By Steve Plunkett
In a rare rebuke, the Boca Raton City Council overrode its Community Appearance Board and will allow the 16-story Carlton condominium tower to paint beige accent stripes around the outside edge of its balconies.
The CAB wanted the horizontal accent bands under windows and between balconies to be painted beige on the top, bottom and vertical faces — what it calls wrapping the color — and the top, bottom and vertical edges of balconies to be white.
The Carlton, between the Camino Real and A1A bridges, wanted to paint only the vertical face of the accent bands and to continue the beige color across the vertical edge of the balconies.
“This is a matter of a difference of opinion and style,” the Carlton’s lawyer, former state Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, told council members Oct. 10. “I don’t think that most people who travel around Boca say, ‘Wow, you know, that balcony’s wrapped and that one’s not wrapped.’”
Mark Jacobsen, chairman of the CAB, said his board strives to be consistent in its decisions.
“Maybe in this case it shouldn’t apply as it did apply in other cases. But unfortunately we apply the same rule to everybody, fortunately or unfortunately,” he said.
But Nickie Siegel, an interior designer and member of the Carlton’s design committee, said the color scheme was picked on purpose.
“We really wanted to emphasize the architectural value of this building, and to do so, we wanted to carry that line straight across, not hopscotch it but carry it straight across,” Siegel said. “Now the CAB wants us to stop that, which makes it look silly, in my opinion.”
Council member Monica Mayotte said she supported overriding the CAB mostly because she did not want to force the Carlton to go back to its 63 unit owners and get approval for a different paint scheme.
Council member Andrea O’Rourke weighed in for the volunteers on the CAB.
“I try to do what is best for the residents here, [but] I also respect the Community Appearance Board and the amount of hours [members put in] and their professional abilities,” said O’Rourke, the only dissenter in the 4-1 vote.
The Carlton’s new paint job is about 15 months away and will come at the tail end of a $5 million-plus project to repair and upgrade the condo tower.
Immediately afterward, VCA Spanish River Animal Hospital on Spanish River Boulevard lost its appeal of a CAB decision. The veterinary office wanted to replace a 5-foot-6-inch-tall sign with one 10 feet high. The community appearance board voted 5-0 to deny the application, and the City Council upheld the decision 5-0.