The Coastal Star

Delray Beach: Hudson Holdings project on hold

By Jane Smith
    The developer of Midtown Delray Beach was able to put its appeals on hold while it creates a new site plan for the proposed project.
    The Delray Beach City Commission granted the stay in early August.
    Under city rules, the developer had to ask for the stay within 10 days of the appeal hearing.
    Because of the way the City Commission arranged its meetings, the stay was heard on Aug. 2. The appeals of the Historic Preservation Board’s decisions were to be heard on Aug. 15.
    In late August, Steven Michael, principal of Hudson Holdings, said he didn’t know when his team would submit a revised site plan. Hudson Holdings is a partner in the Midtown project.
    He also declined to say why the project’s attorneys asked for a stay on the historic home moves and demolitions, but didn’t appeal the board’s site plan denial or withdraw from the appeals process.
    The City Commission gave the project’s owners a 60-day extension. The next available meeting date is Oct. 17.
    “They just can’t submit the same site plan, it has to be substantially different,” Delray Beach Planning Director Tim Stillings said. “Ultimately, the decision is mine” to determine whether substantial changes were made to the old site plan.
    It takes about three weeks for all departments to review a site plan, he said. Midtown already missed the cutoff date to make it onto the Historic Preservation Board’s September agenda, Stillings said.
    The 4.4-acre project will sit prominently at the southwest corner of Swinton and Atlantic avenues, putting it at the entrance of The Set, the new name for the Northwest and Southwest neighborhoods.
    Midtown Delray Beach also will have to meet the terms of a new tree preservation ordinance, passed in early August.
    The ordinance calls for a sliding scale of tree preservation: preserve in place, preserve on-site, remove and replace with smaller versions of the same tree or remove and pay a fee for each tree.
    In order to build an underground garage for the project, Hudson Holdings proposed moving six historic homes and removing all of the 200 trees in the first block of South Swinton Avenue.

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