ITID Fights Plan That Might Bring More Commercial

The Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors approved a resolution Wednesday opposing changes proposed by Palm Beach County that would relax restrictions on commercial development at some intersections.

The board also approved a resolution supporting the efforts of the Acreage Landowners’ Association to update the Acreage Neighborhood Plan.

ITID President Michelle Damone noted that she spoke at a Palm Beach County Local Planning Agency meeting March 9 along with Supervisor Carol Jacobs, resident Patricia Curry and former Supervisor Mike Erickson representing the Acreage Landowners’ Association, and persuaded members to vote 9-1 against a county staff recommendation to approve a land use amendment allowing commercial development at some “T-intersections” in The Acreage and elsewhere in the county.

A “T-intersection” is a location where arterial roads meet at three corners, not a traditional four-corner intersection. Some intersections are considered T-intersections when a collector road becomes a local road at the intersection.

The Acreage ambassadors told county planners that they don’t understand the character of the community and need to revisit the issue.

Damone said the agency recommended that the ALA update its neighborhood plan, which has been used as a reference by county planners, to protect the area from commercialization of T-intersections and bring the plan back when they are finished.

“Since then, the ALA discussed it the other night and asked that we support the Acreage Landowners’ Association neighborhood plan and their efforts to give it more power so that they can proceed and protect the community,” Damone said.

Damone added that she also received an e-mail Wednesday informing her that county staff could not withdraw an item from the Palm Beach County Commission’s March 28 agenda. “The county commission is still going to have the opportunity to vote on this,” she said.

T-intersections recommended by planners for the change include Northlake Blvd. and Seminole Pratt Whitney Road, Seminole Pratt and Orange Blvd., Seminole Pratt and Okeechobee Blvd., and Persimmon and Royal Palm Beach boulevards.

Damone said attendance at the March 28 meeting will be very important.

“In their presentation, it seems like they chose The Acreage to pick on, but in their presentation they, based on staff calculations, said that Persimmon and Royal Palm Beach would be eligible for commercial on all four corners,” Damone said, pointing out that there are four houses at the intersection now.

“I don’t want to see houses in The Acreage turn into commercial, and these T-intersections, I’m sorry, but somebody went and punched some calculations into a computer and said, ‘Let’s pick on The Acreage today,’ without understanding the characteristics of our community,” Damone said. “Those calculations don’t fit, so we really need to take action, and we need to ask the county commissioners to delay this.”

Damone asked the board to approve two resolutions, one opposing an amendment that would allow commercialization at T-intersections with a feeder and an arterial road, and another to indicate support of the ALA’s Acreage Neighborhood Plan.

ITID Attorney Frank Palin said he spoke to the chief staff person in the county planning office and that the planning director will ask that the item be shifted to the next round.

“It won’t be in the current round if it were going to be adopted at all in this current round,” he said. “She indicated that it will add three months to the approval process. It will push it into the next round to give us more time to consider it.”

Palin said the commission is likely to accept the planning director’s recommendation to push it to the next round, but he could not guarantee that.

“I’m not going to trust something that’s going to remain on the agenda going before the county commissioners in hopes that they don’t approve it,” Damone said. “I think a lot of us will be there.”

Damone said she was aware that the ALA is working on a neighborhood plan update and thought the board should approve a resolution to support it.

Jacobs made a motion to approve the resolution opposing the T-intersection amendment, which carried 5-0.

Supervisor Carlos Enriquez made a motion to approve a resolution supporting the ALA’s effort to update the Acreage Neighborhood Plan, which also carried 5-0.