ter the board elected Bob Vila chairman and Michael B. Small vice chairman. They are filling the seats vacated by Richard Sammons and Ann L. Vanneck, whose terms expired last month.
“We’re not proposing to save any of the hardscape or structures,” said landscape designer Keith Williams of Nievera Williams Design, who presented the request to commissioners along with real estate attorney Maura Ziska.
Sellers sometimes will submit a demolition request prior to a sale to ease the path for a buyer. The sales listing for the Montgomery estate in the Palm Beach Board of Realtors doesn’t indicate if a buyer has signed a contract for the property, a search Wednesday showed.
Corcoran Group broker Bill Yahn, who has the listing, declined to comment on the demolition approval. Former Corcoran agent Jim McCann of Premier Estate Properties is working with Corcoran to show the property. McCann couldn’t be reached.
The property has 300 feet of beachfront and nearly the same amount of frontage on the Intracoastal Waterway, according to the sales listing. Christened “Sans Souci” — French for “without care or worries” — by the Montgomerys, the estate is about 1½ miles south of Mar-a-Lago.
In addition to the main house, the seven-bedroom property includes a guest house and other outbuildings set amid landscaped grounds with multiple water features and ponds. Among the outdoor amenities are a swimming pool and a lap pool. The Montgomerys bought the property for $3.25 million in 1988, property records show, and overhauled the residence.
The original 1922 house was designed by noted society architect Addison Mizner and was landmarked by the town in 1979, after it had fallen into disrepair. In 1990, the town rescinded the landmark designation because officials agreed that it had been so altered that it no longer met the designation criteria.
“It’s got that Mizner name attached to it, which makes it difficult to do what we have to do,” Vila said.
Vila was referring to rules that provide no leeway for commissioners to deny a demolition request if a property isn’t landmarked or under consideration for landmarking.
Mary Montgomery has been the focus of a contentious legal battle between her court-appointed guardians and her daughter, Courtnay Montgomery.
Attorney Mitch Kitroser said in September that the decision to sell the home was made by the trustees of the senior’s estate.
“The co-guardians determined that the Palm Beach home is no longer the best location for Mrs. Montgomery,” Kitroser said. Bob Montgomery, who died in 2008, is best known for litigating the case that resulted in a landmark 1997 settlement requiring tobacco companies to pay the state of Florida $11.3 billion.
Also on Wednesday, Dan Floersheimer joined the commission as an alternate member, taking the seat vacated when John David Corey moved up to become a full voting member. Commissioner Nikita Zukov also joined the board but was absent from the meeting.
The Montgomery estate at 1800 S. Ocean Blvd., listed at $46 million since September, stretches from the lake to the ocean. Its structures were approved for demolition by the Architectural Commission on Wednesday.