Boca Raton may lower maximum building height following the mayor’s suspension

During Susan Haynie's tenure as mayor, Boca Raton raised the maximum height of downtown buildings to 14 stories from 10 stories

Susan Hayne
Susan Hayne

Boca Raton may reverse policies that allowed taller buildings during Susan Haynie’s tenure as the city’s mayor.

Gov. Rick Scott suspended Haynie as mayor of Boca Raton on Friday after her arrest Tuesday on corruption charges.

Andrea O’Rourke, a member of the city council, wants to undo a 14-story limit on the height of downtown buildings.

Haynie was part of the majority of city council members who voted to discard the old 10-story limit.

That action allowed the 2015 opening of a 12-story apartment development called The Mark at Cityscape, near the intersection of Palmetto Park Road and Federal Highway.

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O’Rourke told the Sun-Sentinel that The Mark has done little to enhance the appearance of Boca Raton or to make it a more pedestrian-friendly city.

Three other 12-story developments have unfolded since 2015. They include the Hyatt Place Hotel Boca Raton, which opened in 2016; Via Mizner, a partially completed apartment complex, and Tower 155, a condominium building now under construction.

O’Rourke supported the March election of Monica Mayotte to Boca Raton’s city council, and Mayotte may join O’Rourke as a consistent proponent of limited real estate development.

O’Rourke sees taller buildings as a threat to Boca Raton’s low-rise appearance, which she wants to preserve. Other South Florida cities that appear to be moving toward new limits on development include Fort Lauderdale.

Haynie was arrested Tuesday on seven counts of criminal acts, including official misconduct, misuse of public office and failure to disclose conflicts of interest.

The charges stem in part from Haynie’s pattern of casting votes that would benefit real estate investor James Batmasian without disclosing that he did business with a property management company that Haynie founded with her husband. [Sun-Sentinel] – Mike Seemuth

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