By Marie Pulio

The Lighthouse Point Yacht Club redevelopment project is moving closer to the conclusion of an approval process that began three years ago. Five final items will be coming to the City Commission for approval in February.

Terry Paterson, owner and developer of the Lighthouse Point Yacht Club, is proposing to build 21 luxury townhomes and one single-family home on a portion of the yacht club property that is currently used for tennis courts and parking. The proceeds from the sale of the residential units would be used to subsidize a new yacht club clubhouse, a new tennis center and a renovated children’s activity center.

The Planning and Zoning Board completed its review of the development agreement at its Dec. 7, 2021, meeting.

The City Commission, at its Jan. 11 meeting, approved on first reading the development agreement and an ordinance to rezone the yacht club property, located at 2701 NE 42nd Street, from a business district to a new Yacht Club-Mixed Use (YC-MU) zoning district, which included review of the proposed final site plan.

The development agreement and rezoning ordinance are slated to come back to the City Commission on Feb. 8 for a second reading, along with the second readings of a land use map amendment to permit residential uses on the property; a text amendment to the city’s Comprehensive Plan to clarify the permitted uses in the land use category assigned to the property; and an ordinance creating the Yacht Club-Mixed Use (YC-MU) zoning district.

The site plan was approved by the Planning and Zoning Board last October, subject to eleven conditions. The City Commission made determinations on those conditions during its review of the site plan on Jan. 11.

One of those conditions was that the City Commission review whether the three townhome buildings proposed for the west side of the project site could have a larger separation between them to avoid a “wall effect” and to “create a better aesthetic view” for the residents who live across the canal.

There’s a separation of 24 feet between the two townhome buildings proposed for the east side. However, on the west side, there is only 16 feet between the three townhome buildings. Spacing the townhome buildings on the west side further apart would require shifting two of the buildings to the south, which would need to be accommodated in the final design.

“This is the heavy topic of this evening,” said Commission President Kyle Van Buskirk.

Commission Vice President Sandy Johnson said she “feels strongly” that 16 feet between the buildings is enough. Commissioner Earl Maucker said he would like to see 24 feet, but it wasn’t “a dealbreaker” for him.

“I’ve struggled over this,” said Commissioner Jason Joffe, who thinks “less density is better.”

Commissioner Mike Long said he was “mixed on this,” and expressed concern about the buildings on the west side looking like “one big wall.” 

The Commission voted 4:1 to keep the 16-foot building separation on the west side, with Joffe voting ‘no.’

Another condition the Planning and Zoning Board placed on its approval of the site plan was that the City hire a traffic consultant to review the safety and efficacy of the proposed front entry of the yacht club, which includes booms that would open and close automatically for each car entering the site, serving as a traffic calming device. The traffic consultant hired by the City reached the conclusion that the booms of the front entry, referred to as the “entry feature,” will not create a safety issue if proper stacking is provided.

The City Commission decided to add as a condition of its approval of the site plan a provision that if the City or developer determine the booms aren’t functioning as intended, the issue can be “reopened,” with the possibility of the booms being removed.

As part of its site plan discussion, the Commission confirmed that the developer will install an exterior wall and landscaping along NE 42nd Street early in the first phase of the project to provide buffering from noise and construction debris, and that the City and Paterson will develop a permanent traffic calming plan for NE 27th Terrace.

The Commission’s review of the development agreement included discussion of the project’s phasing plan and the duration of construction, which was set at 26 months for everything except the last five townhome units, plus a 14-month period to complete those units, making the maximum period 40 months. The Commission would be able to grant a one-year extension if there were an unforeseen circumstance.

After spending approximately two-and-a-half hours on the rezoning ordinance and site plan review, the Commission then spent almost two hours on the development agreement. The rezoning ordinance/site plan was approved with a 4:1 vote, with Joffe casting the ‘no’ vote. The development agreement was approved with a 5:0 vote.

The City Commission meeting on Feb. 8 will start at 5:30pm, one hour earlier than usual, to allow more time to get through all the yacht club-related agenda items. Members of the public will have an opportunity to provide their input during the meeting.


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