Palm Beach Leisureville’s new hot commodity? You’ll never guess

11:09 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018 Local
Ken and Pauline Malley sit on their porch in Boynton Beach on Jan. 22, 2018 with their daughter’s 2-year-old Jack Russell, Amai. (Alexandra Seltzer / The Palm Beach Post)

In the Palm Beach Leisureville 55 and older community, porches with a roof are the new hot thing.

And after about 18 years of living there, Ken and Pauline Malley finally have one.

Boynton Beach ’s code didn’t allow for residents to have their standard-sized patios covered with a roof. And that’s where residents typically gather — in the front of their homes — for social hour even if the homeowner has a back patio, said resident Rick Stead.

The problem? In the summer when it’s 90-plus degrees outside, residents are a little uncomfortable.

“I said, ‘This makes no sense,’” Stead said. “The last thing we want to do is spend more time out in the sun.”

The community got together with Stead as spokesman and went to the city for a change, which commissioners recently signed off on. The city staff said adding a prominent front porch doesn’t make the community more timeless, which is desired, but it does bring more comfortable activity, which is the intent of current urban design theory.

Now, roofs and support posts can extend out 10 feet instead of only three feet and porch steps can reach an additional four feet. But the porches have to remain open without walls or screens, said Mike Rumpf, the city’s director of planning and zoning.

Ken Malley refers to Stead as “Rick Star” now.

“If the sun was out you couldn’t be out,” Pauline said while she sat on a love seat on the patio.