The city commission by a 5-0 vote Tuesday night approved the proposed condominium at the waterfront Chapel-by-the-Lake site, green-lighting what proponents call an attractive addition to the waterfront and residents have decried as a blight on the waterfront.
The decision followed nearly five hours of debate and months of some of the most contentious development debate in the city in a long time. It included three previous meetings totaling 14 hours, plus two “town hall” meetings, as well as several vote delays and at least four design changes.
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June 27, 2010: About 500 members of First Baptist Church vote 247-216 to sell waterfront Chapel-by-the-Lake property. Church later agrees to sell property to developers for $23 million.
July 16, 2013: After a five-hour meeting, West Palm Beach planning board rejects project. Developer later drops plans by four stories.
Sept. 16: After six-hour meeting, commissioners give initial approval but warn they’d likely reject plan as shown at final vote on Sept. 30.
Oct. 7: Developers propose two towers; vote delayed to end of month.
Oct. 28: After three-hour meeting, developers ask commissioners not to vote but to let them come back with new plans; poll later suggests commissioners would have rejected project.
Dec. 4: Developers hold “town hall” meeting with residents.
Dec. 18: Mayor Jeri Muoio reveals developers plan to submit plans cutting project by 20 percent and returning to one tower.
Jan. 8: Developers submit new plans; they and church spokesman confirm price reduced but don’t elaborate.
Jan. 16: Developers hold second “town hall.”
Tuesday: City commission takes final vote