On June 30, representatives from Hillstone met with City Staff to present the latest site plan as prepared by Hillstone and also cover various open items from previous submittals. The presenters representing Hillstone included none other than Derek Vander Ploeg, a renowned local architect who happens to sit on the Community Appearance Board (CAB).

It appeared that Mr. Vander Ploeg was there as an official representative of Hillstone. He clearly acted on behalf of the petitioner, Hillstone. That being the case, a recusal by Mr. Vander Ploeg on this matter should be mandatory when this item next comes before the CAB. His impartial opinion has been compromised.

At the present time there are no public hearings scheduled for the project itself. The notable exception is the rezoning of the Wildflower property, which is currently scheduled to be introduced to City Council on August 11, 2015 with a full public hearing the following month. This item narrowly passed Planning and Zoning on a 4-3 vote with much of the discussion focused on traffic issues. As it turns out, the traffic study presented was questionable at best (Please see the article “Traffic Studies. . . All We Ask Is For a Fair Public Hearing” on the BocaWatch Hot Topics Blog dated May 19). If the City Council bases its decision on the same traffic study used for P&Z this needs to be protested loudly.

According to the City File for this project there are still issues to be resolved to the satisfaction of both the City and the County before this project will be moved forward. From a memo dated May 26, 2015 from the county’s Department of Engineering and Public Works comes the following: “Based on our review, the Traffic Division has determined the proposed development at this time, does not meet the performance standards of Palm Beach County.”

For its part, the City has requested dockage. Hillstone has not included dockage in its site plan and gives numerous reasons as to why including; tricky currents, the blockage of view for patrons of the restaurant, the probability that Silver Palm boaters will use it for dockage. Other items from the City remain unresolved. (Watch excerpt from 5/26/15 City Council Workshop where some concerns for boat dockage are dispelled)

BocaWatch will do its best to keep readers apprised of events for the Wildflower property. We also ask that if residents are aware of additional facts and circumstances for this “Hot Topic” that you submit the information to BocaWatch.