Letter: Minto West Is Not Good For The Acreage

Despite Minto’s claims to “enlighten,” “enliven” and save us from economic doom, infrastructure failure, floods, unemployment, in short, to save us from ourselves, a “city” in our “country” is not needed. It is not wanted, and the plethora of mailers sent to nearly every resident and business in South Florida is not going to change the fact that thousands of Acreage residents and a growing number of communities, entities and organizations strongly oppose any development beyond what Minto is legally entitled to build.

Rather than adhere to existing land use and zoning laws that were written with the intent to protect and preserve the rural fabric of communities such as The Acreage, Minto has made it its mission to rewrite vast sections in a concerted effort to “terraform” our area to accommodate Minto West. Such extensive revisions clearly indicate that Minto West is neither in character nor compatible with the surrounding area and is more fitting an urban setting. Sadly, however, the Board of County Commissioners is oblivious to that, which is glaringly apparent by failing to send a clear message to Minto to develop according to laws that were in place when the property was purchased.

Allowing Minto to build more will have a domino effect: It will open the door to any remaining land in and around The Acreage to be overdeveloped. We will be the next Miami-Dade, Broward, etc., areas from which many fled in the desire for a less developed, more peaceful and serene setting. Minto will leave with greenbacks in its pockets, and we will have markedly less green in terms of land and money as we struggle to pay, in the form of higher taxes, for Minto’s impact while facing the very conditions we left behind.

Acreage residents own their roads and pay for maintenance via ITID. They are for our use, not the general public, though we have graciously allowed non-Acreage traffic on our roads. The amount of traffic Minto will generate is unfathomable and unacceptable, and despite Minto’s new proposal, remains so (daily trips are projected to only decrease from 70,000 to 60,000). ITID is considering measures to minimize traffic generated by Minto on our roads. I hope ITID closes roads, uses traffic-calming measures and engages in whatever legal means available to keep Minto from using our roads and insulate us from Minto-generated traffic.

There is a group of residents who fight tirelessly to preserve The Acreage now and into the future. Informally known as “No to Minto,” this group has formed a Florida not-for-profit corporation known as Alerts of PBC Inc. I pray donations pour into this group so they can continue the fight by availing themselves to all legal means to stop Minto from developing any more than what it is legally entitled to build, and to prevent other developers from doing the same. Learn more at www.alertsofpbc.com.

Minto still has the opportunity to be a “good neighbor” and exemplar to other developers by building only that to which it is entitled. Want to enlighten, enliven, enhance, engage and enrich the surrounding area? Preserve and protect the surrounding area by creating a development that is in line with our rural, agricultural and equestrian way of life. Keep the property as natural and green as possible with limited commercial and dwelling units on at least 1.25-acre lots. Install real equestrian trails, stables and parking areas for trucks and horse trailers, create walking and biking trails, nature areas, and devote large tracts to farming and farm-to-table practices. I am certain Minto can think of even more ways to accomplish this, thereby mitigating their impact while still making a reasonable profit.

The Acreage and surrounding areas do not “need” more people, more traffic, more commercial and all the associated ills. What we need are developers who are sensitive to the community in which they insert themselves and are willing to adapt rather than forcing a community to adapt to them. What we need are commissioners who work for and represent their constituents, who value and protect those residents’ chosen way of life, and who listen to the collective voices in opposition, instead of continuing to pander to developers whose only motive is profit.

Jean Edwards, The Acreage


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