Friday, June 27, 2014

Board rejects modern-style home on Seagate Road |

The Architectural Review Commission (ARCOM) reviews all plans for new construction for properties that do not have a historic landmark designation in the Town of Palm Beach. For those with individually landmarked properties, they go to the Landmarks Preservation Commission. There are limits to terms on each, but you usually see the same characters popping up on the other once they are term-limited on the other. It's sort of a "round robin" affair. While the Landmarks Preservation Commission, relies on the Secretary of Interior Standards for Historic Preservation, they can still be subjective in their decisions. ARCOM is basing this denial on how, according to their code, there cannot be any structure "excessively dissimilar" within 200 feet of another.

The owner has a few things to say about the board's actions. He is not happy and will likely appeal the denial to the Town Council. You might remember that the Town Council just repopulated these two boards after failure of the PUD 5 zoning referendum. Click title for link.
“This makes me feel very discriminated against,” Thomsen said. “I simply ask that I can build my home on my land.”
After two hours of discussion, Town Attorney John Randolph recommended the commission defer the project to next month when a second registered architect should join the board. The commission is supposed to have two registered architects, but the town has been looking for a replacement for architect Nikita Zukov since May, when he joined the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Instead, members unanimously voted to deny the project.
Thomsen said he plans to appeal the “sham proceeding” to the Town Council.
“After seven years of living in Moscow, I’ve never seen greater abuse of government power and discrimination than what I witnessed today,” Thomsen said. “Democracy in ARCOM in the Town of Palm Beach is nonexistent.”