The Palm Beach County commissioners voted to loosen restrictions that will allow more western county development. Only Paulette Burdick was opposed (thank you). It is very disappointing that more western land development is opposed by only one commissioner.
Although it is to be expected from most of the east coast commissioners, most disappointing is the continued support for more development in the western communities by District 6 Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, who should have been, on behalf of her constituents, voting to hold the line on more development in the western communities.
Yet, not surprisingly, McKinlay continues to vote in support of developers (as in those who supported her election as commissioner), including more density in Minto, knowing full well that existing roads, already overcrowded at times during the day with stop-and-go traffic, are insufficient for an additional 12,000 or more homes. With Minto planning to incorporate Westlake, there will be no curb on density or gridlock there.
Although the need for more roads, or widening of existing roads, has been discussed (with, of course, the need for more revenue), little to nothing has been addressed by commissioners about whether there will be sufficient water supply for additional new residents, or the potential pollution of sensitive western county lands by new development. There seems to be little caring on the part of most commissioners, as long as there are more tax dollars coming in.
Despite the expected additional tax revenue from all the new development, the county commissioners not only want to raise our sales tax one cent, it has been announced that there will still be an increase in real estate taxes next year. Perhaps there should be an audit, by an external source, of current county spending before more increases in revenue are approved.
County commissioners should be giving more consideration to the voices of taxpayers than to their avarice for more tax dollars, and more consideration for the quality of life in Palm Beach County’s future.
Patricia Abbott, Royal Palm Beach