The Palm Beach Town Council voted Friday to defer its decision on a zoning referendum that allow for more redevelopment along Royal Poinciana Way.
William Cooley, who led a petition drive that prompted the referendum, opposed the proposed language that would appear on a ballot. He called it unfair and vague in its explanation of the planned zoning change.
“I don’t know how I could have been more neutral,” said Town Attorney John Randolph, who wrote the ballot language. “The only reason I have not met with (Stroud) is, I did not see how anyone would object to the neutrality of the language I proposed to you.”
The town council suggested that Randolph meet with Cooley’s attorney and others protesting the zoning issue. After both sides come to an agreement, there will be a meeting this week in which the Council will aim to adopt the resolution for a referendum.
The amendments would offer an alternative for redeveloping the five-acre block that contains a bank, bars, eateries, several apartments and small retail outlets.
Advocates of the changes said it gives property owners incentives to renovate properties that do not have much impact of the street’s character. Those incentives include looser parking rules and heightened residential density. Critics are concerned that it will spur excess development and increase traffic issues. [Palm Beach Daily News] — Mark Maurer