Elevations - Mixed Use Building:
Cross Section Mixed Use Building:
Elevations - Interior of Site - Residential:
Elevations - Town Houses:
Since the class that I just came back from was on "Urban Housing - Mixed Use Development", I thought this would be a good time to give an up-date from our PZHRPB meeting of 7/18. I am going to post some .jpgs made from super-garuganturan.pdf files (gives me an opportunity to work with Photoshop) and I hope they provide an adequate level of detail through the world of the Internet to your computer screen.
I will cut to the chase and tell you that we spent a lot of time of this project and asked them to come back to our second meeting in August (on 8/16). They need to address some site design concerns and other conditions that the Board thought were important. The project is part of a request made by New Urban Communities, who is also currently underway with Hammon Park just north of the downtown area.
This property is recently annexed into the City and was assigned a Residential Planned Development zoning designation allowing a maximum of 40 units to an acre. The idea here is to provide a signature entry to the Lake Worth Park of Commerce and establish some opportunity for increased density along a transportation corridor that will likely be the home of one of the City's Transit Oriented Development (TOD) districts (near the existing Tri-Rail station). It also helps establish a linkage along Lake Worth Road to Palm Beach Community College, etc. At a total of 200 units, it actually comes in much less than the maximum density of 40 units to an acre - more in the range of 26 units to an acre. If a project is going to rely on surface instead of structured parking, this is usually the maximum that can be accomodated. Any higher density would require structured parking of some sort. This is a good example of how even the permitted density may be higher, the built density can be - an usually is - much lower. Don't let that fool you though - this is still a "dense" project.
The unit sizes here are smaller and are in the ballpark of the size of unit that the City permits in the downtown. Likewise, the parking requirement here is also the same that we use in the "Core" area of the downtown. This is a less strict requirement that is supposed to reflect that there are other ways to move about in the the downtown area other than the single passenger automobile. We discussed this at length at our meeting - while it does make sense to acknowledge the proximity of the project to a transit stop - will it adequately meet the need of the residents and those that use the commercial/retail space (on the first floor of the mixed use building)? We are generally concerned about the amount of green/open area available to residents and the applicant, in response, pionts out the proximity to the County's John Prince Park to the south. The upper floors of the south building will have a tremendous view of Lake Osborne and the park.
Regarding the commercial uses in the building, I expressed considerable concern regarding one of the permitted uses proposed for the project. That being "Gourmet Food Stores, including Beer and Wine" - that is a very slippery slope and the Board agreed that this particular use should not be included since it could easily lead to a convenience store (a wolf in sheep's clothing).
We were also concerned that the applicant was saying it would be a "green building" but we determined that it was more the "sizzle to sell the steak" and there would be no real way, as proposed, to make sure that some level of LEED certification take place. That will be something that we want to hear more of a commitment about when they return. The Board is also interested in hearing more about the provision of affordable housing - a commitment for the longer term availability and sustainability of such units - rather than just providing smaller units than what is offered now in the marketplace. There are ten efficienies that come in around 400 square feet.
The applicant is also following through with FDOT on permitting on-street parking along Lake Worth Road.
The architecure is "modern", which is a nice departure from the over-used mediterrean revivial architecture that we are used to. Darrin Engel, our urban designer, had good things to say about it. These are Darrin's comments as contained in the staff report:
The applicant has proposed a development that is of above average design quality. They have taken design inspiration from the nearby industrial park and allowed for many units to take advantage of great views over John Prince Park to Lake Osborne.
- Overall the buildings are comprised of four different building designs that are compatible. These designs are located on the site so that at any one location you will see more than one building design.
- The buildings are designed to provide good textural quality, great surface definition and a lot of deep shadows.
- The designs of the buildings and site are of high quality and are creative. The overall project is unique are also unique and will provide a good sense of “place”.
- It is my belief that the design is not trendy. The design has taken inspiration from the historical styles of Arte Moderne and the International Style. There is also some classical proportion systems shown along the street elevations.
- There is not much for the project to be compatible with. Across Lake Worth Road is the park, north is industrial, east is an empty lot and west has residential. The project as proposed is strong and may hopefully inspire creative design in the immediate area.
This is a motion, which failed, but laid out the list of conditions that the Board was looking at and gave direction to the applicant to address when they return. Also, we wanted direction from the City Attorney as to the legality of requiring a contribution to the City's parking fund for a project that is outside the City's Core downtown area:
Action: Vice-chair Spinelli motioned and seconded by Herman Robinson that the Board approve the applicant’s request to amend the Lake Worth Corners Residential Planned Development (RPD) to incorporate the site plan; the RPD development standards and principal/permitted uses subject to the following conditions:
- no plastics
- no EFI’s
- HOA replace windows
- address font on signage
- applicant to apply and pay for design, construction and installation of Park of Commerce sign
- address bus stop
- apply for and receive at least bronze level Leeds certification
- parking on Lake Worth Road should be limited to two hours
- applicant to design build and pay for a walkway to John Prince Park
- applicant to deed restrict 10 units
- applicant pay for 15 parking spaces in the Lake Worth Core area at a rate of $15,000 per space
- change the design of the pool middle to a diamond or other shape to increase the width
- increase the landscape to 150-200 trees and shrubs to bring impervious cover up to code
- signage on building to coincide with blueprints
- eliminate retail space usage that fall under the category gourmet shops specifically: wine, beer, and cheese and others that apply