Lantana: News briefs

Resistance to setback change — An ordinance to modify the rear setback requirements related to waterfront lots sailed through the Town Council on its first reading in October, but it faced pushback from Hypoluxo Island residents on the second reading Nov. 13.

“This is a staff-initiated text amendment in an effort to mitigate some of the more commonly council-approved variance requests,” said development director Nicole Dritz.

Currently, all above-ground structures on waterfront lots are required to maintain a 20-foot rear setback from either the high-water line or the existing sea wall, Dritz said. “Such structures located on non-waterfront lots in both the R1A and R1 zoning districts are only required to have a 10-foot rear setback. The ordinance proposes to amend this regulation to allow structures that are less than 8 inches above the surrounding grade to be constructed within 10 feet of either the high-water line or the existing sea wall.”

Media Beverly, a Hypoluxo Island resident who has been successful in getting the council to reverse decisions in the past, fell short this time, despite preparing a diorama to illustrate negative aspects of the proposed change.

“Just because a few builders wanted to add pavers inside the 20-foot waterfront setback, doesn’t support changing the entire ordinance allowing pools to be built 10 feet from the water,” Beverly said. “Little by little, Lantana, as we knew it, is on the way out.” 

Two other island residents voiced objections.

Ann McGlinn-Work said the ordinance was poorly written and left the door open for future issues. Erica Wald said sea walls are already crumbling and easing up on setbacks would only exacerbate the problem.

But Town Attorney Max Lohman said the current ordinance wasn’t working and needed to be changed. The council agreed, unanimously.

Clerk works from Tennessee — Town Clerk Kathleen Dominguez will be working remotely from 856 miles away. Dominguez says she has the town’s blessing to do her job from Nashville, Tennessee, where her husband has taken a job. Holding down the fort locally will be Maria Rios, the executive assistant to the town manager and deputy town clerk hired in July.

Dune Deck’s canopy takes flight — Vice Mayor Pro Tem Mark Zeitler took a spin around town the morning of Nov. 16 to check for any damage caused by the wind storm the previous night. The main casualty: the Dune Deck Cafe at Lantana Beach. High winds tore apart a large blue and white striped canopy over the café’s outdoor seating area, ripping the metal framework out of the concrete where it was anchored. It landed on the roof of the restaurant’s northern section, Zeitler said. The restaurant was closed for about 24 hours but reopened with table umbrellas replacing the canvas canopy.

Employees recognized — Department directors presented employees with service awards at the Nov. 13 Town Council meeting. The longest-serving employee honored was Jerry Darr, who has been with the town for 35 years. Other long-serving workers recognized were Darrell Blom, 30 years; Karen Dipolito and Gerardo Aponte-Rentas, 25 years; Suzanne Woodward, 20 years; Thomas Dipolito and Joseph Margolis, 15 years; and Peter Cummings, 10 years.

Recognized for working for Lantana for five years were Shanker Doobay, Christian Vargas, Charles Benedict, Justin Dorfman, Anthony Harvey, Miguel Perez, Carla Smart and Loretta Miller.

— Mary Thurwachter

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