Town of Palm Beach News

Carriage House Back Before Town Council

Today, the controversial Carriage House, a proposed private club that would be on South County Road in Palm Beach, will be back before the Town Council, as first reported by the Palm Beach Daily News.

Last month, amid opposition from residents near the proposed club, the council deferred the proposal to allow the project team to meet with concerned residents and find a compromise. This was at least the fourth time the project had been deferred.

The club would be housed in the landmarked buildings at 264 and 270 S. County Road. The nearby residents are concerned mostly about traffic and parking congestion. Many of those opposed to the club live on the island’s sea streets: Seaview, Seabreeze and Seaspray avenues. These residents believe that the club would draw even more people to park on their already crowded streets.

The project team—including applicant Micheal Bickford, managing director Michael McCarty and lawyer Maura Ziska—met with town residents on Jan. 25. They discussed proposed “declaration of use” conditions governing parking and traffic, valet operations, maximum occupancy, operating hours, noise and more.

According to director Josh Martin of the Planning, Zoning and Building Department, Bickford has agreed to make some changes to the agreement.

Carriage House Back Before Town Council

The updated agreement requires Carriage House to spend up to $300,000 to beautify nearby Phipps Plaza Park under a plan to be approved by the town.

Other conditions of the agreement include making operating hours of the club from 11 a.m. to midnight, seven nights a week, with an exception for New Year’s Eve, and allowing only 232 club members, at least of half of whom have to live or work in Palm Beach, or be guests of a town hotel.

Additionally, the maximum occupancy of the club would be 250 people, including employees. The club would require valley parking after 6 p.m. using a parking lot a 205 Royal Palm Way, and would provide off-street parking spaces for at least 68 vehicles. Finally, the club would be allowed only one special event per month.

According to Councilwoman Margaret Zeidman, both sides have worked to find a compromise.

Related >>> Parking Lot Pitch Shot Down by Palm Beach Residents 

However, some residents want stricter regulations, such as a maximum occupancy of 180 people, and the owner wants a grace period at nightly closing in return for agreeing to close at 12 a.m. instead of 2 a.m. on weekend nights.

Residents continue to voice their opposition and support for the club through letters and emails. Some are opposed and think a nightclub will disturb the peace, while others think the idea is exciting and would be a community asset.

The issue will be discussed at the Town Council meeting today. The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. in the council chambers at Town Hall.

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Alanna Barrett

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