Briny Breezes - History

Report Shows Significant Flaws in Briny Breezes Redevelopment Plan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - June 27, 2007
CONTACT: Ryan Banfill - (850) 222-1996

DELRAY BEACH, FL - The Florida Coalition for Preservation today released a report from the respected Iler Planning Group showing the proposed density of the Briny Breezes redevelopment project is grossly incompatible with the surrounding area. The Coalition has sent the report to Department of Community Affairs official reviewing the proposed comprehensive plan amendments (CPAs) related to the project.

“The Coalition finds the CPAs to be flawed on a fundamental level, not only in the language of the CPAs but also the goals, objectives and policies,” Florida Coalition for Preservation Attorney Jane West wrote in a letter to the Department of Community Affairs accompanying the report. “Legally, the CPAs do not appear to be based on data and analysis and appear to be very conclusory and vague.”

The proposed redevelopment amendments and the Evaluation and Appraisal Report before the DCA would replace the current Briny Breezes Comprehensive Plan in its entirety.

Iler Planning Group, a consulting company that specializes in providing planning services like community design, comprehensive plans and land development code, recently thoroughly examined the proposal and issued a comprehensive report that details:

Increased Density Causes Disparity with Surrounding Community: With 40 to 60 units per acre, the proposed density of the Briny Breezes redevelopment outlined in the comprehensive plan amendment would dramatically differ from the nearby area. In comparison, parcels within one-half mile of the town’s boundary have a gross density of 7.27 units per acre. 

High-Impact Uses Without Intensity Standards: The report outlines how the proposed redevelopment amendments fail to include high-impact uses as commercial retail and hotel accessory uses (restaurants, meeting rooms, etc.) making it impossible to assess the potential impact of non-residential uses on nearby properties. 

“The two land use categories that the development proposes, Resort Residential Mixed-Use (RRMU) and Marina Residential Mixed-Use (MRMU), are categories that include an exceptionally broad range of uses, from commercial retail, public buildings, a resort hotel and a variety of high impact accessory uses such as restaurants, convention meeting rooms and banquet halls,” West said. “However, the CPAs fail to include intensity standards (except for the 349 hotel rooms) in complete contravention of Chapter 163, F.S.  Without such control, the amount of commercial retail and public building use are wholly unlimited.  This factor alone merits a determination of non-compliance of the CPAs by DCA.”

Impedes on Property Rights of Neighboring Property Owners: Instead of putting off nearly all development standards to the land development code as envisioned in the Briny Breezes redevelopment proposal, the report notes that comprehensive planning is the appropriate stage to address land use compatibility. Appropriate comprehensive planning is key to providing certainty in the real estate market with the report noting, “If the amendment were to go into effect as proposed, an adjacent property owner would have little or no ability to effectively oppose development that might impair his/her use and enjoyment of his/her own property.”

Lack of Legally Required Information: The proposed Briny Breezes amendment establishes two land use categories in which development could occur. While the law requires intensity standards to be included, the proposed amendment fails to provide vital information including:

 “There are several instances in the CPAs where the sources of data to support statements are not given or are unclear, nor can the data be corroborated,” West pointed out, noting that Florida law and administrative rules are very specific as to what data and analysis is required to support comprehensive plan amendments like the one proposed for the Briny Breezes redevelopment.

These remarks are consistent with the concerns raised by expert, objective governmental entities in independent review, including Palm Beach County, the South Florida Water Management District, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, as well as the municipalities of Boynton Beach, Gulf Stream and Ocean Ridge.

Developers want to jam tiny Briny Breezes with multiple high-rise towers housing 900 condominium units, 300 timeshare units, a 349-room luxury hotel, restaurants, retail shops, parking facilities and a yacht marina - all on an environmentally fragile, hurricane-vulnerable barrier island.

Click here to see a list of submittals to the Department of Community Affairs from various local government agencies, local and state representatives and concerned groups.

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