RPB Zoners Approve Changes For Cypress Key Commercial

The commercial portion of the Cypress Key project will include five buildings.

The Royal Palm Beach Planning & Zoning Commission met Tuesday, Aug. 8 to discuss two requests from the developer of the Cypress Key property. The commissioners approved a landscape waiver and a major site plan modification for the property.

Cypress Key is a mixed-use development located on the north side of Southern Blvd. It is the only property in Royal Palm Beach that is designated with a mixed-use (MXD) zoning.

Under discussion this week were the uses on the front commercial portion of the Cypress Key land. There are four proposed uses in five buildings: a daycare center, a senior living facility, a restaurant with a drive-through and a restaurant/office building combination.

The first item on the agenda was a landscape waiver, relating to the 35.23-acre parcel at the northwest corner of Cypress Head Ave. and Southern Blvd.

“Senior housing facility supplemental regulations require a perimeter berm on all four sides around the entire perimeter of the senior housing facility,” Development Review Coordinator Kevin Erwin said. “The senior housing facility is on the east half of the commercial portion of the property, east of Park Central Drive.”

There is an area approximately 50 feet wide with a retention area.

“Obviously, if you have a depression, you can’t have a berm in the same spot,” Erwin said.

As a result, the applicant is requesting to make the buffer wider, which accomplishes the goals and intents of the landscape ordinance, he explained, providing buffering for the senior housing facility. Staff agreed, and recommended approval.

Land Planner Ken Tuma of Urban Design Kilday Studios stressed that they are providing the berm for 93 percent of the parcel.

However, the soil on the east side of the site is unique. On the west side, it requires dry retention.

“Our request is to have it reduced by 7 percent. We’re widening it from 25 feet to 50 feet,” he said.

Commissioner Ross Shillingford asked whether there were any other alternatives to reducing the berm. Erwin explained that there wasn’t anywhere else to put runoff.

Commissioner June Perrin asked about landscape buffering.

“They technically only need one row, but since they’re not having a berm, they’re putting in a second row,” Erwin said.

Commissioner Jackie Larson asked about the measurements of the retention area, which Erwin explained will be 50 feet wide, 130 feet long and approximately 3 feet deep, with oak trees on the east bank and magnolias on the west side, which is the side where the berm, or lack thereof, comes into question.

The soil, Tuma explained, doesn’t allow for exfiltration; they had to use retention instead, in the eastern side. As you move west, the soil is better.

Perrin made a motion to approve the landscape waiver, which passed 5-0.

The next item included multiple parts: a major site plan modification for the commercial portion of the town center; a special exception use approval for the restaurant with drive-through, senior housing facility and child daycare facility; and architectural approval.

Erwin went over the request. “What you’re looking at tonight is the site plan for the commercial portion,” he said. “You’re looking at the layout of the site and the buildings that will occupy the site.”

The 9.28 acres of the commercial portion is essentially going to be divided into four outparcels. The commissioners were asked to focus on the parcel with the two retail/office/restaurant buildings.

There are three special exceptions that the applicant requested. First, the applicant proposed increasing commercial space from 120,800 square feet to 125,000 square feet. The applicant was seeking a special exemption use approval for the restaurant with drive-through, and a special exemption use approval for the senior housing facility. The applicant was also asking for architectural approval for proposed retail buildings.

Staff recommended architectural approval, Erwin said.

“The requests that are before you are a site plan modification, special exceptions, architectural approval for the commercial building, and also a landscape waiver, which you’ve already approved,” Tuma said.

The proposed plan has building A as a mix of retail and restaurant space, building B as two buildings with a courtyard between them, building C as the child daycare center (without drop-off) and the senior living facility in building D.

The special exceptions, Tuma said, are for the drive-through associated with the endcap of the retail building, for the child daycare and for the senior housing facility. The special exceptions were approved 5-0.

The site plan, architectural, floor plan and landscape requests passed 5-0, as well.

Larson asked whether there will be memory care within the senior housing. At most, Tuma estimated, 50 percent of the senior housing would be memory care-related.

Shillingford asked about the proximity of residential housing to the drive-through. Single-family housing is more than the minimum 475 feet away. However, there are townhomes 100 feet or less away. The code, Erwin said, focuses on separating single-family homes, not townhomes, from drive-throughs.

The commissioners liked the stone, stucco and metal-roofed architecture.

Larson asked that the trees on the plan be checked for growing conditions. She was also concerned with the use of the word “canopy” with conical trees. It was explained that “canopy” refers to the quality of the trees, not the type of canopy and shade that they will provide.

Larson made a motion to approve the architectural, floor, landscape and site plan changes as submitted, with the exception of removing “hurricane cut” on sable palms and taking into consideration the trees around the retention area. The motion passed 5-0.