Letter: Why Did RPB Ignore Its Task Force?

Regarding last week’s Town-Crier article on the old wastewater treatment plant property (“RPB Water Treatment Plant Site Gets A Residential Designation”), I was surprised to read of a task force recommendation. I did not know that former Royal Palm Beach Councilwoman Martha Webster had put together such an effort and that the results were so good.

As a resident of Royal Palm Beach, I was impressed with the broader plan of residential homes that also guaranteed a large portion of parks and open space. The schools could have been daycare or more private schooling for residents. The boat storage would have been a real plus to remove those tacky boats parked in everyone’s front yards. I never before lived in a town where that was allowed.

A task force of residents working for many months gave the council a recommendation, so the question is, why did the council not take the recommendation of a group of residents? I frankly don’t understand the comments from the mayor and others on the council saying they are listening to the residents when it is clear that they passed on the citizen recommendations of this task force effort. As for the lone resident who claims to have single-handedly pushed for building all residential homes, she should have made more of an effort to work with her neighbors.

I wish the council had made a better decision than just covering the land with more houses that will end up with many more cars on the road going out in the morning and coming back at night. All those homes will look like the rest of the north end of the village, two-story homes all packed together. It also means that my neighborhood — which is full of empty, foreclosed homes — will be waiting on the market even longer now that it will have to compete with a couple hundred new homes at the other end of the town. On my street we have been calling the village regularly to try to get a house cleaned up and sold, as it is dangerous and such an eye sore. I really do expect better, thoughtful decisions from elected leaders.

Curtis Knight, Royal Palm Beach