A banner draped across the west side of the Gulf Stream Hotel that urges voters to “save” the old hotel by voting against building height limits on March 12 is a violation of a city code, city officials said Monday.
The city was scheduled to post a notice of violation today on the 1925 hotel giving owner CSC Lake Worth Limited Partnership notice that the banner, which reaches almost all the way across the west side of the hotel, should be taken down within 48 hours.
Assistant City Attorney Christy Goddeau said the city has not measured the banner but noted that it appears to violate the 6-square-foot size limit for political signs as well as the 12-square-foot size limit for special event banners.
Loretta Sharpe, a real estate broker who formed the Friends of Gulfstream Political Committee this month to fight the proposed limits on building heights, said she didn’t realize that posting the banner would be a code violation.
“If they make me take it down within 48 hours, that’s just fine,” Sharpe said, noting that the banner was hung with the hotel owner’s permission on Friday evening and has already been seen by many voters.
Sharpe said she has been selling real estate in Lake Worth for 26 years and wanted voters to know that limiting building heights to 45 feet would kill plans to redevelop the 1925 hotel. To make the redevelopment plan work, Sharpe said, another building west of the hotel holding a conference center, large guest rooms and two floors of parking would be needed.
Laurel Decker, chairwoman of the Respectful Planning Lake Worth Political Committee that is pushing for the 45-foot building height limits, disagreed that a 65-foot building is needed to spur the sale and redevelopment of the Gulf Stream.
Voters will decide March 12 whether to approve a charter change that would limit building heights to 45 feet along most of Lake and Lucerne avenues. The limit would be 20 feet lower than the city’s comprehensive plan allows for buildings east of Federal Highway.
Decker and other proponents of building height limits accused City Manager Michael Bornstein of favoring the existing 65-foot height limit by not making sure the banner was removed over the weekend, when the downtown was packed with people for the Street Painting Festival.
“I am offended,” Bornstein wrote in an email reply Saturday to resident Robert Waples. “This is a college-level stunt to gain attention. Feel free to play inside the political arena with this issue, but please keep the city entity out of it.”