PALM BEACH GARDENS — Plans for a 10,000-square-foot day care facility with space for 175 children won unanimous approval from the city council Thursday night.
The Learning Experience, an early-childhood education center with more than 450 locations throughout the country, will be built within the 12.64-acre Banyan Tree Planned Unit Development on the northwest corner of Northlake Boulevard and MacArthur Boulevard.
The site, which is across the street from one of four Palm Beach County Costco Wholesale locations, also includes restaurants Bolay and Habit Burger Grill, as well as retail and medical offices.
“It’s a beautiful center, with a nice mix of service-oriented retail uses,” said Don Hearing, president of Cotleur & Hearing, the project’s landscape architect. “They’re not regional draws. They’re community-oriented, and the day care becomes very synergistic with that.”
The Learning Experience will provide half- and full-day care for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, and includes a 6,323-square-foot outdoor play area with a splash pad.
When complete, it will join five other Learning Experience locations in Palm Beach County, including one on Fairway Drive in Palm Beach Gardens. The others are in Boynton Beach, Lake Worth Beach, West Palm Beach and Boca Raton.
Construction is expected to begin in the first or second quarter of next year, Hearing said, and should be complete by early 2022.
• City homeowners will see their tax bills go up slightly under a proposed budget that was approved on first reading by the city council Thursday night.
The 2020-21 budget, which adds seven full-time positions and makes various capital improvements, was approved on a 4-1 vote during the first of two public budget hearings. Council member Mark Marciano voted no.
A second budget hearing will be held Sept. 24 at City Hall.
The city’s proposed total tax rate is $5.55 for every $1,000 of assessed value, which is the same rate as last year.
Because of increasing home values, the owner of a home assessed at $450,000 after the $50,000 homestead exemption would see a roughly $57 increase in taxes, for a total bill of $2,277 under next year’s budget.
The owner of a home assessed at $350,000 after the $50,000 exemption could expect to see a roughly $45 increase in taxes, for a total bill of about $1,710.
The proposed operating tax rate of $5.55 represents a 2.3 percent increase above the roll-back rate of $5.43.
The tentative budget includes funding for seven new full-time employees to keep up with increasing demand for services, the city said.
Those new positions include two new communication operators, an administrative specialist in the legal department, two fire inspectors, a fire training instructor, and a business analyst in the information technology department.
• Palm Beach Gardens Police Officer David Joy was awarded the department’s Life Saving Award and the Fire Department’s Call of the Quarter Award Thursday after helping save the life of an injured motorist Sept. 6.
Joy was the first to arrive on the scene of a serious traffic accident at the intersection of Hood Road and Military Trail in which a motorist was thrown from his car, severing a portion of his arm.
Joy immediately applied a tourniquet to the victim’s arm and stopped the bleeding. He remained with the victim and kept him calm until Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue arrived on the scene to render aid, the city said.
The victim was transported to St. Mary’s Medical Center, where he remained in critical but stable condition.
• The council unanimously approved a site plan for a Florida Power & Light utility electrical substation on 4.8 acres within the Avenir development on Northlake Boulevard.
The unmanned facility will be used for transformation, regulation, and distribution of electricity, the utility said.
• The council unanimously approved a site plan for single-family home floor plans and a model home and sales center for the La Terre at Avenir development. A total of 92 homes will be built on the site.