Friday, March 11, 2016

Low-lights and Highlights from the HRPB Review and Approval of the Gulfstream Hotel Redevelopment Project

What follows (video below) is a series of video segments taken from last Wednesday night's meeting of the Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB) meeting. It included the Certificate of Appropriateness request for changes to the existing historic hotel building and the additions on the western half of the property (hotel annex, parking garage, connection to the historic hotel, in addition to the demolition of two existing structures on the site*).

You can watch the entire Gulfstream portion of the meeting by clicking here. The HRPB approved all the requests and each with a substantial list of conditions added.

I put this video together to demonstrate the absurdity by the opponents of the project. Those speaking against the project as a whole, or specific portions of it, included Lynda Mahoney, JoAnn Golden and Richard Stowe. After each of their comments, I provide (in the video) the correction of facts on what actually is being proposed to counter their public complaints. It should be noted that Lynda Mahoney and JoAnn Golden are parties in a lawsuit that are suing the City and the Gulfstream hotel over the height which you can read about here.

There is something very interesting about the dynamics of the meeting that you do not catch on the video. Both Ms. Mahoney and Ms. Golden did not stay long enough to hear the responses to their complaints or comments. The two of them left around 7:20 p.m. Shortly thereafter, in a sort of changing-of-the-shift pattern, Richard Stowe arrived a few minutes after they left. He did not have the opportunity to hear or see the presentation about the details of the project that preceded his comments. I am also not entirely sure if Stowe was there to hear Mr. Waters' (the director of Lake Worth's Dept. of Sustainability) response to his concerns raised and aspersions cast. Note that Mr. Stowe brought up the "canyon effect" again from 2013:
This image was distributed in Lake Worth prior to the 'heights vote' in 2013 to confuse the voters. That vote was later declared "null and void" by the state legislature.
Also, suffice to say that any rooftop changes that were alluded to for the historic hotel does not increase the building's non-conforming status as it relates to height. The project also meets a series of requirements in the land development regulations related to green building standards and is designed in anticipation of sea level rise. And it is also not a full-block, single-building development that would be counter to the development pattern that makes up Lake Worth's downtown. And the Gulfstream hotel will have solar panels on its roof.
*Note that these two buildings have already been approved for demolition but those approvals expired and had to be re-submitted.