By Denis Eirikis
The Royal Palm Beach Village Council approved a modified site plan last week for a new 7-Eleven convenience store and gas station that will be built in the heart of the village, in the Crossroads Plaza at the northeastern corner of Royal Palm Beach and Okeechobee boulevards.
At the Oct. 4 meeting, attorney Brian Seymour of the Gunster law firm was on hand representing the developer. “The existing Mobil service station buildings and pumps will be completely razed,” Seymour said. “A new 7-Eleven convenience store will be built with 12 pumps on six service islands set to open in late 2019.”
The site plan is designed to maximize smooth traffic flow. Seymour said that the old layout stifled traffic that will soon more smoothly flow through the area now occupied by the existing service station building. The new convenience store will rise on the site currently occupied by the Mobil car wash, which will not be replaced.
Councilwoman Jan Rodusky questioned whether this new store might cannibalize customers from the nearby 7-Eleven on Okeechobee Blvd. across from Target and perhaps cause it to close.
“7-Eleven operates more than 63,000 stores and is the largest gasoline retailer in the United States,” Seymour replied. “The company conducts sophisticated marketing research in making these decisions.”
Josh Long, a planner with Gunster, assured Rodusky that there is no danger of the existing store closing.
“Each convenience store is a neighborhood market that especially caters to the needs of people who live within a three-fourths-of-a-mile radius,” he said, noting that the two stores will be about 1.5 miles apart.
In other business:
• The council gave its second and final approval to a new nightclub ordinance. The council unanimously agreed to amend the village’s code of ordinances in order to clarify such definitions as “nightclub,” “bar and/or cocktail lounge” and “live entertainment.” The changes were made so that the village can crack down on restaurants that double as unpermitted after-hours nightclubs. No one from the public commented on the changes.
• Lennar Homes was granted architectural approval for 13 additional housing models, thus making 31 models of homes available to buyers at the Crestwood North Residential PUD.
“This is an example of the marketplace having its own life and a business reacting by shifting their products in response to ever-changing market drivers,” Mayor Fred Pinto said.
The Planning & Zoning Commission passed the item unanimously, village staff recommended approval and the measure passed unanimously.
Lennar is currently developing the 385-home community under the name BellaSera at a site that was previously the village’s old water treatment plant.
• The only vote of the evening that was not unanimous was when Councilwoman Selena Smith sided with village staff and voted against allowing a 5.6-foot side setback in lieu of the required 7.5-foot side setback for a shed on Sonata Way. Because the applicant provided favorable affidavits from neighbors, and because there was some precedent granting similar variances to residents, the council allowed the variance by a vote of 4-1.
• On its consent agenda, the council approved several items, including two agreements with the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections and the issuance of special permits to Our Lady Queen of Apostles Catholic Church for a pumpkin patch fundraiser on Oct. 13 and a Christmas festival to be held Dec. 15-16.
• Village officials invited everyone to come out to the Rocktoberfest event on Saturday, Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 14 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Royal Palm Beach Commons Park. Visit www.royalpalmbeach.com for details.