Promises, promises, promises. Jim Rohn once said, “For every promise, there is a price to pay.” This quote is certainly relevant to Minto as this developer now wants Acreage, West Palm Beach and Palm Beach County tax dollars to pay for the agreement it made with Palm Beach County to set aside 250 acres for a system of lakes and marshes they promised will assist in stormwater drainage, improved water quality and increased potable water supplies — at no cost to taxpayers. Thanks to Gov. Rick Scott, all Florida taxpayers have already shelled out $2 million, and now the developer of Minto West, renamed Westlake, wants more — $13 million more.
Property owners in all of Palm Beach County will be shelling out tax dollars for road improvements and maintenance to handle increased traffic that will be generated by Minto. Those living within the ITID service area will be taxed additionally for road improvement, maintenance and repairs on roads we own; roads that will be flooded by Minto traffic, and on top of this, Minto now wants us to pay for its drainage project, too.
Those of us who spoke in opposition to Minto West warned of the price we will have to pay for overdevelopment, and the price is steep: increased property taxes, negative impacts on our schools, marginal drainage relief for an area that rarely floods, road congestion, loss of quality of life, etc. We also warned of the “domino effect.” GL Homes is seeking land use changes to permit the construction of 4,000 homes and 235,000 square feet of commercial, and the exemptions from traffic concurrency requirements that were also given to Minto. It is sad and frustrating to know that our warnings stand a better chance of fruition than promises made by developers to “fix” our “antiquated” area.
Development is inevitable. Overdevelopment does not have to be, if the Palm Beach County commissioners would hold developers to that which they are approved to build under current land use and zoning laws. It is obvious, however, that we cannot rely on them to do that. We still stand a good chance of curbing development and minimizing impacts if residents take a stand to oppose it and support those working diligently to protect and preserve our area from “Browardization.” The only group actively challenging the commissioners’ decisions is ALERTS. Its efforts continue but need your support. Visit www.alertsofpbc.com to see how you can assist. Imagine what could happen if you do; imagine what will happen if you do not.
Jean Edwards, The Acreage