County Commission Supports Request For Real Estate Office Near Acreage Plaza

An artistic rendering of the proposed real estate office.

The Palm Beach County Commission recently gave preliminary approval to a request that would allow a real estate office to be built on what is currently a residential lot at the southwest corner of Orange Blvd. and Seminole Pratt Whitney Road in The Acreage.

At a comprehensive plan public hearing held Tuesday, July 28, the commissioners approved transmittal of a request that would allow a privately proposed text amendment introducing a new policy to allow additional commercial office development in the county’s exurban tier and the Acreage Neighborhood Planning Area in the Indian Trail Improvement District.

David Milledge, an attorney with the planning firm Cotleur & Hearing, said the applicant, Chad Hanna, is a local resident and business owner who owns the 1.76-acre property. To the northeast is the Acreage Plaza, where Hanna currently operates his real estate business, Reach Estate.

“Part of this proposed policy would require all development to maintain a Florida vernacular style of architecture,” Milledge said. “There’s substantial screening from the roadway around the subject site. There are several location requirements, which limit the affected properties to nine. In addition to the location requirements, there are design requirements, as well as limiting development standards such as setbacks, landscape buffers and preservation areas.”

The intent of the proposed policy is to allow additional low-impact commercial uses that are compatible with the surrounding character and to provide a transitional use between residential properties and the existing commercial plaza, Milledge said. The floor-area ratio on the property would be limited to 0.05.

 “All land development regulations and the Indian Trail standards would continue to be followed, and there has been substantial community outreach, including multiple discussions with the Acreage Landowners’ Association as well as the Indian Trail Improvement District,” Milledge said. “Both of these organizations have no objections to this proposal.”

Palm Beach County Principal Planner Lisa Amara said that the county has received letters of support from the ALA and ITID.

“We’re recommending transmittal,” Amara said. “We’re hoping to bring this back to the board if it’s transmitted today, all together with the zoning, the text amendment and this land use change at one hearing so we can really see the total package to make sure that it has that look that we’re looking for, and this will only apply to office land uses and those other eight affected properties.”

Amara pointed out that the other eight properties would not automatically get the ability for office zoning and would have to come through a land use amendment process.

The current request would be back in September or October for final approval by the county commission, she said.

Commissioner Melissa McKinlay made a motion to approve transmittal.

“The rarity of the county commission office, the Acreage Landowners’ Association and the Indian Trail Improvement District all agreeing on a land use change is unbelievable, so hats off to staff and to the applicant, and to the leaders of those two community organizations,” McKinlay said.

The motion carried 7-0.