The Royal Palm Beach Village Council on Thursday, July 16 unanimously denied the use of shingle roofs for new models at Lennar’s BellaSera development at the north end of Crestwood Blvd. after hearing 49 letters from current homeowners there objecting to the shingle roofs.
Although the majority of letters approved of the new models overall, the writers felt that the less expensive shingle roofs would cheapen the look of existing homes, which all have Mediterranean-style tile roofs. Some of the letters contended that the shingle roofs had a reduced life, and the wearing of those roofs over time would lower overall home values due to the unsightly appearance of the weathered roofs.
Royal Palm Beach’s Planning & Zoning Commission had recommended approval of the shingle roofs with the new models in a 4-0 vote on June 23, although village staff had recommended denial of the shingle roofs. However, that board did not receive any objections from the public at the time.
At the July 16 council meeting, developer’s representative Jennifer Vail requested approval for 10 new models at BellaSera, with optional shingle roofs at a reduced cost, but letters to the council unanimously opposed the request for shingle roofs, although they did not oppose the overall design of the new models.
“I think if Lennar uses shingle roofs in the future, it will diminish the value of the houses in the community as a whole,” one of the letters stated. “The tile roof that has been used in the houses adds to the beauty of the design. Switching to shingle roofs would cheapen the look of the houses. I feel that due to this, the value of the houses will go down as well.”
Mayor Fred Pinto pointed out that the recommendation from village staff had been to approve the 10 new models in the development but not for the shingle roofs.
“I would just like to comment on the input that we’ve gotten from the residents who currently live in that community,” Pinto said. “I think they make a very valid point. This community is about halfway to buildout. One of the more important issues when a citizen is choosing to buy into a new community that didn’t exist, they really put a lot of credence into the promises that were made to them. It’s clear that these residents were told that it would be a community with tile roofs.”
Councilman Richard Valuntas made a motion to approve the 10 new models, but to deny the request for optional shingle roofs, which carried 5-0.