By Jane Smith
Atlantic Crossing’s revised site plan sailed through a city advisory panel in early March and will be reviewed by the City Commission on April 5.
The proposed $200 million Atlantic Crossing project sits stalled on 9.2 acres at the northeast corner of Federal Highway and East Atlantic Avenue in downtown Delray Beach.
The latest plan shows a circular valet path with two lanes, instead of a horseshoe-shaped one, that aligns with an exit driveway leading to North Federal Highway. Vehicles also can enter the underground garage from North Federal Highway.
The city’s planner described the roads as driveways, primarily because of their width and lack of landscaping. Scott Pape told the Site Plan Review and Appearance Board the driveways are structurally sound and able to handle the weight of delivery and garbage trucks.
“It’s the best configuration that we can agree on,” Danielle Joyce, a traffic consultant hired by the city to review the latest site plan, told the review board’s chairman. “Without a major site modification,” she added.
Joyce, of Greenman-Pedersen’s Tampa office, was questioned by review board member James Chard, who wanted to know about the 11,000 vehicles entering the project daily and whether that would create a traffic problem for the surrounding neighborhoods.
She explained that her firm redid the trip calculations and found the existing trips to be 65 percent to 70 percent lower than the Atlantic Crossing developers had estimated. But she believes signal synchronization at Northeast First Street and Northeast Fifth Avenue could take care of the westbound traffic during peak hours, allowing it to be at or near stable flow level at build-out. Both levels are acceptable for traffic performance standards in an urban area.
Other site plan changes are improved for the two loading docks and a safer pedestrian crosswalk, moved north in the project.
Bruce Leiner, president of Harbour House Homeowners Association, said for a site plan, “process matters.” He pushed the City Commission on March 1 to allow its review board to weigh in on the revised site plan.
He still thinks the city needs to hold an abandonment hearing on two alleys needed for the project, but since that was not in the board’s purview, it chose to focus on the changes in the revised site plan.
The special review meeting was held six days after the City Commission meeting, with only four review board members; Jose Augilar and Brett Porak were absent.
The board approved it unanimously with five conditions, including monitoring the valet queues and truck deliveries so that vehicles do not back up onto Northeast Seventh Avenue, and adding way-finding signs for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.
A suit filed by the Atlantic Crossing developers in June claimed the city had not issued a site-plan certification that was approved in November 2013 and affirmed by a previous City Commission in January 2014. In the fall, the lawsuit was moved to federal court. The lawsuit is on hold until April 5.
The project, developed by a partnership between Ohio-based Edwards Companies and Ocean Ridge resident Carl DeSantis, will contain 343 luxury condos and apartments plus 39,394 square feet of restaurants, 37,642 square feet of shops and 83,462 square feet of office space.
By Jane Smith