The fact that the Palm Beach County Commission passed the Minto West expanded plan underlines their total disdain for existing residents, not only in the immediate central western communities, but the entire county.
The Agricultural Enclave legislation which Callery-Judge bought would only give that property a net density of 0.606 units per acre (2,303 units) by calculating what actually surrounds the property. Callery-Judge manipulated the number of units up to 2,996 for the sole purpose of staying under the 3,000 units, which would have mandated a Development of Regional Impact (DRI) study. They then came up with a broad-brush back-of-the-envelope “plan” to have something to sell — and sell they did. Minto bought it and now sold well over twice the residential density and eight times the non-residential to five uncaring commissioners. They keep saying that it is a better plan. What would the “plan” be like had anyone actually worked with the 2,996 units and 235,000 square feet of commercial/non-residential? Repeatedly, I proved to the commissioners, using the county’s own data, that in this immediate area (only those sections of Northlake, Seminole Pratt Whiney and SR 80 that are in The Acreage and Loxahatchee Groves) there exists 0.32 million square feet of built commercial/office and another 1.1 million square feet of approved commercial/office. Yes, that’s right, 1.4 million square feet of existing non-residential on the books! Now there is over three million square feet. Put this into context. A Walmart superstore is 182,000 square feet and employs 300 people.
A high-density urban development just got placed into the rural/ex-urban tier, and Minto is smiling and laughing all the way to the Bank of Canada, where they are from.
This entire boondoggle will only attract traffic into the area. The idea that this development will pay for itself is absurd — it never does. Impacts get spread to all of the residents paying ad valorem property and gas taxes. Traffic is never “trapped.”
We all live on 1.25 to 40 acre parcels around this site, and now the near zero lot line suburban pods come. This type of development requires anal-retentive perfectly manicured lawns. To achieve such lawns, high amounts of fertilizers and herbicides are required. Given that all of the Minto West pods are surrounded by a maze of manmade canals, all leading to the M and M-2 canals, the runoff will head for Grassy Waters or the C-51, and then either the Lake Worth Lagoon or the Everglades, depending upon the flow each day…
I hope that the South Florida Water Management District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers monitor the nutrient levels leaving the Minto West property, as these surficial waters are waters of the state and of the nation.
It is well past time to go back to countywide commissioner elections, since a minimum of four can easily ruin the districts of the other three. The opposition to the Minto West project was and is nearly ten thousand residents after one considers the more than 5,000 resident-signed petitions, letters of opposition from the Sierra Club, the Town of Loxahatchee Groves, the Village of Royal Palm Beach, the City of West Palm Beach, the Everglades Law Institute, the North County Coalition, Alerts of Palm Beach County, 1000 Friends of Florida and others. The commission’s action in approving the Minto West project bespeaks of a strong disdain for the citizens of Palm Beach County.
Dr. J. William Louda, Loxahatchee Groves