Appeals court orders another vote on proposed Boca Raton beach duplex

Judges said that two city council members prejudged the project when they should have remained impartial

Miami /
Sep.September 22, 2020 01:30 PM
The Principal Richard Caster, Monica Mayotte and Andrea O’Rourke of Boca Raton City Council, and 2600 North Ocean Boulevard, Boca Raton (Credit: Azure Development)

The Principal Richard Caster, Monica Mayotte and Andrea O’Rourke of Boca Raton City Council, and 2600 North Ocean Boulevard, Boca Raton (Credit: Azure Development)

A South Florida luxury homebuilder will get another shot at developing an oceanfront project in Boca Raton, according to an appeals court ruling.

The city must hold a new hearing and must forbid two city council members from voting on a proposed variance to allow Azure Development ‘s four-story duplex on a vacant lot it owns at 2600 North Ocean Boulevard, according to the Daily Business Review. A panel of three judges in the appellate division of Palm Beach County’s Circuit Court said that the two city council members prejudged the project when they should have remained impartial.

At issue is Azure’s desire to build east of a construction control line meant to protect nesting sea turtles. Boca city council members unanimously voted against the variance proposal. However, two members, Monica Mayotte and Andrea O’Rourke, came out against the project before the vote.

That means that three remaining city council members will vote on the variance proposal. Delray Beach-based Azure believes the duplex will have minimal impact on the turtles, according to the Daily Business Review.

The city may appeal the judges’ decision, the Daily Business Review reported. Azure, led by Richard Caster and Brian Grossberg, previously unsuccessfully tried to sell the .42-acre lot to the city for $7.2 million. The duplex was proposed in 2018.

It’s not the only project to become complicated by environmental disruption. In September, Ram Realty bought land north of Zoo Miami for $9.6 million, as part of a project that was sued by environmentalists in an effort to protect pine rockland on the site.

Other residential developments slated for Boca Raton include an apartment complex on part of the Boca Dunes Golf & Country Club, which received a $57.4 million construction loan earlier this year.

[DailyBusinessReview]Wade Tyler Millward


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