Letter: Commissioners Should ‘Do The Right Thing’

On Oct. 29, the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) convenes to decide whether to approve the Minto West proposed expansion and the future of the communities directly impacted. It is the BCC’s last opportunity to do the right thing by voting “no” for all the right reasons:

• Though Minto reduced the number of homes to 4,546, it has increased non-residential use to a staggering 2.1 million square feet. The newest proposal represents a 52 percent increase in residential and nearly a 1,000 percent increase in non-residential.

• Minto West, as proposed, is “leapfrog” development because it requires the extension of public facilities, services and roads on existing peripheral areas, extensions neither present nor provided for in existing plans of local, county and state governing bodies. Therefore, it is neither New Urbanism nor Smart Growth; it is urban sprawl in a rural area.

• Minto West will flood the area with traffic on roads never designed to handle such a dramatic increase. Even Minto’s land planner, Don Hearing, has publicly admitted their traffic is “the elephant in the room.”

• In roads alone, currently $30 to $40 million is needed to repair existing county roads, but the BCC has allocated only $3 million next year for road repairs. The estimated tax dollars necessary for improvements related to Minto West for county and state roads exceed $177 million; money the county does not have. Who will shoulder the fiscal deficits? Property owners, of course, who will pay in the form of property tax and gas tax hikes.

• In addition to increased county taxes, residents served by ITID will be faced with higher property taxes to pay for Minto’s traffic on our privately owned and maintained roads.

• Schools will be negatively impacted by increased student population, especially Golden Grove Elementary School, Western Pines Middle School and Seminole Ridge High School, as it is projected they will exceed 100 percent utilization by 2017. The Palm Beach County School District has no funds to address this impact, and Minto continues to refuse to provide financial assistance.

• Minto West, via major, multi-lane thoroughfares and rural parkways, will divide The Acreage, compromising the unity and neighborhood feel and endangering the health, safety and well-being of all.

• Minto West is located on the site of a former orange grove. Minto will be disturbing soil that, for decades, has been subjected to hazardous chemicals. Certainly environmental studies are justified and warranted before that soil is disturbed to build residential, non-residential and a system of lakes.

• The Minto West project will likely worsen flooding due to the construction of impervious roads, structures and parking areas resulting in less surface area where water can percolate. Areas within the property are in (FEMA proposed) flood zones. Therefore, any of their lakes, kept high for aesthetic purposes, and canals will fill up faster, increasing their need for drainage capacity for their floodwaters. If the Acreage floods again, it is likely Minto will be also flooded and unable to relieve Acreage floodwaters.

• Minto West is noncompliant and inconsistent with Florida Statutes, the Palm Beach County Comprehensive Land Use Plan, and regional and state needs, and is incompatible with surrounding areas and communities, equestrian activities, livestock, and bona fide and hobby agricultural operations. Minto West will forever alter the rural ambiance and quality of life in The Acreage, Loxahatchee and Loxahatchee Groves.

• The county’s planning staff has confirmed there are sufficient un-built, approved residential units and non-residential square footage to meet anticipated population growth beyond the year 2035.

These reasons are not fanatical diatribes of a vocal minority. The plethora of documentation collected thus far speaks for itself and clearly indicates Minto’s proposed expansion will result in far more significant negative impacts than any public benefit. West Palm Beach City Commission President Sylvia Moffett, at a recent work session meeting, succinctly stated to Minto, “It’s a beautiful plan you have. I just think it’s too big.” May the BCC view the proposed expansion similarly, take into consideration the negative impacts and vote accordingly on Oct. 29. In the interim, residents should not give up. Instead, rise up and speak out! Visit www.alertsofpbc.com to see how you can help fight overdevelopment.

Jean Edwards, The Acreage


  1. Dear acreageresident:

    Rather than attacking the messenger, why don’t you attack the message by countering with your FACTUAL information as to the “positive impact.” It should be easy for you since your comment reflects only one positive impact.

    I have no issue with those supporting the proposed Minto West expansion. I do take issue with the FACT that those in support have failed to identify any positive impacts/public benefits and provide factual information to support them. It is very easy to sit in front of your computer, troll letters to the editor, and bang out accusations of fear mongering (I prefer to deem it “fact mongering”). Though I would disagree with you, I would have respect for you if I had seen you on the road sides doing your own rallies in the heat of the day, if I had seen you at meetings and heard you speak out in support, if you had THOUSANDS of petitions in support, if I had seen you pouring over documents, if I had seen you forming a nonprofit organization to support overdevelopment, if I had seen your letters to editors in support, etc., etc., etc. I would have some respect for you if you simply used your real name rather than hiding behind a moniker.

    The best I have seen out of those who are in support is a mantra of resignation: it’s coming so might as well roll over and accept it. I am not rolling over. I am not accepting it. I am not “just going away.” There is simply too much at stake and too much to lose.

    • Ms Edwards,
      I have done my research. I know what you are and what you represent, No to Everything. Sorry, but that “mantra” isn’t going to fly anymore around here. Take your foolish petitions of school age children that don’t understand the concepts and your assertions that everything is going to change for the worse and fade away into obscurity. This is Palm Beach County, South Florida and NOT Western Montana. This is not Country and hasn’t been since Flagler built his railroad. Quit living in the past and realize that this project is the best solution with the alternatives not being quite as nice.

  2. Dear “acreageresident”,

    Instead of offering FACTS, as did the letter writer, You attacked the letter writer as a way to support your opinion on the development.

    Shame on your political tactics. There is a difference of opinion on the matter. Stop the childish comments and offer another opinion filled with Facts so that the readers can compare both opinions.

    People should side with those who offer information, than those who Attack and offer nothing else!

  3. Enough with the Fear Mongering Ms. Edwards.
    Your arguments do not hold water and the BCC see through
    your veiled threats.
    I cannot wait until ground is broken on MintoWest, not only for
    the positive impact it will have on our community, but in the hopes
    you will just go away.

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