By Dan Moffett

    South Palm Beach Mayor Donald Clayman says people shouldn’t be misled by the silence from the Paragon Acquisition Group since the developers pulled out of a March workshop on their Palm Beach Oceanfront Inn project.
    Clayman says he fully expects Paragon to bring a revised proposal to officials and try again to win approval from the Town Council — and more important, from town residents — later this year.
    “They’re still in the game,” the mayor said. “I expect them to have something before too long. Though it has been quiet lately, it’s coming.”
    Paragon CEO Gary Cohen gave residents a first look at his ideas for the troubled hotel property in February, when he proposed a 36-unit, eight-story condominium building that would require voters to approve an amendment to change the town’s charter.
    That idea went nowhere a week later at the next Town Council meeting, when Clayman’s motion to put the amendment on the August ballot died for lack of a second. Council members remembered how in 2011, after years of contentious debate over the property, voters approved the town’s current 60-foot height limit with a 78 percent majority.
    There isn’t much appetite in South Palm Beach to fight another war over height limits. After absorbing a barrage of criticism from residents at the initial workshop, Paragon pulled out of a second workshop in March and went back to the drawing board. The company has refrained from public comment since.
    Clayman, who said he made his motion for the charter change amendment as a way of letting everyone know where things stood, says he thinks Paragon will keep its “wedding cake” design but will have to reduce the building’s height before it can have a chance at approval.
    “I know they’re working on it,” Clayman said. “I think they’ll keep the same design — people like the design. They know what the problem is, and they’ve known how it is here since they bought the property.”
    What’s certain is that nothing substantive will get decided until the fall when the snowbirds return to South Palm Beach and voice their opinions. “Right now, probably about half the town is gone,” Clayman said.
In other business:
    • At its May 27 meeting, the Town Council unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance changing the quorum of the Community Affairs Advisory Board to nine members. The council agreed that it was too difficult to get a majority of the 25-member CAAB to attend meetings, but nine was a reasonable number.
    • Councilman Robert Gottlieb proposed putting the town on Facebook, and the rest of the council agreed. The town’s page would allow officials to release timely information, but would not be a two-way link that would permit postings from residents. Town Attorney Brad Biggs said he would research potential legal issues that a Facebook page might raise and report back to the council.
“By fall, let’s get this going,” Gottlieb said.
    • The Town Hall garage got a facelift with the installation of a new $12,000 fire bay door. Town Manager Rex Taylor said the old one was about 40 years old.

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