The Coastal Star

South Palm Beach: Planners recommend town deny inn's latest request

By Tim O’Meilia
   
The South Palm Beach Planning Board turned thumbs down Dec. 9 on a third proposal by the Palm Beach Oceanfront Inn that would allow a larger hotel on the two-story site.
By a 3-2 vote, the board recommended the Town Council deny the inn’s attempt to change the town’s comprehensive plan to allow a 100-foot, 99-unit hotel-condominium on the property.
The town’s plan forbids redevelopment beyond two stories, saying the town’s only commercial operation is incompatible with the town’s residential character.
During the raucous meeting, one resident was ejected by police and the meeting was interrupted several times by shouting and calls from the audience.
Inn co-owner Pjeter Paloka challenged the board because ethics complaints have been filed against three members of the board by Paloka himself. The three, Michael Nevard, Dee Robinson and Pat Festino, all opposed Paloka’s proposal, as they did in 2009.
The complaints have yet to be resolved by state officials.
Twice the Town Council has thwarted plans to expand the two-story, 58-unit hotel, which has been a fixture for 50 years. A 14-story plan was denied in 2007 and the 10-story proposal in 2009.
Paloka’s latest proposal is nearly identical to the 2009 filing and would allow redevelopment of the property to a 99-unit, 100-foot maximum.
The Planning Board set a 6:30 p.m. Jan. 18 meeting to approve a statement to forward to the Town Council. Board member Michael Mead is drafting the statement. The council could consider the Planning Board’s recommendation at its February meeting.

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