Lox Groves Council Approves Site Plan For Drysdale Valencia Village

The Loxahatchee Groves Town Council approved a site plan Tuesday for the 6.5-acre Drysdale Valencia Village low-density commercial development on Southern Blvd.

The application, which calls for 28,400 square feet of retail space, complies with the town’s land use regulations that give preference to commercial use on Southern Blvd. The council changed the property’s land use from agricultural to low-density commercial in 2014.

The property, located south of Tangerine Drive at the northwest corner of Southern Blvd. and Loxahatchee Avenue, is planned for three buildings of 14,400, 10,000 and 4,000 square feet.

Speaking for his mother, Nancy Drysdale, owner of Drysdale Realty, Glen Gareau explained that his family has been working on the project for almost two years.

“We don’t really have a huge presentation to give to you,” Gareau said. “I think you people are pretty familiar with it, but it’s nothing more than a basic commercial site plan meeting the needs of this town.”

He said that Drysdale has owned the property for about 26 years.

“This is essentially her retirement plan,” Gareau said. “This is the time that she would like to begin slowing down, although she has been telling me that for 20 years. I may retire before mom does.”

Gareau complimented town staff for working with them on the plan. They also met with the Roadway, Equestrian Trails & Greenway Advisory Committee regarding equestrian trails on the property.

“The site plan is designed to accommodate equestrian use,” he said. “There’s an area for horses to tie up and be gated and fenced in. There is a trail for them to traverse the property from west to east. The property is obviously landscaped to meet your landscape code, but we also made sure that that code did not interfere with horses’ ability to use the trail to go through the property.”

Gareau said that the property fronts Southern Blvd. and will have access from Southern.

“From the early part of this process, the town asked that we not provide access to Tangerine, so the site plan does not do that, because that’s what you asked for,” he said. “There were folks during the process who asked why don’t we do that. That’s because we were asked not to. It will only be accessible from Southern Blvd.”

Gareau added that the project is designed to meet the retail needs of the town.

“We don’t have a major tenant at this time, so I can’t tell you who will be occupying the various buildings,” Gareau explained. “Transactions are complicated, so we have had several tenants come and go, and the deals haven’t quite worked out. We are talking to some people right now… and we are continuing to work with tenants to occupy these spaces.”

Vice Mayor Ron Jarriel asked whether the trail will be exclusively for horses or if it will be a multipurpose trail.

“I’ve always said multipurpose trails — three things, equestrians, bikers and hikers — because that will be good for the residents,” Jarriel said. “In other words, they’ll have access to walk to your plaza.”

Jarriel added that he would like to see access directly to Tangerine if it were paved.

“I, personally, would have liked to see you go pavement all the way to Tangerine Drive, and that’s not much farther,” Jarriel said.

Jarriel also asked about current plans for access onto Loxahatchee Avenue to the east and to Orange Avenue on the west side of the property.

Gareau said that he had talked to town staff about paving all the way to Tangerine, and that they agreed that if the town’s intention was not to have additional traffic on Tangerine, paving to Tangerine would encourage people to travel onto the street.

“It’s not that we didn’t want to — we were willing to — but we were asked not to because we didn’t want to send more traffic onto Tangerine.”

Jarriel said it has been generally agreed that Tangerine, although not paved currently, will someday become a back entrance to commercial property along Southern Blvd.

“We all know that they need a paved road with speed tables,” Jarriel said. “The people who live on Tangerine, they hate the dust, and when it comes to your entrance on Loxahatchee Avenue, that short distance, where people are flying up to the four-way stop, the more pavement that we get, the more benefit it is to the residents.”

Jarriel added that he hopes the project, which includes a stormwater collecting pond, will help the poor drainage in the area.

Gareau said that the final drainage plan had not yet been developed, but all drainage issues would be resolved.

Jarriel added that the Loxahatchee Groves Water Control District had not commented on the plan, although it had been submitted to them.

Planning consultant Jim Fleischmann said that the district had the opportunity to provide input during site plan review.

“We had our development review committee,” Fleischmann said. “That’s composed of fire, police, the water control district, the health department, and we send out notifications of the proposed project to those agencies and give them an opportunity to respond. If they respond on what are major issues, we would convene a DRC meeting. If their response is ‘no comment,’ or a comment that we can address by including a condition of approval, we just do it that way. In this instance, we contacted the water control district and they responded that they had no comment.”

Fleischmann added that it was not too late for the district to provide input because the drainage plan is not yet complete.

Councilman Ryan Liang made a motion to approve the site plan, which carried 5-0.


  1. Let’s face it, we all know that buildings, strip malls and more are going to line Southern Blvd from F Road all the way to the Glades.

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