Developer of Holiday Inn makes changes to original plan, but hotel still a go

Locals fear four story hotel will overshadow homes

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Tuesday night we should know whether a local developer will get the green light to build a hotel next to a 55 and over community.

Palm Beach Leisureville residents in Boynton Beach have signed petitions and staged protests to try and stop the construction.

When Michael Smith bought his home along Ocean Drive last year, he had no idea a four-story Holiday Inn could come to his doorstep.

"From five to six o'clock at night the building will dwarf the sun," said Smith.

An eight-foot tall hedge is all that separates the proposed hotel site from Bill and Catherine York's home. They're worried about what several months of construction will bring.

"Lots of dirt and a mess coming over here," said Bill York.

Developer Hardial Sibia says he has made concessions including lowering the total height of the building from five to four stories, and cutting down the number of rooms from 112 to 93. If the hotel is built, neighbors want more.

"We're trying to list things that are our concerns that we'd like the commission to levy against the developer to put into his plans," said Louise Farrell, who lives in Leisureville.

The first is a privacy wall to separate the two properties, and a right hand turn only sign to keep traffic from heading into the neighborhood on Ocean Drive.

Though residents feel the hotel is inevitable, they still plan to attend Tuesday night's city hall meeting to speak their minds.

"Certainly it diminishes all of our feelings about the community," said Smith.

The City Commission meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. 

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