Published On: Fri, Jun 18th, 2021

Possible amendment to downtown development plan

The Planning and Zoning Board on June 17.

An amendment was proposed to the Boca Raton Planning and Zoning Board. The amendment (AM-21-04) would affect the Downtown Development of Regional Impact (DDRI) Development Order, a piece of legislation that aids in regulating construction and other development projects in the downtown area.

The ordinance was proposed by Development Services Director Brandon Schaad at the request of Deputy Mayor O’Rourke at the June 17 meeting.

Its goal is to integrate the objectives of the Amended Downtown Plan into the DDRI Development Order. The focus of this is on walkability through the area, connectivity, and design.

The amendment was not voted on during the meeting but if it is approved, it would take effect immediately.

“A lot of the requirements seem to be rather subjective and could very well be an opinion,” Board Member Larry Snowden said. “An applicant could attempt to [follow the ordinance] and in their opinion they would be complying but then in someone else’s opinion could very easily be the opposite.”

Vice Chair Larry Cellon said, “You can get a lot done with subjective requirements. You can also go wrong and create a lot of trouble if you don’t have the right people making the decisions. You just have to have the right people with the big picture who want to work with the developers to get to ‘yes’ and if you have that kind of attitude the subjective part is actually a big help.”

Glenn Gromann, a city resident, said, “This ordinance, it seems to be duplicating what we already have.” He said that the ordinance doesn’t seem to change anything. Gromann asked the board if the ordinance would help keep certain businesses out of the downtown area, such as auto repair stores and vape shops. Schaad did not have an answer but stated he could address it at the next meeting.

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