CRA Votes Down Idea of Color Conformity
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 20:15

By Eliot Kleinberg, Palm Beach Post, Dec. 15, 2012

BOYNTON BEACH — When Henry Flagler came to Palm Beach, he wanted everything in canary yellow. When Addison Mizner began developing Boca Raton, he emulated his former employer, although his color wasn’t Flagler’s yellow but, rather, pink.Boynton Beach Commissioner Steven Holzman doesn’t want all the buildings in the city to be the same color. But he would like to see all the structures within the central region overseen by the Community Redevelopment Agency to be in a small stable of colors.

Last week, his colleagues said no to his proposed “color palette.” The vote was unanimous. But the board did vote, also unanimously, to have the city restore its power to review projects within the CRA. The commissioners removed that power in 2007, when they switched from an outside board to one composed of commissioners plus two outside appointees. Holzman — who was absent with notice from Tuesday’s meeting — did not specify which or how many colors. The CRA board had discussed color limits for the CRA in 2010, and the city discussed them in 2005; both plans were nixed as well. The CRA has no legal standing except when people apply for grants for building fronts.

City planners and commissioners do have some control over colors for new properties, Executive Director Vivian Brooks said. She said they can recommend, or pooh-pooh colors, and while they can’t enforce their suggestions, “I’ve never heard anyone say no,” Brooks said, “because they want to get approval.” She did say that “typically, the city will put the kibosh on some crazy color.” But, she said, “We don’t really get crazy colors. There is a lot of control, and ultimately it rests with the commission when it gets there,” Brooks said.

“We’re the third-largest city in the county, and to have a color palette for that is a bit overwhelming,” Brooks said.  “The development process will take care of that,” Mayor Woodrow Hay said. “We begin to step a little bit out of our lane when we’re telling people what color to paint their house.”  Brooks said the CRA board could call on the city to create a Downtown Appearance Review Board. The CRA board didn’t act on that on Tuesday. Board member Buck Buchanan said, “we don’t need to create a new review board.”

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