RPB OKs Land Use Changes And Rezoning For Acme Ranches Properties

The Royal Palm Beach Village Council last week approved three applications for land use amendments and rezoning on three tracts of land in Acme Ranches.

The property is located on the south side of Southern Blvd., west of State Road 7, behind the Lowe’s Home Improvement store. The area was recently annexed into the village.

The land is currently the site of single-family rural residential homes, as well as Big Dog Ranch Rescue, which is in the process of moving to a new home in Loxahatchee Groves.

The applicant, the Wantman Group, is looking to redevelop the 111 acres, building 392 multifamily homes and 131 zero-lot-line single-family residences.

Village staff recommended approval of all three applications, and the Royal Palm Beach Planning & Zoning Commission recommended approval last month.

In the first application, the developer sought a large-scale land use amendment for almost 30 acres made up of eight individual tracts from the county’s low-density residential to the village’s multifamily high residential. The site was annexed into the village on Oct. 16.

The application for high-density multifamily residential was found to be consistent with the village’s comprehensive plan, and that all the sites met village infrastructure and compatibility requirements.

At the Nov. 5 meeting, Jeff Brophy with the Wantman Group said that the three applications are for multifamily, single-family and an open space amendment that will eventually contain an access road to Southern Blvd.

The multifamily will be located to the north, nearest to Southern Blvd., bordering industrial and commercial uses to the north. The single-family zero-lot-line homes to the south offer a transition to the Victoria Grove single-family community farther south, also in the Village of Royal Palm Beach.

Land recently involuntarily annexed into Royal Palm Beach in a 14-0 vote of property owners on Oct. 27 is to the east and will eventually be part of the development, Brophy said.

Wellington’s Little Ranches neighborhood and an FPL substation are to the west.

The reason for the private open space designation was that the development’s entrance is planned on the property to open onto Southern Blvd. with a bridge to be built across the C-51 Canal at an existing traffic light.

“In order to have legal access to both the multifamily and the single-family, we had to assign a land use designation when we assigned the open space, as we didn’t have any inherent rights to it,” Brophy explained. “In the future, that will come back before you once the phase two plans to the east come through, but as of now, it’s just for us to get the bridge through and get that roadway platted and constructed.”

A rezoning hearing is scheduled before the council on Dec. 17, with site plan approval on Jan. 21.

Big Dog Ranch Rescue, currently operating on 23 acres of the site, has received approval from the Town of Loxahatchee Groves to relocate to property at the southeast corner of Okeechobee Blvd. and D Road. Brophy said he expects that move to happen next summer.

Planning & Zoning Administrator Bradford O’Brien said that it is his understanding that Big Dog Ranch Rescue officials are happy to be moving and expanding the operation.

Councilman David Swift made a motion to approve the multifamily land use amendment, which carried 5-0.

The council also approved a large-scale future land use amendment for almost 60 acres on eight tracts of land recently annexed into the village from the county’s low-density residential to the village single-family residential, where the Wantman Group plans to put the 131 zero-lot-line homes. Councilman Fred Pinto made a motion to approve that application, which carried 5-0.

The council also approved the third application for rezoning five parcels on 20.7 acres from the county’s low-density residential to the village’s open space recreational. That property currently has several single-family homes on large tracts.