You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

breaking news

UPDATE: 2 shot to death near Greenacres park; 3 schools locked down

Jupiter Farms foes of Slater wave pool cite Austin wave park problems

Surfing legend Kelly Slater himself could ride the waves at his proposed surfing ranch in northwestern Palm Beach County, and many in Jupiter Farms still wouldn’t be impressed.

They have urged the county not to move ahead with plans to allow the wave pool to be built at the Palm Beach Park of Commerce, citing the travails of a similar facility in Austin, Texas.

That Austin pool opened with a splash in October, but, a month later, it had left neighbors all wet — literally and figuratively.

Jupiter Farms residents and others from different parts of the county fear a replay of that failure, which they say could threaten the water supply from the nearby Pine Glades Natural Area.

“I urge you to nip this in the bud and deny the zoning changes rather than using valuable staff time on this,” Boynton Beach resident Chris Lockhart wrote to county commissioners. “If you do not, I ask that you direct staff to consider the impacts to Pine Glades Natural Area and other adjacent and nearby conservation lands, impacts on our water resources, etc.”

Steve C. Stout of Jupiter wrote commissioners with a similar plea.

“The location in question abuts the Pine Glades natural area,” Stout wrote. “Pine Glades is a water catchment area, which helps regenerate our aquifer and wells. Plus, the human impact of lights and noise — right next to this pristine and costly natural area. This is not a smart decision.”

Commissioners ultimately decided to have staff work with a firm affiliated with Slater to examine the prospect of having a surf ranch built at the Park of Commerce. Staff members are to give commissioners an update next month.

Currently, only industrial uses are permitted at the park. Slater’s firm wants the county to change that so the surf ranch and a 2,000-foot long wave pool can be built.

But in addition to water quality and environmental concerns, opponents cited what happened with NLand Surf Park in Austin, Texas.

NLand opened on Oct. 7, promising “long, consistent and barreling waves for novices, passionate travel surfers and world-class competitors alike,” according to information from its web site.

The web site said NLand’s “commitment to environmental stewardship began long before shovels hit the ground.”

A week into operation, NLand found damage under its lagoon. When the lagoon was drained to make repairs, water flowed onto nearby property, according to a story by Austin TV station KXAN.

The station quoted one woman, Patricia Garcia, saying her driveway “was full of water. I couldn’t even walk through here.”

An NLand spokesman, Chris Jones, told the station: “[The city] let us know about this and we immediately addressed the issue. We take every opportunity to be good neighbors.”

Commissioner Hal Valeche, whose district includes the Park of Commerce, downplayed worries of a leak if a surf ranch is built here. He said he fully supports the project, which he said would be more environmentally friendly than other uses allowed at the park.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Politics

That other time Donald Trump made a blockbuster tax proposal…
That other time Donald Trump made a blockbuster tax proposal…

Trump’s 1999 tax-hike plan as described by the New York Daily News. President Donald Trump on Wednesday proposed the outlines of a tax plan that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin described in Trumpian terms as the “biggest tax cut” and “largest tax reform” in American history.
House Republicans look to Trump to fund Obamacare subsidies
House Republicans look to Trump to fund Obamacare subsidies

  Now that House Republicans are officially refusing to fund extra Obamacare subsidies, they're looking to the Trump administration to make the payments — despite having sued the Obama administration for doing just that.   House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., confirmed Wednesday morning that funding for the subsidies, which...
How Trump's tax plan could affect you
How Trump's tax plan could affect you

 The White House unveiled a broad outline Wednesday for a dramatically simpler tax code that could lead to lower tax bills for many ordinary taxpayers but also eliminate many of the tax deductions that Americans currently claim.   President Trump's plan, which did not include many details, could cut taxes for some middle and high-income...
Treasury secretary says Trump 'has no intention' of releasing tax returns
Treasury secretary says Trump 'has no intention' of releasing tax returns

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that President Donald Trump "has no intention" of releasing his tax returns, which would show the public how much he would benefit personally from the administration's plan to overhaul the tax code.   At a White House news conference to roll out the administration's tax cut proposal...
Winners and losers in the Trump tax plan 
Winners and losers in the Trump tax plan 

The tax plan the Trump administration released Wednesday consists (so far) of a single page of bullet points.   If this were a more rounded plan, we could wait for the tax wonks at various think tanks to run it through their models and tell with some precision how it would affect people at different income levels and who would benefit from...
More Stories