The Loxahatchee Groves Planning & Zoning Committee recommended approval of an amendment to Pod A of the 90-acre Groves Town Center project under development at the northeast corner of Southern Blvd. and B Road on Thursday, March 9, changing the previously planned Chase Bank parcel to an AutoZone.
Pod A, located at the southwest corner of the development, also contains the existing Aldi grocery store and a planned Wawa convenience store.
“The approved plan consists of 7.37 acres and a total of 31,587 square feet,” Planning Consultant Jim Fleischmann said. “The proposed site plan consists of 8.09 acres and a total of 35,230 square feet.”
The difference in the acreage is the result of two revisions, Fleischmann said.
“The initial site plan, I believe, had a mistake in the acreage of Pod A,” he said, explaining that the difference is in the main road and swale area, which constitute the difference of 7.37 and 8.09 acres.
Attorney Matt Scott, representing the applicant, said he was there to amend the approved site plan.
“Unfortunately, the Chase Bank didn’t work out, so my client went about quickly trying to find an alternative user that would fit in the space and would be a neighborhood-serving use,” Scott said. “AutoZone was identified as a desirable replacement.”
Scott characterized the amendments as minor.
“The proposed use is permitted, the overall shape isn’t changing much, the drainage, the access, the parking,” he said, adding that AutoZone would be located between Aldi and Wawa.
The developer is asking for a small increase in the square footage for AutoZone and the overall size of Pod A.
“It was required for the developmental needs for AutoZone,” Scott said, pointing out that a parts store is a permitted use. “The dimensional components are permitted. The overall building area, if approved, would be well within the total square footage allowed.”
He added that the AutoZone design is a deviation from the company’s standard design in order to comply with the town’s Rural Vista guidelines
“A lot of communities don’t have design guidelines,” Scott said. “As long as I’ve been working with Loxahatchee Groves, I’ve been impressed by the town’s foresight in adopting these rural design guidelines, because my experience has been it leads to a better product for the town.”
He said all the design elements, including split-base concrete masonry with wood appearance at the base of the building, a raised entry feature, a rural crossbar post and railing at the entry, a standing seam metal roof with mansard-type roof line façade along Southern Blvd. were specifically by Rural Vista guidelines. He added that the design has more windows than what AutoZone buildings have normally.
Fleischmann said the proposed amendment was reviewed by town staff for consistency with the comprehensive plan, zoning and supplemental land development regulations, including parking and signs, and recommended approval.
“Staff finds the proposed amendment consistent with the comprehensive plan and land development regulations and recommends approval, subject to the conditions of approval,” he said.
Committee Member Neil O’Neal made a motion to approve the application, which carried 3-0 with Committee Chair William Bell and Committee Member Brett Raflowitz present.