County Questions Westlake’s Efforts To Provide Future Services

At a meeting of the Westlake City Council on Monday, May 11, Palm Beach County officials suggested that the remaining Westlake property designated for public use by county agencies is not sufficient to provide adequate services for the future population of the area.

In a virtual meeting attended by all council members, staff and members of the public, Palm Beach County Facilities & Development Director Audrey Wolf said that the remaining area of the 4.4-acre pod where the new fire station is located, as well as 4.7-acre and 6.3-acre pods nearby separated by a major road, are not sufficient for facilities that the county is expected to provide in the future, including a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office substation, a county fueling island, a youth services center, offices for the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser and the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections, as well as similar facilities that serve other parts of the county.

Wolf added that the property offered by Westlake, required as conditions of approval in previous agreements with developer Minto and scheduled for conveyance to the county soon, are smaller and not configured in the manner that had been agreed to.

Planner Donaldson Hearing, representing developer Minto, said plans for governmental facilities, including a new office for the Palm Beach County Tax Collector, would be presented at the council’s next meeting on June 8. He also explained that original acreages dedicated to the county had been compromised due to pedestrian pathways constructed along the roads.

Wolf also questioned why a 50-acre parcel south of Seminole Ridge High School had been transferred to the Seminole Improvement District against county advice, which she said could be used for county services.

Wolf added that extensive coordination is needed with the City of Westlake for such development if it chooses to support more county services.

Vice Mayor Katrina Long-Robinson said the level of communication should be improved between the county and Minto. City Manager Ken Cassel said he would take action to improve coordination with those entities.

In other business:

• The council approved the preliminary reading of an ordinance calling for the creation of an Education & Youth Advisory Board. Long-Robinson urged passage to assure that children in Westlake can continue with their education, especially considering how nearby schools have been closed due to the COVID-19 emergency. Three members and one alternate would be appointed to the board. Long-Robinson made a motion for approval, which carried 5-0.

• The council also approved the first reading of a civil rights ordinance providing for non-discrimination within the city and for all activities promoted or sponsored by the city. The ordinance was sponsored by the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council. PBCHRC Board Member Tamara Sager noted that Westlake would be the first to approve such an ordinance virtually. Councilman John Paul O’Connor made a motion to approve the ordinance, which carried 5-0.

• The council also approved a resolution for the final plat for Persimmon Blvd. through the community, which will connect with Persimmon Blvd. in The Acreage and to the State Road 7 extension. Councilwoman Kara Crump made a motion to approve the plat, which carried 5-0.

• Finally, the council approved the final reading of its 10-year water plan on a motion by Councilman Patric Paul, which carried 5-0.


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