Palm Beach Daily News - - TODAY -

The com­mis­sion gave a unan­i­mous thumbs up to the cus­tom home de­vel­oper Patrick Car­ney and his wife, Lil­lian, want to build for them­selves at 905 N. Ocean Blvd.

The board also voted 5-2 to ap­prove a Ber­muda-in­spired house that long­time res­i­dent Keith Beaty and his son, Clark, want to build on spec­u­la­tion next door at 901 N. Ocean Blvd. on a site im­me­di­ately north of the Palm Beach Coun­try Club.

The two lots were carved within the past year from a larger es­tate that stood for many years where the coastal road makes a sharp curve around the north­ern edge of the club. Both lots mea­sure a lit­tle more than an acre.

“We spent a lot of time meet­ing with neigh­bors over the past two months,” Keith Beaty said af­ter the vote as he ex­plained how his team came up with a de­sign that he hopes will have last­ing ap­peal.

“We’re just de­lighted to have ap­proval and we think the house will com­ple­ment the neigh­bor­hood,” he said.

At 901 N. Ocean Blvd.

Ar­chi­tect Roger Janssen of Dai­ley Janssen Ar­chi­tects told com­mis­sion­ers that he had worked hard to scale down the “mass­ing” of the Beatys’ house and guest house, which have a grand to­tal of 13,511 square feet.

To do that, he elim­i­nated a long breeze­way that linked parts of the house, pulled the home far­ther west from the sea­wall and elim­i­nated a pair of two-story oc­tag­o­nal tow­ers at the corners fac­ing the ocean, re­plac­ing the one on the south­east cor­ner with a sim­i­lar one-story de­sign.

He also re­designed the over­all ex­te­rior so that only one-story el­e­ments would run along the so­called “set­back” lines fac­ing North Ocean Boule­vard. The idea, he said, was to en­sure that pas­sen­gers in cars ap­proach­ing the house would see only the roofs peek above the tall perime­ter hedge.

“We think these (roofs) will add a great sil­hou­ette ap­peal as you drive north along North Ocean Boule­vard,” Janssen said.

Janssen was the sec­ond ar­chi­tect on the project. A year ago, ar­chi­tect Stephen Roy pre­sented the first de­sign, which was sum­mar­ily re­jected by the com­mis­sion as too over­whelm­ing for the lot. That de­ci­sion pleased a num­ber of neigh­bors, who vig­or­ously com­plained that the house would loom over the street and dis­rupt the ar­chi­tec­tural har­mony of the neigh­bor­hood.

The Beatys ap­pealed the de­ci­sion to the Town Coun­cil, which agreed the com­mis­sion had acted too hastily and sent the de­sign back with in­struc­tions to board mem­bers to give the ar­chi­tect more de­tailed di­rec­tions about what needed to be changed.

By the time the project was rein­tro­duced in March, Janssen had re­placed Roy. But com­mis­sion­ers still said the new Ber­muda-style house Janssen de­signed was too tall, too large and too mono­lithic — a crit­i­cism the board re­peated when they saw re­vi­sions in April and May.

It was a dif­fer­ent story Wed­nes­day as the board re­viewed the more com­pact de­sign.

“I think the project has taken a re­ally nice turn,” said Al­ter­nate Com­mis­sioner Betsy Shiv­er­ick, who voted in the ab­sence of Com­mis­sioner Robert N. Garrison with the ma­jor­ity that ap­proved the project. Com­mis­sion­ers Alexan­der Ives and John David Corey voted against the ap­proval.

Board Chair­man Bob Villa was en­thu­si­as­tic in his re­view of the project and told Janssen: “You’ve done a ter­rific job of ad­dress­ing the feed­back you’ve got­ten from the com­mis­sion.”

Vila added that the project har­mo­nized not only with the “built en­vi­ron­ment” but also with the wishes of neigh­bors who will live nearby and drive by the house once it is built.

At 905 N. Ocean Blvd.

The com­mis­sion had voted 4-3 in July to kill the Car­neys’ de­sign. But in Au­gust, com­mis­sion­ers re­con­sid­ered the project at the re­quest of the cou­ple’s at­tor­ney, Fran­cis X.J. Lynch, who told them the “lot cover­age” had been sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced. The 12,000-square-foot ver­sion that just won ap­proval was about 3,000 square feet smaller than the de­sign re­jected in July.

Since it was first pre­sented in March, the Car­neys’ pro­posed house un­der­went even more stylis­tic changes than the Beatys’ project. As de­scribed by de­signer Daniel Me­nard of LaBerge & Me­nard Inc., each style change emerged in the wake of ob­jec­tions of the com­mis­sion and neigh­bors.

Among those op­posed had been de­vel­oper Mur­ray Good­man and his wife, Joanie, who live im­me­di­ately north of the prop­erty and had ve­he­mently ob­jected to the size of the house, say­ing it would in­trude on their pri­vacy. But af­ter re­view­ing the re­vi­sions pre­sented Wed­nes­day, the cou­ple en­dorsed the de­sign.

What started out as a 20,000-square-foot Georgian-style house mor­phed into a Beaux-Arts style be­fore tran­si­tion­ing into a Ber­muda style. The re­vi­sion was de­scribed by Me­nard as hav­ing architecture in a “cot­tagey style” with sim­ple win­dows, deep eaves sup­ported by brack­ets and broad ta­pered col­umns that re­call the bun­ga­lows built dur­ing Palm Beach’s early days.

The Car­neys had agreed to build “some­thing that’s less for­mal as you drive up to it. You don’t feel like you’re go­ing up to a man­sion,” Me­nard said, adding that the new de­sign “is far more dis­creet” in keep­ing with the over­all in­for­mal­ity of homes on the North End.

Like the house at No. 901, the foot­print of the lat­est de­sign for 905 was pushed far­ther away from the street and the sea wall. The lat­ter change al­lows more light into the Good­mans’ prop­erty and pre­serves more of their ocean views, Me­nard said.

The roof also was low­ered, and the garage was placed un­der­ground, which re­duced the length of the north and south sides of the res­i­dence by 30 feet.

“It’s come a long way,” said Corey. “It looks bet­ter on the site, and the style of the architecture is very pleas­ing — sort of ‘old Florida’ but on a larger scale.”

At­tor­ney Lynch urged the com­mis­sion to ap­prove the de­sign.

“We’ve heard the com­ments. We’ve made the changes,” he said. “We have an over­sized lot with an un­der­sized house based on what code al­lows.”

Ren­der­ing cour­tesy of LaBerge & Me­nard Inc.

The front door of 905 N. Ocean Blvd. is on the west side of the house, which was ap­proved by the Ar­chi­tec­tural Com­mis­sion on Wed­nes­day af­ter mul­ti­ple re­vi­sions.

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