By Steve Plunkett

Town commissioners took less than three minutes to fill an empty seat on their own dais and two domino-like vacancies on the Architectural Review and Planning Board.

For the Town Commission spot, which Paul Lyons Jr. vacated in December, Mayor Scott Morgan looked to the ARPB “as we typically do,” he said at the commission’s Jan. 12 meeting.

12369354460?profile=RESIZE_180x180Morgan said the three most experienced ARPB members declined his invitations, and Michael Greene, the newest, agreed.

Commissioners endorsed Morgan’s recommendation, and he moved swiftly to fill the new ARPB vacancy — with Lyons. Lyons joined the advisory panel for its Jan. 25 meeting, reuniting with former Commissioner Thom Smith, who resigned from the commission in November and was appointed to the ARPB in December.

Several times in the past year commissioners have sent back to the ARPB site plans that the panel had approved, complaining that the proposed homes had too much “massing” for the parcel or did not fit in with the given neighborhood.

They also tasked the board with suggesting ways to amend the town’s design manual to solve the massing issue. Smith and Lyons both chaired the planning board before becoming commissioners, as did Morgan.

Lyons’ appointment caused a wrinkle in filling the last seat, for an alternate ARPB member. Lyons’ daughter, Olivia, was next in line of those who had submitted letters of interest.

“But I’ve spoken to her, and because of Mr. Lyons’ being appointed, she has stepped back,” Morgan said.

Morgan said Lyons will stay on the ARPB to help resolve the massing issue and then will resign, making room for his daughter to be appointed.

Next to be considered was Brian Coulter, who lives on the Intracoastal Waterway around the corner from Commissioner Joan Orthwein.

“I think he’ll do a great job. (He’s) into the real estate world, too,” Orthwein said.

Coulter was a managing partner at one of the largest mixed-use development firms in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area for more than 35 years. He attended his first planning board meeting as an alternate member on Jan. 25.

Greene and his wife, Betsy, live on the west side of North Ocean Boulevard and have three adult children. He moved his investment firm, AE Industrial Partners LP, to Boca Raton in 2014. He joined the ARPB as an alternate member in July 2022 and became a full board member in November.

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