The Royal Palm Beach Village Council approved changes Thursday, July 15 that allow the rezoning of the proposed Lakeside Landings site from commercial use to multifamily residential, add birthing centers as a special exception use and modify the design of the bridge leading to the Tuttle Royale development.
The council approved the second and final reading of an application to rezone four parcels totaling about 12.28 acres about 850 feet north of Okeechobee Blvd. and 500 feet west of Royal Palm Beach Blvd. from general commercial to multifamily residential. It allows for 100 townhomes at a proposed density of 8.14 units per acre.
The site, owned by Jess Santamaria, the Nagala Family Partnership and others, is currently vacant.
Planning & Zoning Director Bradford O’Brien said village staff considered adjacent land uses and found that the change complied, in general, with the village’s comprehensive plan, as well as with the multifamily residential land use.
The Local Planning Agency considered the application on May 25 and recommended approval 5-0. The council unanimously approved the application’s preliminary reading on June 17.
“Staff is recommending approval of this application,” O’Brien said.
Vice Mayor Richard Valuntas made a motion to approve the application, which carried 5-0.
The council also approved the preliminary reading of an application by Nelson Posada to amend the village’s zoning text to add a definition of “birthing center” as a special exception use.
O’Brien said his staff had spent time working with the applicant, considering the definition of a birthing center. “I do believe there are some key elements to consider,” he said.
A birthing center is defined as any institution where non-emergency births are planned to occur away from the mother’s usual residence, following a documented period of prenatal care and a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy that has been determined to be low risk. Care in a birthing center must be provided by a licensed physician or certified or licensed midwife.
Surgical services will be limited to those normally rendered during uncomplicated childbirth. Patients must not remain in the birthing center for more than 24 hours. Hospitals are excluded from the definition of “birthing center,” and labor would not be induced at the birthing center.
The Local Planning Agency recommended approval of the application on May 25 by a vote of 4-1, with Alternate Gerald Brown dissenting.
Councilwoman Selena Samios clarified that pregnancies would not be induced at the clinic.
“You will not induce labor? It all has to be natural?” she asked.
“Yes, it is all natural,” Posada said.
Samios also clarified that if there are complications, the center has contracts with local hospitals to address the situation.
Posada said he has contracts with Palms West Hospital, and all his doctors are contracted with Palms West Hospital.
“In the event of the low-risk pregnancy having complications, we will transport,” he said.
The amendment applies to Posada’s location at 1490 Royal Palm Beach Blvd., as well as any other birthing centers that apply.
“We actually studied our location very well to pick the right spot,” Posada said. “The hospital is just down the street.”
Samios made a motion to approve the amendment, which carried 5-0.
The council also gave architectural approval for the bridge on Tuttle Blvd. over the C-51 Canal located off Southern Blvd. leading to the Tuttle Royale development.
O’Brien said the applicant is proposing carriage-style light fixtures, both pier-mounted and pole-mounted. An ornamental aluminum railing with a bronze finish will be included, along with tiles in certain areas. Brick tiles would be placed on the bridge itself to emulate palm fronds.
The Planning & Zoning Commission recommended approval 5-0 on June 29. Village staff recommended approval with a condition that the applicant obtain a permit from the South Florida Water Management District to ensure that the SFWMD plans are consistent with the village’s plans.
Samios made a motion to approve the application, which carried 5-0.