Palm Beach to set limits on construction and landscaping during peak season

The Town Council is expected to give final approval Thursday to an amended ordinance that places additional restrictions on construction and landscaping work on the island, with some exceptions.

During their meeting at Town Hall, council members will vote on second reading to approve an amended ordinance that sets limits on dates and hours for construction and landscaping work during the peak season, which the town defines as the Monday preceding Thanksgiving through April 30.

The measure was approved unanimously last month on first reading.

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As part of the amended ordinance, construction work cannot begin until 8 am and must be completed by 5 pm during peak season, except for Saturdays, Sundays, observed town holidays, and the days before and after Thanksgiving, when it is prohibited.

The ordinance also prohibits lawn maintenance activity on Saturdays, Sundays and observed town holidays during the peak season. But it allows it on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Friday following Thanksgiving between 9 am and 5 pm

Work performed between 1 pm and 5 pm on the Friday after Thanksgiving must be quiet in nature, meaning no gas or electric-powered lawn maintenance equipment or leaf blowers can be used.

The lawn maintenance exceptions were made after the landscaping industry expressed concerns about the limited amount of time available for lawn activity during the week of Thanksgiving.

In March, the council passed an ordinance on first reading that banned landscaping on the day after Thanksgiving. It also prohibited construction and landscaping on weekday observation dates for holidays that fall on a weekend, and limited construction and landscaping work on the day before Thanksgiving.

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Council members said the additional restrictions were needed because of the substantial volume of vehicular traffic within the town during the holidays last year. However, the ordinance never came before the council for a final vote because of intense backlash from landscaping companies.

“The landscape industry objected to the limits, stating that this would limit their ability to provide landscaping for their clients before and after the holiday,” Town Manager Kirk Blouin said.

Also Thursday, the council will:

• Hear presentations on the town-wide undergrounding project and Phipps Ocean Park redesign.

• Vote on an ordinance that would amend the General Fund, Par 3 Golf Course and Building Fund budgets for fiscal year 2022.

• Hear presentations and make appointments to the Investment Advisory Committee and Planning and Zoning Commission.

The Town Council meeting was moved from Tuesday to Thursday because of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. No public meetings will be held Tuesday.

Council members will meet at 9:30 am at Town Hall. Members of the public can participate in person or follow the meeting virtually via Zoom Webinar. Those wishing to make public comments virtually can access the Zoom link on the town’s Meeting Audio page.

On Wednesday, the council also will host its monthly development review meeting at 9:30 am It will be preceded at 9 am by a joint meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission and the mayor, Danielle Moore, and Town Council.

Both meetings will be held in person and via Zoom. Those wishing to make public comments virtually can access the Zoom link on the Meeting Audio page.

Jodie Wagner is a journalist at the Palm Beach Daily News, part of the USA TODAY Florida Network. You can reach her at Help support our journalism. Subscribe today.

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