By Mary Thurwachter
The site plan for Water Tower Commons, the new development at the former A.G. Holley site, will finally come before the Lantana Town Council on Dec. 14.
The plan was on the agenda in October and November, but the matter had to be postponed while Palm Beach County officials had a chance to approve a traffic study for the area, just east of I-95 on Lantana Road.
Lantana finally received the study, with some conditions, late on the afternoon of the Nov. 23 council meeting. That didn’t allow enough time for town staff to comb though the study and share recommendations with council members, hence the postponement.
But because the matter appeared on November agendas, public comment was heard at the November meetings.
“This is an opportunity Lantana will never have again,” said Dan Tischler, who lives just east of the A.G. Holley site on North Eighth Street.
“I read four fast-food restaurants and a gas station and my heart just sank,” Tischler said. “I want it to be a destination that people living here will be proud of.”
Tischler suggested upscale dwellings and a store such as Whole Foods Market for the Water Tower Commons property.
“We’re only going to get one shot at this,” Tischler said. “This is going to affect our grandchildren.”
Dustin Mizell urged the council to push hard for a quality project on the 73-acre tract, former home to the A.G. Holley tuberculosis hospital, which closed in 2012 and was torn down last year.
“Unless we step back and really look at this project, it could be another missed opportunity,” he said.
Another resident, Edward Shropshire, said he was concerned about building heights up to 75 feet in the conceptual plans he found on the town’s website, which he called “jaw dropping.”
Ken Tuma of Urban Design Kilday Studios, speaking for the applicant, Southeast Legacy Investments, appeared at the Nov. 23 council meeting but withheld his presentation until Dec. 14.
“We’re very excited to show you our plans,” he said. ”We’ve got a great PowerPoint presentation for you.”
In other news, the town learned that its clerk, Crystal Gibson, would be leaving. Gibson, of Lake Worth, has been town clerk for seven years and took a position as operations manager for the community services division of the city of Palm Beach Gardens.
Council members praised her work and she was given a standing ovation.
—Willie Howard contributed to this story
By Mary Thurwachter