Minto West’s Density Increase Heads To Key Vote

Minto West’s petition for increased density comes up for a binding vote before the Palm Beach County Commission on Wednesday, Oct. 29, with additional time allotted on Thursday, Oct. 30 in anticipation of a long meeting.

After a seven-hour meeting in August, with lengthy staff and developer presentations and public comment, mostly against the density increase, Minto received transmittal approval from the commission on a 5-2 vote.

Minto is requesting a comprehensive plan text amendment that would allow consideration of plans to build 4,549 homes and up to 2.1 million square feet of non-residential uses on the 3,735-acre site.

The land is currently approved for 2,996 residential units and 235,000 square feet of non-residential use. The previous owner, Callery-Judge Grove, received the approval under provisions of the Agricultural Enclave Act, which was tailored by the state legislature for that specific piece of property. It entitles it to an intensity of development similar to what has grown up around it — namely, The Acreage and Loxahatchee Groves.

Due to recent changes in state law, the transmittal request in August would have gone to the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity — formerly the Department of Community Affairs — for review even if the county commission voted against it.

Wednesday’s commission vote is expected to be the final determination for the proposed density increase.

The Palm Beach County Zoning Commission recommended approval of the project’s increased density on Oct. 10 in a 6-2 vote. The Palm Beach County Planning Commission recommended denial in a 12-1 vote.

The project has met with widespread public opposition, although some community leaders have shown interest in cooperating in order to reach a better bargaining position.

In mixed decisions, Royal Palm Beach, Loxahatchee Groves and the Indian Trail Improvement District approved resolutions opposing the density increases.

ITID approved a resolution opposing the increased density in a 4-1 decision where Supervisor Michelle Damone said she would prefer working with the county on a regional approach to widespread large-scale development plans for the area, including GL Homes west of The Acreage, Avenir on Northlake Blvd. and Highland Dunes on Southern Blvd.

Although ITID is officially opposed to the expansion, some supervisors say they would like to be in a position to get Persimmon Blvd. off the map as a future thoroughfare should the project go through.

ITID has contracted a team led by attorney Marty Perry, who has adopted a regional approach from the ITID standpoint of its effect on roads, drainage and recreation, which are the primary responsibilities of the district.

At the zoning commission meeting, Perry said ITID has no problem with the currently approved density but is concerned about the requested density increases’ effect on traffic.

The Town of Loxahatchee Groves approved a resolution opposing the Minto West density increase in a 3-0 vote with one member absent and another recusing himself.

During the Royal Palm Beach discussion of the resolution opposing the increased density, Vice Mayor Dave Swift said he would like to be in a position to negotiate for increased use of 60th Street as opposed to Okeechobee Blvd. through the village.

Royal Palm Beach has long expressed concern of the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s consideration of overpasses on Okeechobee Blvd. if traffic increases to a certain point.

Wellington considered a resolution opposing the expansion, but in a 3-2 decision neither endorsed nor opposed the project.

Minto representatives have said the development would remain 55 percent open space and that they would be able to offer significant drainage and water supply capacity to the surrounding area. They’ve also said there are plans to donate several hundred acres for recreation and other public uses.

If approved, the project will provide $50 million in proportionate share impact fee payments, $29 million in thoroughfare construction for Seminole Pratt Whitney Road and Persimmon Blvd., and $7.8 million for mitigation and payments for 60th Street North and Persimmon Blvd.

County staff has recommended approval of the request and also determined that the amendments, including “New Urbanism” concepts, comply with the provisions for an agricultural enclave.

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  1. It is the not the population of Lake Worth it is the square miles they are talking about. Fear monguring seems to be the word of the month lately on a certain social media platform/page.Could it possibly be that facts are being presented and it is up to the individuals to come up with their own conclusion? You are insulting the intelligence of many residents in the Acreage. For all of the residents that are pro to Minto in regards to increase of density and for GL homes you may want to do some research on how many million(s) of dollars it will cost to construct 1 square mile of roadway.

    • I guess Minto will be paying a great deal from their own pockets then
      as they have chosen to widen SPW in front of their development first, foremost and not from the County concurrency money.

      ps: I have done my research

      btw: Why would anyone care how many sq miles this property is in relation to Lake Worth? It is what it is.

      • How convenient it is you left out Northlake, Orange, Coconut, Persimmon and the widely talked about 60th? During your research how much are they willing to pay towards the above named roads and SPW? I can tell you it costs anywhere from 2 to 5 million dollars to construct 1 mile of roadway

        Btw: The City of Lake Worth was used as a comparison as to how large this development is. Not the population of people.

        • On one last final note, I am ok with the original approval. I have the problem with the additional density they are asking for now. Is it really necessary?

        • SPW is being constructed in front of the MW project out of their own pocket. The County is getting over 50 million $$$ in road concurrency funds from this project. The County has identified Northlake, Persimmon and 60th as the roads needing upgrade to handle the increase in traffic.

          ps: What makes you ok with the original density of 2996 but not the
          increase to 4500? It’s just a number, of which that will be the soon approved amount. btw: the increase in density coupled with the increase in non-residential is shown by the County to actually alleviate traffic issues that would occur at the lower density.

  2. Failure to mention the hundreds of millions of dollars to be borne by ALL the taxpayers of PBC. This is a city the size of Lake Worth in the rural tier. PLUS the other developers in the wings. NOTO MINTO increase.

    • Hundreds of Millions for what Concerned Resident?

      or, could this possibly be more Fear Mongering????

      Lake Worth Population : Total Population 34,910

      so…no it is not the size of Lake Worth….

  3. With one week remaining prior to your vote regarding approval of the Minto West project, I just want to reiterate my position as a citizen of the Western Communities, specifically Loxahatchee within the Acreage. I have been, and continue to be, an ardent supporter of this project and see it for the benefits it will bring all Acreage, as well as Palm Beach County, residents. This is a well designed, highly thought out, and well funded project that is a long time in coming. This will both
    enhance our community and bring many of the long awaited services to our area. I know you have, and will continue to hear much of the fear mongering regarding this project, and that is all it is, fear mongering, by the same group of individuals that are seemingly opposed to everything. I along, with most of my fellow neighbors have seen our local politicians bend to their misguided direction too many times of late.
    That time needs come to an end. Will issues arise with increased population and traffic? Of course. Is it destined to happen sooner or later? Of course. At least the Minto Corporation is tackling these issues head on with a lot of both money and expertise in building large scale projects available. This certainly would not be the case should a smaller developer take on a project out here, or even worse, have the parcel piecemealed out to multiple developers. No, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to make the right decision for the Acreage, the Western Communities, and Palm Beach County, USA.

    Vote yes and approve the Minto West project.

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