Gulf Stream Planning Board Tackles Historic Property and Massing Issues

In a recent meeting, the Gulf Stream Planning Board focused on the approval of a renovation and addition to a historic property, including the construction of an elevator, and the formation of an ad hoc committee to address architectural massing concerns within the town. The meeting also saw the approval of several other property renovations and landscaping plans.

The most discussion centered on a proposal for an addition to a non-conforming single-family residence within a historic district. The board reviewed a detailed presentation that outlined the proposed construction of an elevator and the associated challenges due to its location within the side setback of the property. The main concern was to ensure that the addition aligned with the historical character of the residence while complying with the town’s code standards. The board members evaluated alternative solutions for the placement of the elevator, with the goal of maintaining the integrity of the historic property. After thorough deliberations, the board approved a special exception to permit the elevator’s construction and a level three architectural site plan, emphasizing adherence to the Secretary of Interior standards for new additions and construction on historic properties.

Another topic of high importance was the formation of an ad hoc committee tasked with addressing massing concerns in the town. This issue arose from the turnover of older homes and the construction of new, larger residences, which could potentially impact the town’s architectural landscape and its core district. The committee’s formation was driven by the need to preserve the character of the town and to prevent the creation of canyons due to varying house heights. The board discussed including newer residents and subject matter experts, such as architects or town planners, to provide diverse perspectives and informed recommendations on this matter. Additionally, the board considered consulting with external experts and resources, including a firm in Coral Gables and individuals associated with the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Commission. They also contemplated reaching out to a former Town manager in Michigan for further guidance. The ad hoc committee was established with an aim to have six individuals, and the board called for additional input on stakeholders who could contribute to the analysis.

During the meeting, the board reviewed and ultimately recommended approval for a series of property renovations. A notable project involved the renovation and landscaping of a property in the North Ocean Boulevard overlay district. The presentation plans for an entry courtyard, water feature, new pool, expanded lawn space, and updates to existing terraces, with a focus on preserving existing trees and adding new landscaping. Concerns were raised regarding the removal of palm trees and the need to maintain the established streetscape. The board made motions to recommend approval for a North Ocean Boulevard overlay permit, a demolition permit, and a level three architectural site plan, with conditions to consider external improvements and revisiting the wall’s design.

Other proposals included the addition of a theater to an existing detached garage structure on North Ocean Boulevard, which was described as being within allowable limits and without the need for special exceptions. The proposed addition received the board’s recommendation for approval. Similarly, an application involving the installation of artificial turf in a shaded backyard was approved with conditions.

Finally, the board addressed an application for an addition to a freestanding garage, aimed at maintaining the architectural style of the main house. The proposal received positive feedback and was approved, contingent on the matching of tile with the existing garage.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Scott Morgan
Planning Board Officials:
Malcolm Murphy, Robert Dockerty, Paul Lyons, Curtiss Roach, Thomas Smith, Brian Coulter, Amanda Jones, Teri Power, Renee’ Basel (Deputy Town Clerk)

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