The Coastal Star

Gulf Stream: Town keeps up assault on ‘discouraged’ design elements

By Steve Plunkett

Town commissioners in February continued a new crusade against approving “discouraged” elements in house plans, sending a proposal that already had been rejected once by the Architectural Review and Planning Board back to the architect for further tweaking.
Mayor Scott Morgan, who first challenged the town’s list of “discouraged” elements in December, said requests for higher eaves and second-story ceilings at 2929 N. Ocean Blvd. were problems.
“It’s a home that employs the maximum of two discouraged elements, and that is eave height and the second-story height, which serves to create a huge middle mass of the house,” Morgan said at the commission’s Feb. 9 meeting. “The second-story eave height’s way too high; you’ve got a box in the middle.”
Carlos Linares, with Randall Stofft Architects, said ceilings on the second floor would be 10 feet, 6 inches, making the eaves reach up 26 feet, the high end of the discouraged range. The preferred height for a second story in Gulf Stream is no more than 24 feet.
“The master [bedroom], the lounge, the views are on the second floor for this particular home,” Linares said.
Commissioner Paul Lyons was not impressed with a proposed gatehouse and 8-foot-tall wall along State Road A1A. The house just to the south has a gatehouse that’s grandfathered in, he said.
“I have a reference point which is that house. I can look at it and see what this might look like, and I don’t think I’d want to replicate it,” Lyons said.
Commissioners also objected to the number, size and style of windows planned for the home.
Lyons said Gulf Stream’s definition of Bermuda-style architecture places emphasis on “simple, straightforward” design.
“It’s clear to me what that means. This design, in the context of that general description, I think is 180 degrees from that,” Lyons said.
At the commission’s suggestion, Linares withdrew his application and will confer with Town Manager Greg Dunham before returning to the ARPB. He previously removed a chimney after the review board objected to its being taller than 35 feet. The home will now have a ventless fireplace, Linares said.
Morgan first chafed about discouraged elements when a homeowner on Palm Way asked to have black garage doors and shutters. The town discourages any color except white.
In other business:
• Dunham said crews started connecting customers in the north part of town to underground power: “to date, 11 homes on Polo, nine on Gulfstream, three on Golfview.” He said some streetlights come on during the day while others do not come on at all and will have to be adjusted. The brightness also will be fine-tuned, he said.
• Commissioners approved an ordinance limiting the use of temporary storm shutters to two weeks before a hurricane is expected to strike and two weeks after.
• The mayor mailed residents a report saying, among other things, the town “is in excellent financial shape, and town operations are functioning smoothly and well.”

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