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Delray moves forward with changes to downtown development

By Palm Beach

DELRAY BEACH — The downtown is about to get a makeover of sorts. More precisely, it’s the rules and regulations that govern development in the downtown that’s getting the makeover.

Delray Beach City Commission on Tuesday approved first reading of an ordinance that makes sweeping changes to development regulations along the city’s Atlantic Avenue corridor.

Among the major changes in the proposed ordinance: lowering the maximum height for buildings in the downtown core — roughly Old School Square to the Intracoastal Waterway to 38 feet and three stories from 48 feet and four stories. In other parts of the downtown the maximum height would remain at four stories.

Commissioners will consider final passage of the changes when it meets on Feb. 24.

Other changes require that larger building meet certain “green” standards, ease parking requirements for businesses that aren’t either a bar or a restaurant, establish the maximum number of efficiencies or studio apartments in apartment buildings with more than 12 units and sets requirements for so-called workforce housing in residential projects. Workforce housing means an apartment, condo or home price to be affordable for most middle class residents — teachers, police officers, nurses and the like.

The changes do not affect buildings now in the downtown or approved for construction but would come into play with any new projects.


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