Commissioners voted to approve The Village of Wilton Manors development at their meeting on Feb. 27, but only to allow the developer the chance to reduce the density. It could be brought back to the commission as early as the end of this month, but no exact date was set.
“I think townhouses there is perfect. My problem is the [number] of units,” said Commissioner Tom Green. Vice Mayor Justin Flippen and Commissioner Scott Newton made similar comments.
Only Mayor Gary Resnick and Commissioner Julie Carson voted no. Carson said she hopes the developer comes back with a less dense project. Resnick said he generally supports the project, but was staunchly against it because of the density.
The developer, Tim Hernandez of New Urban Communities, which is under contract to build the project for a client which owns the property, wants to build 16 townhouses on 0.8 acres at
549 NE 21 Ct., behind the Gables Wilton Park. Hernandez, who was the developer for the Belle Isle mixed-use property on Wilton Drive, stated he has a budget of $5 to $6 million for the project.
At the meeting, Hernandez asked commissioners to rezone the property from RM 16 to PUD. He also asked for 12 flex units, which would allow him to bypass the city’s density restrictions. Under the city’s code, Hernandez could only build a maximum of four units on a property that size.
“I’m not aware of any city that allows a PUD for anything less than an acre,” Resnick said. “I just think it’s too dense. I would never vote for 12.”
Some of the members of the public who spoke at the meeting also said they had a problem with the density. But there were those who also asked the commission to approve it. Hernandez told commissioners that a higher density project so close to Wilton Drive would be a benefit to the businesses. “That’s a good thing,” he said.
Newton suggested that the project should be reduced by two units. Green suggested 9 flex units. Flippen gave no specific number but stated he wasn’t in favor of 12 flex units being awarded. He also stated that this project “underscores the inconsistencies in the city’s code.”