The city council unanimously approved a master plan Tuesday for a Florida Power & Light Co. campus that could bring hundreds of jobs, a helicopter pad and 913,000 square feet of office space to a site east of Interstate 95 and north of PGA Boulevard.
Councilman Joe Russo and other council members said the FPL corporate campus plan is better than getting 17 proposals for parcels that could have been developed separately under a previously approved plan.
Garden Woods resident Kathleen Govig asked the council to limit building heights to six stories instead of allowing FPL to erect buildings up to 165 feet tall, or 12 stories.
“At 12 stories or 165 feet, it will be very noticeable,” Govig said.
Project planner Ken Tuma of Urban Design Kilday Studios said FPL’s tallest buildings would be concentrated on the south side of the site near PGA Boulevard. The closest FPL building would be 400 feet from the nearest home. Buildings on the north end of the site would start at 50 feet tall and stairstep up to the 165-foot maximum, Tuma said.
Resident Sharon Long said she is concerned about noise from FPL helicopters.
Tuma said the company’s helicopters would fly at 1,500 feet, three times higher than police and trauma helicopters.
The helipad, where helicopters would pick up and drop off FPL employees, would be at least 800 feet from the nearest home. The company has said its helicopters would fly only during business hours, except in emergencies. No helicopter refueling or repair would happen at the company’s Palm Beach Gardens campus.
A traffic study by the engineering firm Kimley-Horn & Associates shows a fully built FPL campus and an adjacent office project would generate 7,032 car trips a day, including 1,059 at the peak morning hour. That’s 1,576 fewer car trips than the hotel, offices and research facilities previously approved for the 86-acre site.
Under the master plan, FPL would build on what is known as Parcel A — 51 acres south of Kyoto Gardens Drive.
The plan includes a 4.25-acre tract on the west side of the property, where owner Spearfisher Partners plans to build 80,000 square feet of office space in buildings up to 90 feet tall.
FPL employs 2,500 at its Juno Beach headquarters, which is nearing capacity. The company has said it hopes to build on the Palm Beach Gardens site over 20 to 30 years.
Tuesday’s council approval is for a master plan. Individual buildings will have to come back to the city for approval.