Town of Palm Beach News

Town of Palm Beach Underground Parking Regulations

Town officials are considering making alterations to the current Town of Palm Beach underground parking regulations. It has been suggested that rules should be loosened so that developers may make more parking available for their customers.

The paradox that Town Commissioners are left with is that the reasoning for loosening the regulations is universally agreed upon because parking is definitely an issue on the Island; however, slackened rules for parking garages could lead to more development. Thus, taking away from the Palm Beach Island’s unique atmosphere.

Local residents aren’t thrilled with the idea. “The parking requirements were a tool to keep the smaller businesses from getting too big – fewer corporate restaurants, fewer large bars/nightclubs, fewer department stores, etc.  This was a good way to keep the small town character of Palm Beach from becoming too commercial” said Susan Markin, chair of the Planning and Zoning CommissionShe went on to say, “It is all about the developers making more money.  It is not about what is good for the town or the residents.”

Town of Palm Beach Underground Parking Regulations

Michael Scharf, a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission also voiced some concerns, “I find the proposed zoning changes to expand the rise of subbasements without requiring additional parking to be extremely misguided. It is a boon to developers who will be able to build larger structures. Is this what Palm Beachers want? I don’t think so. The push for larger commercial development in Palm Beach has the potential to vitiate the Town. Also, do we want to be inundated with non-Palm Beachers crowding our beaches, bars, and restaurants?”

Town staff, especially the Planning and Zoning Commission, will have a difficult decision to make. Can and will they risk favoring developers’ wishes by further developing the Island? Maybe there is a compromise and reasonable solution for the parking problems. But, for now the Commission will continue to discuss the possibilities for regulation alterations while apprehensive citizens voice their concerns about over-development.

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Jess specializes in local news coverage. She is a hands on reporter attending every event and meeting she can in the community.

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