The Acreage Landowners’ Association will meet Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Indian Trail Improvement District office, where a presentation will be made on GL Homes’ plan to relocate some of its thousands of residential units planned for west of The Acreage at Indian Trails Grove to the Agricultural Reserve in suburban Boynton Beach and Delray Beach, where it also owns property.
“It’s an e-mail drive where they e-mail the county commissioners,” Sayre told the Town-Crier on Wednesday. “They go to the web site, and they put in their name and address, and then it sends an e-mail to all the commissioners saying that they’re in favor of the [transfer].”
Sayre said there was a lot of response when he set up the site in May, but it has fallen off lately.
“It has slowed way down,” he said, explaining that the results are also sent to GL Homes representatives, who tabulate them. “I haven’t asked them for the exact stats on that. I don’t really keep track of the stats on the back end.”
At a presentation to the ITID Board of Supervisors in May, where the board approved a letter of support for the proposal, GL Homes Vice President Kevin Ratterree explained that the plan would reduce the scope of GL Homes’ development west of The Acreage and instead allow denser development on land the company owns in the county’s southwestern Agricultural Reserve.
Indian Trails Grove has its land use in place, which was approved by the county last year. Indian Trails Grove was in the process of rezoning, while Iota Carol — which is almost completely surrounded by the GL Homes land — was in the process of doing both land use changes and rezoning simultaneously. However, Iota Carol was rejected by the Palm Beach County Commission. Subsequently, GL Homes withdrew its application because it was no longer applicable.
The first public hearing for the proposed change will be before the Palm Beach County Planning Commission in December. The Palm Beach County Commission’s transmittal hearing will be in January 2018.
The application will ask to transfer planned units at the Indian Trails Grove property to the Agricultural Reserve and utilize the land west of The Acreage as preservation land for the developments occurring in the Agricultural Reserve area.
The Ag Reserve covers about 21,000 acres generally encompassing the area between Clint Moore Road in Boca Raton to the south, Florida’s Turnpike to the east, the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge to the west and Hypoluxo Road to the north.
Ratterree said the Agricultural Reserve is a public/private process where a developer can purchase property in the Ag Reserve and must dedicate 60 to 80 percent of its property for agricultural preservation.
Ratterree noted that 3,897 units is the land use potential granted by the county, but GL Homes is going to propose to transfer some of those development rights to properties it owns in the Ag Reserve.
He added that GL Homes’ Indian Trails Grove property in The Acreage is actively used for agriculture, and the company has spent millions of dollars converting the property from a defunct citrus grove to active agricultural row crops.
He said GL Homes has three properties in the Ag Reserve that it would like to build on that are actually near developed areas. This could be enabled through an agreement with the county and support from ITID.
More than 2,893 acres of the Indian Trails Grove property would go from development to preservation, meaning a reduction of the project from 3,897 to 1,582 units.
In May, the ITID board unanimously approved a letter of support to the county for the proposal, as did the ALA.
The Coalition of Boynton West Residential Associations (www.cobwra.org/agricultural-reserve-gl) has come out against the proposal on grounds that the increased number of homes will put an unbearable strain on an area that is already deficient in many fundamental services required for a community of its size.
The ALA and ITID have similar arguments, that the infrastructure in the area cannot support the heavy development already approved or proposed in the currently rural areas of the western communities, including Westlake, Arden, Indian Trails Grove and Avenir.
The ALA’s letter of support to the county noted that GL Homes’ transfer of unit rights from their Indian Trails Grove property to their land within the Agricultural Reserve utilizes a portion of the Indian Trails Grove property as required for preservation, and noted that the proposal does not increase the number of units already authorized by the county’s comprehensive plan. Further, it results in significantly more land being set aside for preservation, directs growth to an area of the county where infrastructure and developments already exist, and provides for a large, contiguous area for farming operations to continue.