By Jane Smith

The son of a well-known Long Island car dealer was not allowed to rezone parcels in the north end of Delray Beach after nearby Gulf Stream homeowners complained about the adverse effects the proposed car dealership would have on their lives.
The Aug. 16 denial was a split vote. Mayor Shelly Petrolia, Deputy Vice Mayor Juli Casale and Commissioner Ryan Boylston voted to deny the rezoning, while Vice Mayor Adam Frankel and Commissioner Shirley Johnson voted in favor of it.
“I support the change,” Johnson said. Residents bought their homes “knowing they would be next to a commercial district.”
John Staluppi Jr.’s ABC JS Auto Imports II LLC paid $10 million for the seven parcels on the east side of North Federal Highway south of Gulfstream Boulevard. He is also CEO of SuperStore Auto Group, which acquired Delray Hyundai, Delray Genesis and Delray Acura in January.
Staluppi’s dad, John Staluppi Sr., started out as a mechanic and built a billion-dollar business of new car dealerships.
Land use attorney Bonnie Miskel represented Staluppi Jr. before the commission for the rezoning request for the combined 4.4 acres.
Miskel said the rezoning to automotive commercial was allowed in the Delray Beach comprehensive plan.
Trey Nazzaro, Gulf Stream’s assistant town attorney, attended the meeting with its mayor and town manager and argued against the request.
Nazzaro said the rezoning was not appropriate because the potential car dealership backed up to single-family homes in the Place Au Soleil community. The proposed dealership would have only a 10-foot buffer, when the Gunther car dealership to the south has a 35-foot buffer from the community.
Malcolm Murphy, who lives in the community and chairs the town’s Architectural Review and Planning Board, said, “The bigger picture is diminished quality of life from the endless noise and endless light” from the proposed car dealership.
Sam Pearlman, whose backyard abuts the land, said the noise from the key fobs, car alarms and horns honking would be disruptive.
“The bright lights would spill into our neighborhood, making it feel like daytime all of the time,” said Pearlman’s wife, Shana Ostrovitz.
“While car dealerships are a legacy industry in Delray Beach, I have not seen any plans that say they should be expanded,” Boylston said. “I am not in favor of this rezoning.”
Petrolia said the auto dealerships should be on the west side of Federal where they will not abut residences. “The property on the east is too small to accommodate a dealership,” she said.

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