Construction extension a go for 2015 Marriott in Boynton Beach

A Delray Beach architect is expected to start construction within the coming months of a four-story, 108-room Marriott TownePlace Suites between Gateway and Quantum boulevards now that he has the City Commission’s approval.

The commission approved a 12-month extension for John Vaughan of Art & Architecture. Vaughan said with the 12-month extension, construction will start around October and should be completed by October 2015.

Vaughan already was given an extension because of the economy in 2011, and when he asked for the second said he finally has the finances to start the project, which was approved in 2010. The city’s Planning and Development Board approved an 18-month extension in April but Vice Mayor Joe Casello said Tuesday night he’d feel better with the 12-month extension.

The extension was unanimously approved.

The hotel will be 77,744 square feet and will be built on 2.77 acres. It will have an outdoor pool, a breakfast area, a meeting room, exercise room and guest laundry facilities.

Commissioners also moved forward with allowing leashed dogs in four city parks by approving on first reading an amended ordinance permitting the animals. Leashed dogs will be allowed at Jaycee, Intracoastal, Dewey and Boynton Lakes parks for one year. Signs that read: “There is no poop fairy. Please clean up after your dog,” will be placed at each of the parks and will cost between $100 and $125 each.

A Boynton Lakes North Community resident came to the meeting in support of the ordinance change and said the Boynton Lakes park is in the middle of the community.

“I am a dog owner. I walk at least 2 or 3 miles every night and I have never stepped foot in that park because my dog is not allowed in that park,” she said.

A couple of residents clapped after the commissioners unanimously passed the ordinance.

Against Commissioner David Merker’s wishes, the commission filled the open seat on the Community Redevelopment Agency board after Mark Karageorge’s recent resignation.

Former Mayor Woodrow Hay was appointed. Merker requested to postpone the vote to allow for more applications to come in. He also said he thinks Boynton resident Linda Cross would be good for the position and said he thinks she is more qualified than anyone else on the board.

“With all due respect to former Vice Mayor Hay, I’ll use the term again, term limits,” Merker said. “He had his day for a while. Let’s bring in new blood.”

Casello said he was impressed by Cross but thinks Hay is more familiar with what the CRA is currently dealing with and would prefer someone to be able to “hit the ground running.”

Casello unsuccessfully tried to persuade the board to move forward with discussions of merging the CRA and the City Commission operations, to include moving the CRA’s location to City Hall, to blend staff and create a special events department and to blend marketing resources.

Mayor Jerry Taylor said merging the two would create “confusion” and thinks, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Commissioner Mike Fitzpatrick said if Casello had specific points he might be for it, but he isn’t for “general blending.”

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