Lox Groves Gives Final OK For B Road Commercial

The Loxahatchee Groves Town Council gave final approval Tuesday to ordinances and resolutions granting the rezoning and site plans for properties at the northeast and northwest corners of Southern Blvd. and B Road, as well as a B Road improvement agreement.

The agreement is between the town; Loxahatchee Equestrian Partners and Solar Sportsystems, which is developing the northeast 90-acre section; Atlantic Land Investments, which is developing the northwest 24 acres; and Palm Beach State College, which has started its new campus on 70 acres at the northwest section not contiguous to the intersection, but with an entrance on B Road.

Atlantic Land Investments got approval for rezoning the land formerly known as the Simon property from agricultural residential to commercial low planned unit development, as well as a site plan for Loxahatchee Groves Commons.

Loxahatchee Equestrian Partners and Solar Sportsystems received rezoning from agricultural residential to a multiple land use planned unit development to be called Loxahatchee Town Center.

Both land use changes will allow for low-intensity commercial, office, institutional and residential development.

Planning Consultant Jim Fleischmann said both of the properties met all requirements for the comp plan and Unified Land Development Code for landscaping, signs, parking and construction requirements, and that the town’s Planning & Zoning Board had recommended approval.

All the ordinances and resolutions were approved 4-0, with Councilman Tom Goltzené absent.

In other business:

• As discussed at previous meetings, the council finalized the purchase of the Central Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce building at Southern Blvd. and F Road for $480,000 and the property under it from Palm Beach County for $20,000. That vote was also 4-0.

• The council also continued a request by Big Dog Ranch Rescue to move its application for a special exception on 33 acres at the southeast corner of Okeechobee Blvd. and D Road to the council’s April 7 meeting.

Big Dog has been looking to move from its current property outside the town, and had applied for approval of property at Bryan and Folsom roads in Loxahatchee Groves, but ultimately withdrew that application after objections from neighbors.

Although the current application was continued, the council allowed public comment from several speakers who were there.

Planning & Zoning Board Chair Dennis Lipp asked why the application had been continued, and town staff said it was at the request of the applicant.

Lipp said his board had determined that the applicant had met all requirements of the town, with adequate screening, and had agreed to move one of the entry roads so that it was not so close to a neighbor. “It will be an asset to the town,” Lipp said.

Several neighboring residents, however, said that they were concerned about noise from barking dogs.

Vice Mayor Ron Jarriel said he had supported the application at Bryan and Folsom roads but that the residents were against it and the council did not allow it.

He said he would want to know who the current owner of the property is, and that he would want Big Dog to give something back to the town. He pointed out that the three phases proposed by Big Dog would amount to almost 55,000 square feet of nonprofit use that would not pay taxes to the town.

In 2013, the council approved an ordinance amending the town’s land-use code that would allow Big Dog Ranch Rescue to locate in the community with accessory uses that include veterinary care and dog boarding. Conditions of the ordinance, however, will restrict operation to locations on Southern or Okeechobee boulevards through a special exception.

Councilman Ryan Liang made a motion to continue the application, which carried 4-0.