How Two Controversial Houses Finally Won Approval in Palm Beach

Owners of two properties at the so-called “gateway to the North End” of Palm Beach finally got what they had been seeking for months amid boiling controversy. Both won town approval last week to build houses facing the sea on side-by-side lots in the 900 block of North Ocean Boulevard.

But the Architectural Commission’s approval came only after repeated admonitions from board members and neighbors to scale down their proposed designs.

House 1.  Architect Roger Janssen of Dailey Janssen Architects told commissioners that he had worked hard to scale down the “massing” of the Beatys’ house and guesthouse, 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.

House 2.   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.

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 “cottage-y style” with simple windows, deep eves supported by brackets and broad tapered columns that recall the bungalows built during Palm Beach’s early days.

Oh, the things these people will go through just to have a home in Palm Beach. With limited size, these types of problems happen all the time on the tiny island. Of course in Palm Beach, money always wins….

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How two controversial houses finally won approval in Palm Beach

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