By Tim Pallesen
A citizens group has sued Delray Beach saying its density approval for Atlantic Plaza II violates the vision for Delray to always be “a village by the sea.”
City commissioners approved 40 housing units per acre for the East Atlantic Avenue project on Dec. 4. The developer still needs site plan approval before construction can begin.
The lawsuit claims the Dec. 4 vote was inconsistent with the city’s comprehensive plan which calls the central business district and surrounding neighborhoods the essence of Delray’s image as a charming village to be preserved.
“We hope the developer and the city will work with us to design a project that preserves the charm of Delray Beach as a village by the sea and keeps the small-town feeling,” said Ralf Brookes, the attorney hired by the citizens group Save Delray Beach to file the lawsuit.
Neighbors on both sides of the Atlantic Avenue Bridge fear the multi-use project will cause traffic congestion.
The citizens group filed its lawsuit Jan. 2 because of a 30-day deadline after the Dec. 4 vote.
But the battle resumes first this year at city hearings once the developer submits a site plan for city approval.
Neighbors have met twice with the developer’s project manager to discuss a scaled-down project that they could support.
“We hope we can settle with the developer,” Save Delray Beach organizer John Papaloizos said. “The lawsuit is a way to get our voices heard.”