In 122 pages, the West Palm Beach Planning Department explained why the city should approve a 29-story luxury condominium on First Baptist Church’s Chapel by the Lake property. After hours of angry comments last week, the city’s planning board voted to deny the project. Why the disconnect?
Perhaps because the city needs to change its planning priorities. The staff member who prepared the report noted that West Palm Beach’s comprehensive plan encourages the city to “expand its tax base by promoting the expansion of existing and new businesses, redevelopment and revitalization activities, and annexations.” The staff member cited a consultant’s estimate that the condo would generate $3.4 million in property tax revenue, along with nearly 1,200 construction jobs and 110 permanent jobs.
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