Saturday, March 2

West Palm Beach Planning and Zoning Board opposes Northwood Harbor Historic District project

Proposed development in the Northwood Harbor Historic District has gotten pushback from neighbors and the West Palm Beach Planning and Zoning Board.

Residents of the community who spoke with WPTV said they are lucky to call it home.

Ogburn said she grew up there.

“In the late ’70s we moved here and I also live in the neighborhood just north of here a couple blocks from here,” she said.

In that time she’s seen a lot of change and development, some of it happening recently.

The issue came up at a Planning and Zoning meeting last month when lawyers representing the Related development group behind the Apogee project presented several requests for waivers to fulfill their vision.

The renderings at the meeting highlighted a proposal for a 25-story, 46-unit multi-family condominium, measuring a little more than 287 feet on just under a 1 1/2-acre lot.

Brian Seymour of the Gunster corporate law firm, representing Related and the Apogee project, said the proposal is similar to others in the neighborhood.

“You have existing buildings, as I already showed you, that are up to 400 feet in height,” Seymour said. “So when you talk about the development patterns and the consistency of the neighborhood, you have to look at it in real context.”

WPTV contacted Gunster for further comment on Apogee and has not heard back.

Still, residents said they were elated to see the Planning and Development Board and staff recommended waivers for the project.

“We don’t want the comprehensive plan changed to fit the developers’ needs,” Ogburn said. “There was a reason for this plan and we’d like it to continue.”

For the project to move forward with a staff recommendation for approval, the board said several things need to change with Apogee: height in the 250-foot range, setback moved to a minimum of 20 feet and the number of units decreased from 46 to 43.

The board will meet with developers again this week.

“Listen to the comprehensive plan, follow the rules and it might be a tough decision,” Ogburn said. “You might have to say no, but that would be the right thing to do.”

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