Just like that, our Loxahatchee Groves, aka the last frontier, will go from a no-light town to a two-light town. During the commercial approval of the property at Folsom and Okeechobee, the developer informed the town that Folsom and Okeechobee will be getting a traffic light. In addition, D Road and Okeechobee will be getting a light thanks to Minto.
Loxahatchee Groves was incorporated in order to “preserve and protect the distinctive rural characteristics of the community.” Unfortunately, this is far from what is taking place. Our town council has not turned away one commercial developer! The council is welcoming with open arms any commercial development that is proposed. Mayor [Dave] Browning wanted to incorporate specifically because of a loud dog kennel that the county allowed which greatly disturbed his lifestyle. He did not want anyone in the future to endure the pain and suffering he endured having a kennel across the street from his home.
Less than a month ago, Mayor Browning and the council approved a 500 dog kennel right in the middle of Loxahatchee Groves. Just this past week, this same council approved yet another fast food restaurant in Loxahatchee Groves on Okeechobee. Now there will be a McDonald’s on B Road and Southern and a Dunkin’ Donuts on Okeechobee!
Where are the people who voted for incorporation? Why isn’t anyone at the council meetings stopping this commercial development of our agricultural town? We were promised that the residents of Loxahatchee Groves would have control and we would not be developed.
This council has approved three major commercial developments, a state college, a 500-dog kennel and approved changing yet another residential property to commercial. What will be built on that site? Another fast food restaurant? Another dog kennel? Okeechobee is going to go from a two-lane, no-light road to four lanes with two lights completely bisecting the town.
Prior to incorporation, in the entire history of Loxahatchee Groves, the county approved less than this council has approved in just a few years. We are comparing approximately 100 years versus eight years! This town council is ruining our town. The current council has made things more difficult for the common citizen and agricultural operations.
The Florida Attorney General sent a letter to the town because the council was trying to illegally enforce land development codes against agricultural businesses. Another resident had to jump through many hoops for months just to simply put a pool in their backyard. Under the county, the pool would have been permitted in days. Horse trails? Forget about it! But apply to build commercial development and this town will make it happen. Please wake up, people, and see what is going on. It is almost too late.
Todd McLendon, Loxahatchee Groves