to rebuild to their existing footprint while grandfathering in their existing parking. It also required all new building on RPW under the CTS to front RPW with all parking to the rear, which would eliminate the possibility of any future parking lots fronting RPW. This would allow the Testa gas station to be replaced with an attractive 2 story building with retail on the first floor and parking to the rear on Sunset. The NAPB plan did not require any change to the Comprehensive Plan. This plan was supported by Susan Markin but totally rejected by the RPW committee in lieu of the PUD plan.

RPW has one empty gas station. The rest of the street is occupied with active merchants. The PUD, in our opinion, is overkill and will ruin our historic Main Street for our residents, while providing a financial windfall for the commercial property owners of RPW. The PUD is not about preservation, it is about money.

Don’t be told what to think!  Quiz yourself.





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Neighborhood Alliance of Palm Beach

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PO Box 2174
Palm Beach, FL 33480


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