Letter: College Campus Good For Groves

Editor’s note: The following letter is in response to letters written by Tim Hart-Woods and Todd McLendon published Jan. 18.

I usually don’t reply to articles I read in the paper, but I had to reply to letters about the petition in Loxahatchee Groves. The letters contain some important misleading errors. The campus is not in the “heart” of Loxahatchee. It’s on Southern Blvd., which will become a noisy six- to eight-lane highway with future growth out west — not a desirable location for anything but a commercial-type occupancy. It is totally false to say the Loxahatchee Groves Town Council slipped this past us.

Unless you live under a rock and or have not read this paper or any others, or watch the local TV news, this campus has been out in the open for a long time. The council did not secretly slide anything by those who have been paying attention. Why are they starting this now and not when we were considered a leader for the location and then chosen as the location? The zoning change request signs were up for a long time. That would have been the proper time to say, “Hold on; we would like to have the residents vote on this,” not after the fact, not after the college bought the property when the zoning change was approved.

I spoke with a nice lady who stopped and asked if I supported the college, and I told her absolutely; we need the tax base. As long as there are berms/wooded buffers, rules for hours of operation and nighttime low lighting, let them have Southern. Put more commercial on Southern — we need the tax base! I don’t want to be like Southwest Ranches in Broward County, which pays two to three times what we do in taxes for similar homes because they don’t have a good commercial tax base.

You can make up traffic excuses, etc. But the truth is if we have OGEM with humps, the only people cutting through will be our own kids getting a higher education. Almost everyone else will use Southern. I believe you can also purchase low-income housing credits in another area to cover our requirement.

If this petition thing chases away the college prior to the vote, I believe we (the town) should be allowed to hold those who started this after-the-fact petition accountable, and let them pay for our lost tax base and whatever debt they incur as a direct result of this well-meaning but too-late-after-the-incident petition.

Unfortunately I don’t go to the actual meetings — three kids and two jobs make it a little difficult — so I can’t write about what happens. But I can see why the council would be annoyed by this “late” petition and all the extra problems it can and may generate on top of all the problems they already deal with.

Robert Austin
Loxahatchee Groves