Westlake Plans Multi-Purpose, Lakeside Fitness Trail

An artist’s rendering of the entrance to the planned Westlake Fitness Park.

A site plan for a mile-long wellness and fitness trail on 39 lakeside acres just off Seminole Pratt Whitney Road was approved Monday, July 12 by the Westlake City Council. It was one of several quality-of-life issues addressed at the meeting.

The trail will feature nine fitness stations and a walking, running and biking path.

“There always were plans for a multi-use path to be developed along the lake,” City Manager Kenneth Cassel said after the meeting. “The overall location, the waterfront, just makes this a very nice situation.”

The trail, which will run along a large lake — known as Lake 8 — east of Seminole Pratt, will have its main entrance on Green Lane near the intersection of Ilex Way. The secondary Seminole Pratt Whitney Road entrance will be just north of Sycamore Drive and will feature security measurers to discourage use by non-residents.

Designed by the landscape architecture firm of Cotleur & Hearing, the trail head off Green Lane will feature a parking area, trellis, signage, and surrounding trees, palms, shrubs and groundcover, as described in the materials provided by the designer. The remainder of the trail will be flanked by shade trees, palms and flowering trees in an alternating fashion along the trail and lakeside.

Meanwhile, another factor in developing the character of an emerging municipality is how residents and visitors perceive the area through visual cues, such as signage. At the meeting, the council approved the master signage plan for Westlake Landings. Located off Seminole Pratt, the 50-acre commercial development is one of the city’s most prominent.

Four waivers to existing codes, which sets sign height at 8 feet, were requested and approved unanimously, including at least one sign of 14 feet.

Westlake Landings is slated to include a convenience store with a gas station, four fast food restaurants, retail space, office space, commercial recreation and light industrial space.

Also approved was the signage for the 5.7-acre Pinnacle self-storage facility planned for 4701 Seminole Pratt Whitney Road. Approved were wall identification signs, window and door signs, and directory signs.

Pinnacle’s previously approved site plan calls for a three-story limited-access structure of 76,510 square feet, along with six one-story multi-access storage buildings and an outdoor storage area of 0.71 acres for boats and recreational vehicles. Plans call for the entire facility, other than the three-story front unit, to be screened from view by extensive landscaping.

Focusing on another quality-of-life issue, the council also unanimously approved the final reading of a noise ordinance to the nuisance code to set specific decibel levels for inside and outside venues. The noise ordinance establishes rules, regulations and guidelines regarding noise limits and declares that excessive sound, or noise, adversely impacts the public health.

In other business:

• The council set an Aug. 2 workshop and a Sept. 13 public hearing to discuss the city’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. There will also be a Sept. 13 public hearing on a proposed increase of residential solid waste collection fees from the current $252 per year to $280 per year. The increase should be sufficient for the next two years, Cassel said. At that point, the city will be able to look at competitive vendors and attempt to “hammer down” a better deal, he said.

• The council approved the first reading of an ordinance to set Dec. 3, 2021 as the qualifying deadline for the city’s March 8, 2022 municipal elections, as recommended by the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Office.

• The council unanimously agreed to extend the contract of NZ Consultants, a land use planning and design firm, to continue in that role for another five years. The Jupiter firm originally was hired in 2016 under a three-year contract, which was extended for another three years in 2019.

• The council agreed to continue the third year of the city’s contract with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to provide law enforcement services in Westlake at a cost of $650,000 from Oct. 1, 2021 through Sept. 30, 2022.

• The council approved a seventh extension to allow Florida Public Utilities to continue using temporary tanks and equipment to provide gas to Westlake residents. The extensions have been of various durations. The latest is for six months, to Dec. 31, and requires written progress reports by the utility to the council every three months until permanent gas lines are installed.

• Finally, Cassel told the council that a city fireworks show is already being planned for July 4, 2022. The city intends to “piggyback” the deal with a fireworks company already doing shows in the area to cut down the cost.