A thumbs-down recommendation from town planners to a DiVosta company’s plans to build 350 single-family homes, a 100-room hotel and 100,000 square feet for research and development likely will bring changes to the proposal from the company that built The Bluffs and most Abacoa homes.
The project, to be called Lakewood on what is now referred to as Parcel 19, would be on 260 acres of vacant land bought by Jupiter 19 Park LLC from WCI Communities Inc. in 2011 for $6 million. The development of zero-lot-line homes would be across Indiantown Road from the Jupiter Country Club, a luxury golf community built by Toll Brothers.
“There is already too much traffic on Indiantown. This, and the Hawkeye development, would make it even worse,” said Phil Cipolla, a member of the planning and zoning commission that voted Feb. 12 to send the plan back for further review.
Hawkeye is a plan for about 1 million square feet of biotech and office space on a 57-acre vacant parcel bordering the east side of Interstate 95 just south of Indiantown Road, according to plans submitted by developer Ron Pertnoy. No date has been set for the council to consider the Hawkeye plan.
Lakewood supporters say Lakewood will encourage more biotech development, bring jobs and provide needed commercial development for the west side of town.
Lakewood “…creates a greater mix of uses…to encourage bio-science uses…and providing neighborhood commercial uses to serve the existing and proposed community,” according to the proposal.
Too much residential and not enough commercial and biotech was the contention of town planners.
The requested amount of residential requires too much demand for services, such as police and fire, said Planning and Zoning Director John Sickler.
More commercial space, which requires less services and generates more tax revenue, should be included. More biotech would bring more high-paying jobs, Sickler said.
“If residents are going to get more traffic, they should get a return in more tax revenue and more commercial access,” said Sickler.
Owners want a waiver to reduce lot sizes to 6,500 square feet. The town’s minimum for single-family homes is 10,000 square feet. They also want a waiver to build lots 50 feet wide. The town requires single-family lots be 75 feet wide.
“They want to squeeze as many houses in there as they can,” said Cipolla.
The last project about Lakewood’s size to win approval in Jupiter was Windsor Park in Abacoa about a year ago. DiVosta is now building 380 single-family homes and townhouses in the Abacoa section that borders Indian Creek Parkway.
The owner is scheduled to bring a revised plan to the town’s planning and zoning commission on April 9. The commission makes recommendations to the town council. The town’s planning staff also recommends the town council reject the plan when it considers a a zoning change on March 19.
The manager of Jupiter Park 19, the owners of the 260-acre parcel, is listed as Palm Beach Gardens-based DiVosta Perpetuities Trust Holdings LTD, according to state records.
While biotech and lot sizes are important, the main problem is traffic, said Bill Thomas, a Jupiter Farms resident.
“They want to build a big residential development right next to I-95 and the Turnpike. It will only make a bad traffic situation worse,” Thomas said.
Expanding six-lane Indiantown Road is unlikely. There is not enough right-of-way property to widen the roadway, said Dan Weisberg, the county’s traffic engineer.
“Indiantown Road was never meant to be eight lanes,” he said.
Application calls for:
— 350 zero-lot-line, single-family houses
— 103,000 square feet of research and development
— 100-room hotel
— 3,000-square-foot convenience store with 10 fuel pumps
— 6,000-square-foot restaurant
SOURCE: Town of Jupiter