City Changes Rules To Allow For New Parking Garage At Boca Regional

934

Staff report

Parking at Boca Raton Regional Hospital may get easier soon.

During a recent city council meeting, council members signed off on easing the city’s rules to permit the hospital to build a new parking garage.

The garage and what it will look like will still have to go through the city’s approval process before it can be constructed.

The garage will be near a lot of homes, which caused residents to raise concerns about their privacy, safety and property values.

“I realize how important the Boca Raton Regional Hospital is to the city,” said president of the Spanish Oaks Condominium association Colleen White. “And I realize they need more parking. But it affects our quality of life and peaceful enjoyment when they construct a large parking garage within 50 feet of our residences. There will be noise 24/7 from that parking garage.

But a need for more parking is what swayed council members to vote in favor of allowing a garage to be closer to residences than city rules currently permit.

“I understand neighbors have concerns,” Councilman Jeremy Rodgers said. “No one disagrees about the need for more parking for the hospitals. The need for parking is truly there. I see this as a reasonable request.”

Rodgers said a parking garage is ultimately less of an impact than an expansion of a hospital tower would be, which under city rules is permitted to be built much higher than a parking garage.

The rule change provides protection to neighbors by mandating the parking garage have screening and landscaping to shield it.

The proposed parking structure will go through the city’s site plan approval process and public hearings before construction can begin.