RPB Zoners OK Landscape Modifications At Royal Plaza South

The Royal Palm Beach Planning & Zoning Commission on Tuesday recommended approval of an application by property owner Jess Santamaria for landscape site plan modifications at the Royal Plaza South, located at the northeast corner of Southern and Royal Palm Beach boulevards.

Site Plan Coordinator Kevin Erwin noted that the original construction of the shopping center was completed prior to the adoption of the village’s landscape code and has had several additions over the years.

“The applicant is seeking a major site plan modification in order to obtain approval for the existing landscaping on this site,” Erwin said. “The current landscaping on the Royal Plaza South site does not match the approved landscape plan, and in addition, it deviates from the current requirements of the village landscape code.”

Erwin said that the applicant is seeking approval of the existing landscape plan under the major site plan modification approval process.

He added that the shopping center is across the street from the Royal Inn, also owned by Santamaria, which also recently went through a similar site plan modification process.

There is a condition that if any of the existing landscaping material dies, it will be replaced with similar material that meets village code.

Staff recommended approval of the application.

Commissioner Richard Becher said he had spoken with landscape architect Richard Bartlett, who is in charge of the project, and gone to the site and walked around.

“It seems that once RaceTrac gets done, I think it’ll look pretty nice, the whole facility,” Becher said. “The parking was neat; the plants were OK. I recognize that there’s plants there that are substandard, but I’m not going to get into that. But under the circumstances, I’m going to vote for it because I think it’s something that needs to get finished once and for all.”

Chairman Joseph Boyle pointed out that the plan will match the landscaping at the Royal Inn.

“The landscape plan does not meet our code right now, but the good thing about it is that both sides of the street will meet any changes in the code in the future, which they didn’t have to do,” Boyle said. “In essence, what we’re doing is the applicant is voluntarily bringing it into the village code, which I think is good for the village.”

Commissioner Jackie Larson made a motion to approve the application, which carried 4-0. Commissioner June Perrin, who works for Santamaria, recused herself from voting.

In other business, the commissioners recommended approval of:

• A special exception use for Palm Beach Pit Crew tire and alignment shop at 160 Business Parkway.

• Architectural approval to change the existing signage at 117 S. State Road 7 in the Lowe’s shopping center.

• Architectural approval for Nothing Bundt Cakes to deviate from the approved sign criteria to allow the use of its trademark and logo for its proposed store in the Anthony Groves Plaza at 171 S. State Road 7.

• Architectural approval to allow a proposed Dunkin’ Donuts in the Anthony Groves Plaza to use its trademark and logo for a wall sign and a drive-through pricing sign.

• Architectural approval for Acquired Realty & Investments at 11337 Okeechobee Blvd. to use one illuminated sign and a monument sign, and to paint the building exterior.