Beware of Unintended Consequences


This article, originally published by Al Zucaro on, is preserved for historical purposes by Massive Impressions Online Marketing in Boca Raton.
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You learn something new every day…

On April 11 I found out something new about building heights in downtown Boca Raton…Developers have the right to add additional treatments or add-ons to their projects with no height restrictions.

For clarification, this is not what is known as habitable space. Rather it is simply features such as a Cupolla, tower or steeple or antennas.  An added condition is that the feature may not exceed more than 30% of the buildings roof.

This came to light at the City’s Community Redevlopment Agency (CRA) meeting.  All this was reported to the Commissioners by the downtown City Manager, Ruby Childers. Ms. Childers stated that the building height “non-limit” was part of Ordinance 4035.  The good news is that no developer has chosen to take advantage of the unlimited height.

Now that this provision has been explained to the public it will be interesting to see which developer will be the first to take advantage of unlimited height.

It would be important for our community leaders to get in front of this so we don’t end up with some unintended consequences.

Please view the actual presentation at the CRA meeting by clicking the video Actual statement approx 2 minutes into video.

Please, let’s avoid this…


As an addendum, BocaWatch received further clarification from Councilman Singer regarding this issue…

“Under Ord. 4035, there is a height limit of 100 ft. for habitable space.  Non-habitable space “need not be included in measuring the height of the building” and certain elements may exceed the height, for up to 30% of the roof area.  There is no height limit specified in this section of 4035 (p. 9 under definition of “Height”).  In addition, parapet walls may extend an additional 5 feet above the height limit.

Under Ord. 5052, there is the same height limit of 100 ft. as the base height, plus an additional 40 ft. in habitable space on portions of the building under the design guidelines, plus a further 20 ft. in non-inhabitable space such as tower elements or mechanical structures above the tallest primary building mass.  That could result in 160 feet in height total.”

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