McCanns Secure Approval for New North End House from Palm Beach Design Board

CEO Khai Intela
After three attempts and months of anticipation, Palm Beach residents and real estate agent Jim McCann and his wife, Sara, have finally received approval from the town's Architectural Commission for the construction of their new...

A rendering shows a house approved by the Architectural Commission for 217 Bahama Lane on the North End of Palm Beach. The custom home will be built by property owners Jim and Sara McCann.

After three attempts and months of anticipation, Palm Beach residents and real estate agent Jim McCann and his wife, Sara, have finally received approval from the town's Architectural Commission for the construction of their new home. The couple's desire for a fresh new house at 217 Bahama Lane on the North End has been granted, although the decision was not unanimous.

The Pursuit of a "Charming and Quirky" Design

During the most recent meeting, the design board voted 4-3 in favor of the McCanns' project. The majority of commissioners admired the proposed house, describing it as charming and even a little quirky. However, the dissenters believed that the design required further refinement. Architect Roger Janssen of Dailey Janssen Architects presented a concept that paid homage to the vernacular-style houses of Palm Beach from decades ago.

The two-story house will feature a stucco exterior, a projecting front porch with an arched entrance, a notable chimney breast, and small dormer windows above the two-car garage. The overall living space will span 4,574 square feet, both indoors and outdoors.

In August 2023, the Palm Beach Architectural Commission asked for a significant restudy of a house, depicted in this rendering, designed for Jim and Sara McCann to replace their existing home at 217 Bahama Lane.

A Long Journey of Refinement

The approved design was the result of an extensive review process. Janssen initially presented a version of the house in August. However, the board requested significant adjustments due to concerns raised by neighbors and the perceived complexity of the original architecture and roof design. In particular, the pergola facing the lap pool and extending around the front facade proved to be a point of confusion.

A revised design was presented for Round 2 in September, which aimed to simplify the architecture and eliminate the front pergola. Nevertheless, the changes failed to satisfy the commission, with some members stating that the house appeared oversized and awkwardly designed.

In September, the Palm Beach Architectural Commission asked for significant changes to the design of a house depicted in the top rendering for 217 Bahama Lane. The bottom rendering shows the revised design approved by the board in January.

For the Round 3 presentation, Janssen returned to the design from August but made further modifications. He adjusted the window arrangements, truncated the pergola, eliminated clapboard siding on the second floor, and simplified other details, such as the terrace railing above the side loggia. Although some board members, including Vice Chairman Richard Sammons, still had reservations about certain aspects of the design, they believed that these issues could be addressed through simple fixes.

Moving Forward with Majority Approval

While Sammons expressed his concerns, other commissioners felt that the project had made significant progress. Commissioner John David Corey commended the improvements and also appreciated the landscaping design by Nievera Williams Design, which featured native plants. Corey, along with Kenn Karakul and alternate commissioners Daniel Floersheimer and K.T. Catlin, voted in favor of approving the house. Notably absent from the vote were Chairman Jeffery Smith and Commissioner Tom Kirchhoff. On the opposing side were Betsy Shiverick and Elizabeth Connaughton.

Jim McCann is a well-known real estate agent with Premier Estate Properties, while Sara McCann owns McCann Design Group and the HIVE Collective, which encompasses home-furnishings showrooms, a restaurant, and apparel boutiques in West Palm Beach.

The McCanns' journey to gain approval for their new North End house highlights the importance of persistence and the need to address concerns raised during the design review process. With the necessary adjustments made, they can now proceed with the construction of their charming and slightly quirky dream home in Palm Beach.


Caption for Image 1: A rendering shows a house approved by the Architectural Commission for 217 Bahama Lane on the North End of Palm Beach. The custom home will be built by property owners Jim and Sara McCann.

Caption for Image 2: In August 2023, the Palm Beach Architectural Commission asked for a significant restudy of a house, depicted in this rendering, designed for Jim and Sara McCann to replace their existing home at 217 Bahama Lane.

Caption for Image 3: In September, the Palm Beach Architectural Commission asked for significant changes to the design of a house depicted in the top rendering for 217 Bahama Lane. The bottom rendering shows the revised design approved by the board in January.

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