Nearly 2,000 sign petition to oppose Love Street development

Saying that Jupiter is developing too much and too fast, more than 1,900 opponents have signed a petition to oppose the development of Love Street.

“Enough development. Please let’s preserve our waterfront and the character of Jupiter…a quiet laid back town,” wrote Beverlee Sacco of Jupiter, who is against the plan for the 4 acres on the Jupiter Inlet off A1A.

A 45-foot-tall observation tower and a restaurant-fish market overlooking the Jupiter Inlet are part of the plan. There are about 20 buildings. An estimated 36 vacation rental units, each about 400 square feet, would be on the second floor above the retail shops.

A partially underground parking garage with either two 0r three stories would hold about 250 vehicles.

Developer Charles Modica said he is confident town officials and the public will agree the plan is the best use for the property.

“The land is now a parking lot. This is the best use for the property,” Modica said.

The town council plans to vote on the plan Dec. 15 at a meeting scheduled to start at 7 p.m. The town’s planning and zoning commission voted 6-1 on Nov. 10 to recommend approval. The council is not bound by the recommendation.

The Love Street development would be an asset to Jupiter, Planning and Zoning Chairman Patricia Walker said.

“This is not a wall of concrete. It is not Harbourside. It is very low key,” Walker said.

Pedestrian walkways are planned between the buildings and along the Jupiter Inlet that would connect to The Riverwalk, the town’s 2.5-mile pedestrian and bicycle lane between Ocean Way and the Jupiter Inlet. The Love Street plan calls for a total of about 94,000 square feet of commercial space, including the vacation rentals.

Two acres of the Love Street property are owned by the town. Modica owns 2 adjacent acres. The proposal calls for the town to swap its 2 acres for 2 acres of property that developer Charles Modica owns east of State Road A1A and south of Parkway Street. That would give Modica the 4 acres for his peroposed Love Street development.

Petition signers compared Jupiter to Boca Raton. They said Harbourside Place, a $150 million waterfront entertainment center opened this past year, is an example of the town’s over-development. Developing Love Street would bring too much traffic and endanger pedestrians and bicyclists. They said the project is too dense. They questioned if there would be enough parking for customers and employees. Pollution of the Jupiter Inlet would be increased, they said.

“As a Jupiter resident and real estate broker, I believe the over development of this area to be counter to the character of our town,” Todd Breen, a Jupiter resident, wrote on the on-line petition.

Modica also owns the 10-acre Suni Sands property near the Love Street land. His preliminary plan for Suni Sands calls for a $100 million marketplace. The non-gated community would have a hotel, a dozen cottages, retail space and underground parking for about 400 vehicles. Current zoning limits building height to three stories.

Modica said he is making the effort to work with the town to develop the entire 4-acre Love Street parcel parcel into a village concept. If the town denies his proposal, the zoning would allow him to build a restaurant on the 2 acres he owns.

“That would leave the town with just another restaurant and a parking lot on A1A. Those folks signing the petition should be careful what they wish for,” Modica said.

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