Developers At Southern And B Plan Improvements

The Loxahatchee Groves Water Control District Board of Supervisors reviewed the obligations of developers at the northern corners of B Road and Southern Blvd. Monday, including B Road improvements.

Developers said that they would pay for the improvements but asked the district to oversee the northern portion of the road project because of its experience with open-graded emulsified mix (OGEM) in past projects, and due to right-of-way disparities on B Road.

LGWCD Administrator Steve Yohe said a joint meeting took place Sept. 27 with Palm Beach State College, property owner Solar Sportsystems, Atlantic Land Companies and town representatives regarding B Road construction.

The discussion focused on the developers’ commitment to construct B Road with OGEM from the Palm Beach State College entrance on B Road between Southern Blvd. and Collecting Canal Road to Okeechobee Blvd. It was agreed that B Road from Collecting Canal Road to Okeechobee Blvd. does not have sufficient right of way, per the district’s 60-foot platted right of way, to construct the road.

The developers are prepared to estimate the cost of the construction and provide sufficient money to the town to construct the road when the right-of-way issue is resolved.

The developers asked that the LGWCD design and construct the OGEM portion of the road after the right-of-way issue is resolved, indicating that they would pay the district for the design, permit and construction to achieve satisfaction of that condition of their approvals.

Representatives of the developers were there Monday to make presentations.

Joe Lelonek with Atlantic Land Companies, representing the commercial developers of 22 acres of the Simon property on the northwest corner of the intersection, told supervisors that Palm Beach State College, which is developing 75 acres of the Simon property for its fifth campus, approved initial financing for the site last week.

“We would expect them to be breaking ground the middle of next year,” Lelonek said, adding that attorney Martin Perry, representing the 90-acre Solar Sportsystems property to the east of the Simon property, was also there to answer questions.

“One of the big items that the town council wanted to see was that B Road got improved over what it is today to deal with some of the traffic impacts for these projects,” Lelonek said. “Most of the impacts are going south to Southern Blvd. However, the council also wanted to go up to the north and stabilize that roadway going up to Okeechobee Blvd.”

Lelonek said the conceptual agreement between the parties when the projects were approved was to fund the OGEM section from Atlantic Land’s entry points going north as well as the canal crossing at Collecting Canal and B roads. The developer would pave B Road from the campus entry point south to Southern Blvd. as an urban section with conventional surfacing.

Access points on B Road are coordinated with those to the Solar Sportsystems land across the street, Lelonek said. “That access will continue west to access the college campus as well,” he said, explaining that the college will have secondary access onto B Road. “It is at that point, the secondary access to the college, that we are looking to transition from the paved section to the OGEM section.”

One of the goals noted was to try to limit access to B Road going north.

“We agree with that,” Lelonek said. “Most of our traffic is going to impact Southern Blvd., and we’re going to try to discourage cut-through traffic. People living on B Road, we want them to shop here and go to school here, but we want to make sure that we limit any cut-through traffic.”

Following recommendations by town committees, Lelonek recommended stopping the conventional paving just north of the campus access point and channeling the curb sides down to a narrow entry so that it calls attention to drivers that it is a change in area where the OGEM starts in order to discourage flow-through traffic.

He said speed humps had also been discussed for the OGEM section to further restrict cut-through traffic.

Lelonek said that the three parties had agreed from the beginning to pay for the paving, but asked that the district oversee the OGEM project.

“We’re not as familiar with the OGEM standards that the district has been dealing with for a number of years,” Lelonek said. “Our desire has always been to fund the district to complete this improvement.”

Lelonek said the three parties are working on an agreement that will set the stage for exactly when the projects will happen.

“We’re trying to work a program by which over 2014, the design and permitting for both of these sections, or at least the southern sections depending on how fast you can move on the OGEM section, would be permitted and ready for construction,” he said, adding that by the end of 2014, construction would begin.