Westlake Council OKs Building For Palm Beach County Tax Collector

A rendering of new Palm Beach County Tax Collector's service center planned in the City of Westlake.

The Westlake City Council approved plans for a one-story, 23,775-square-foot building for the Palm Beach County Tax Collector’s Office on Monday, June 8.

The new government building will be on 4.63 acres east of the new fire-rescue station.

“It will house the Palm Beach County Tax Collector’s Office and the Department of Motor Vehicles,” Westlake Planning Consultant Nilsa Zacarias said. “The proposed building is located between Town Center Parkway and Ilex Way.”

She added that the plat had been reviewed and approved by Westlake’s Planning & Zoning and Engineering departments, neighboring Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue and the Seminole Improvement District. The plat meets all the landscaping requirements.

The building will be bordered on three sides by other civic uses and separated from yet-to-be-constructed homes to the east along Ilex Way, which will intersect at that point with Town Center Parkway.

“We always want to make sure that we are protecting our residential neighborhoods when we have an application that is non-residential, like in this case,” Zacarias said. “The plan is in compliance with all city codes in terms of setbacks, lot coverage, open space and parking.”

Planning consultant Donaldson Hearing, speaking on behalf of the Palm Beach County Tax Collector’s Office and project architect Song & Associates, said the building will be within Westlake’s civic district, but serve a much greater area.

“The office will provide services for all of the central western communities and will be a great draw of activity, which is something that is very important as we begin to set the stage and get the right density and intensity in place for some of the non-residential and retail uses that we will have,” Hearing said.

He thanked Westlake staff for processing the application quickly.

“We have already made application to your building department, and we hope to start construction the day the building permit is issued,” he said, adding that the plan is relatively low density for the size of the site, with 13 percent lot coverage and 35 percent open space. “We exceed the parking requirement, so it’s a great use for the site.”

Hearing pointed out that although the building is one story, it will look taller, and parking, including a driver qualification course, will be in the back of the building.

“You have the Department of Motor Vehicles, which has been delegated to the Tax Collector’s Office to operate,” he said. “It’s a very nice site plan. A lot of open space and a lot of landscaping are part of the plan.”

He pointed out that the building, with a towering glass and steel framework, is designed by Song & Associates, which has designed several civic buildings in Palm Beach County.

“This is going to be a wonderful statement to the public,” Hearing said. “The building sits up on the street. It will really create a lot of excitement. This will be a stimulus, we think, for other activities to occur.”

Councilman JohnPaul O’Connor made a motion to approve the plat, which carried 5-0.