Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to the Palm Beach County Commission. A copy was sent to the Town-Crier for publication.
I just read in the Palm Beach Post that Palm Beach County is undergoing a boom in the west.
Please recall the award-winning planning of years gone by — the Sector Plan, the Tier System, Eastward-Ho etc. All of that was rightly developed to allow for lifestyle choices in this county and to serve as a poster child for planning.
Then along came big-money pockets, and the Ag-Enclave legislation was passed. I actually agree with that legislation if, and only if, it is actually upheld as intended. That is, to allow ag-lands to convert to what surrounds them. In the case of the Callery-Judge lands now owned by Minto, that would have been and should have been only 2,303 dwelling units, not the 2,996 that they were given. Be that as it may, to now even consider an increase to 6,500 units is a slap in the face to those of us who choose to live in the central western communities. In essence, existing residents do not matter, only development for development’s sake. Again, this is greed, not need.
Again, take a hard look at the [documents] and do the math on “surrounding density” yourself.
Lastly, in calculating dwelling units that are allowed on lands, Palm Beach County should think out of the box and become a leader in sensible land use. For example, after the calculation of density and then determining how many units are allowed on a property, any and all area that is converted to the so-called “higher use” categories (commercial, office etc,) should be subtracted from the area used to calculate allowable units, and the units that would have been on the “higher use” lands should disappear forever and not be transferred as “development rights.”
Likewise, any lands that are put into real, open green space (forests, wetlands etc.), and not including water retention or golf courses, should have their units transferred, but only within that development not elsewhere (no TDRs). In this way, a developer would have an incentive to build clustered living without ruining the remaining parts of the property.
Please have the courage to say no to the big-money lobbyists or get ready to hang out the no vacancy sign. Allow Palm Beach County to have lifestyle choices.
I thank you for your time and consideration.
Dr. J. William Louda, Loxahatchee Groves