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Delray Beach looking to expand its business district

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 11:11 PM EDT
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For six years Mariano Bejarano has called the Osceola Park neighborhood in Delray Beach home.

"What I like about the neighborhood is actually the historical part of it. You have beautiful old houses 100 years old," he said.

He also likes the mixture of cultures. Close to the beach, and downtown.

But there's a change in the air. The City of Delray Beach is looking at expanding its central business district.

"I have like mixed feelings about that because I'm up for progress of course but at the same time I feel like the city's not supporting the local people," he said.

The expansion would look something like this south of Atlantic Avenue from SE 4TH Street to SE 10TH Street in an area west of the Intracoastal. Along SE 5TH Avenue and SE 6th Avenue.

"As a proactive effort to adopt higher design criteria for future development to foster some investment while protecting the adjacent neighborhoods and get a higher standard of development," Anthea Gianniotes with the City of Delray Beach said.

Gianniotes said there are a few requirements.

"We're talking about higher landscaping requirements for new developments, additional architectural standards that relate to new development, and changing the setbacks," she said.

Another area of focus is workforce housing in a time of rising rents.

"And they're focusing mainly between the two federals. so you can get a higher density there than what's allowed currently. but the exchange is that a certain percentage has to be reserved for our workforce," she said.

With the goal of making sure it's a community for all.

"So the local people can afford to stay where they live, where they grew up," Mariano said.

The next step is back here at a city workshop on Tuesday where the new zoning will get the approval to move ahead for a second reading.

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