El Cid Historic Neighborhood Association | A West Palm Beach & National Register Community

September 12th – Important Carefree Development Neighborhood Town Hall

Important Carefree Development Neighborhood Town Hall

Redeemer Lutheran Church
2300 S. Dixie Highway
(Southeast corner of Granada and Dixie)

*If Zoom is possible, a link will be listed on the e-mail distribution sent out on Monday morning.

The above rendering shows the mass and intensity of the proposed Carefree project adjacent to one and two story historic homes in El Cid, with it stretching across the blocks of Flamingo, Barcelona and Cordova, on the east side of South Dixie Highway. 

Almost two years after the previous Carefree proposal was ‘withdrawn’ in the face of determined community opposition to the massive size and potential problems it would inflict on El Cid and surrounding neighborhoods, the applicant has submitted a revised proposal.

It’s not much different from previous proposals because it still includes:

  • Rezoning to a Commercial Planned Development (CPD).  This will require a waiver as Commercial Planned Developments (CPD) are to be a minimum of 5 acres in size. This area is 1.8671 acres.
  • 6 movie theaters with 600 seats in total
  • 15,607 square feet of restaurant and retail shopping
  • 59 rental apartments (1 more than previously)
  • Pile drilling a 2-story underground garage requiring 24 hour pumping to remove water from the aquifer over which it is sited

What is different about the new proposal:

  • It is 5 stories tall, 14 feet lower than presented in the last application. It is in a historic residential district where the tallest buildings, Magnolia Court, are 3 stories and most El Cid homes, to which it is adjacent, are 1 or 2 stories.
  • The garage parking has been reduced from 405 spaces in the previous proposal to 378 despite no reduction in the number of expected customers and residents.

Among the problems the El Cid Historic Neighborhood Association believes this will cause are:

  • ‘Subsidence’ or sinking of ground under surrounding historic homes due to aquifer pumping could cause wall and foundation cracking or sink holes
  • Drilling for underground garage could damage nearby historic homes
  • Pipes for pumped water might have to be installed, which could mean digging up of Flamingo, Cordova or Barcelona Roads causing resident loss of car access to their homes for up to a year
  • Additional traffic through the neighborhood, endangering children and adults
  • Increased parking on residential streets, which is already at crisis levels. Pig Beach, a new 50+ seat restaurant on South Dixie, is already causing parking problems. Imagine the impact of 600 movie patrons, 59 rental tenants with as many as 100+ cars, restaurant and shopping customers.
  • Sunlight blockage for neighboring homes

The El Cid Historic Neighborhood Association has concerns that the Carefree Application contains no meaningful mitigation protections for the intrusion into our community. In addition, the 9 waivers that request reductions in setbacks, impermeable surface area, landscape area, and open space increase the intensity and mass on the site.

It is important to note that if this development on less than half of the space under current zoning restrictions is approved, it will set an irreversible precedent for every block on South Dixie from El Cid to the Lake Worth border.

Please plan to join us this coming Monday at 6 pm to learn more about this project!

The El Cid Historic Neighborhood Association

Please contact the board at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.

The proposed buildings are 5 stories tall compared to the 1 and 2 story historic homes adjacent to the property. 

The proposed facade of the building stretching from Flamingo to Barcelona, facing west on South Dixie.

An overview rendering of the proposed two building Carefree development as it will be positioned within the El Cid neighborhood.  Upper right corner is Flamingo Drive, center road is Barcelona Road, and far left bottom corner is Cordova Road.