BocaBeautiful.org, a non-profit volunteer organization committed to preserving the beauty and the historic architectural values of our city, is calling for the repeal of the Interim Design Guidelines and scrapping the Pattern Book that would extend the IDG’s 60% increase in height to the entire downtown. A brief summary of their post follows. Click here to read the full post on their website.  

The IDG (Ordinance 5051 and Ordinance 5052) fails the simplicity test required for good regulations big time! It represents a failed attempt to micro manage growth in Boca Raton.

The Pattern Book which the City is now considering will extend most provisions of the IDG to the entire downtown. The Pattern Book should be scrapped and Boca should return to its traditional development ordinance, Ordinance 4035. 

The IDG test case gave us far more density and far less open space than promised because of loopholes in the IDG. The Pattern Book maintains many of these same loopholes and increases the permissible development height throughout the Downtown by 60%.

Boca needs an independent firm, not Urban Design Associates, to evaluate the IDG test case.  Urban Design Associates developed both the IDG and Pattern Book. The firm has actively supported increased density and height in the Downtown. 

A special city ordinance allows Tower 155 to use the IDG to increase both the height and density of its project on Boca Raton Rd. The City should not approve special ordinances to benefit specific development projects. 

To sum it all up:  The so-called Interim Design Guidelines are so complex that they have led to a building binge that threatens the quality of life in downtown Boca.  The Pattern Book is even more complex and will extend the building binge to the rest of the Downtown.

Evaluations and approvals of developments have been left to those that have a vested interest in the outcome.  Complex regulations have been exploited by developers to increase the height and density of new developments in the Downtown. We can all see the results. We do not want to extend the failed IDG concept to the entire Downtown as adoption of the Pattern Book would do. We would rather return to Boca’s 1992 Master Plan and traditional development ordinance, Ordinance 4035.