Letter: Minto West Discrepancies

“Government of the people, by the people and for the people” are not just words. It means the majority had established public consensus for development of the central western communities in the objectives, goals and public policies of the county’s award-winning Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

On Oct. 29, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., attorneys and hundreds of citizens “at the table” fought Minto’s intractability, bad legal precedence, false permanent open space, violation of comp plan public policy and legal discrepancies, and confronted Palm Beach County commissioners with overwhelming majority opposition to Minto West in public consensus, resolutions from surrounding communities and more than 5,000 petition signatures supporting the state enclave that Minto bought and was allowed to build.

But instead of adding sustainable elements and another exurban community to the central western communities with the enclave, dictators from other districts out-voted our representative and gave a development corporation unjustified gifts of public funds, roads, 800 percent more non-residential and 1,500 more houses than allowed, with 2,000 acres of “open space” for more.

The people of Palm Beach County need the law to require developers who present open space as a public asset to legally deed that open space as conservation easement or other public use, in public ownership, in perpetuity at approval. Minto refused to put the “open space” into permanent conservation easements when the Indian Trail Improvement District attorney asked, and commissioners did not direct staff to provide language for open space in perpetuity before approval when I asked, so it is available for sale or more residential and non-residential projects. Official litigation is ITID’s last chance to uphold public policy to protect the central western communities from politicians they can’t elect. Why give up on legally defined permanent open space in perpetuity, less density and a traditional town development designed to specifically serve the central western communities?

Rita Miller, The Acreage