breaking news

Secret Service: Lantana air rules tough, but needed to protect Trump

POINT OF VIEW: GL plan provides community benefits, increases farmland


GL Homes has been building in Palm Beach County over the past three decades. We are now proposing a plan that benefits the county as a whole. Our Agricultural Preservation Plan will increase farmland, preserve farming in the county and add significant public benefit.

We will set aside nearly 5,000 acres of preservation in The Acreage, where we are permitted to build approximately 3,900 homes. Instead, we are proposing to build homes on roughly 1,300 acres in the west Boynton Beach/Delray Beach area, where infrastructure and roadways already exist. This plan will result in nearly four times the preservation of farmland and preservation, and add significant community benefit to Boynton, Delray and west Boca Raton — including land and $10 million toward an elementary school and high school. The 5,000 acres set aside for preservation will include farmland and 640 acres for water storage to relieve flooding in The Acreage.

We want to set the record straight because some activists are making claims that we will “dismantle” and “ruin” the Agricultural Reserve. That’s simply false.

The Ag Reserve is well-planned, with roadways and infrastructure, a hospital, schools, shopping centers and dozens of existing communities. The Ag Reserve still has plenty of active farms and will always have active farming. In fact, the majority of land in the Ag Reserve is still in preservation or county-owned. That will not change. The facts show that our plan will increase the amount of farmland in Palm Beach County, at no cost to taxpayers.

County residents voted to spend more than $100 million from a bond issue. A portion was used to buy 2,530 acres in the Ag Reserve. Our proposal does not affect that publicly owned 2,530 acres, and our Agricultural Preservation Plan will preserve twice as much additional land, for free.

This will provide more locally grown food, support agriculture, strengthen the county’s economy and maintain the quality of life for residents.

Local farmers have said that the Acreage land is just as good as Ag Reserve land, and they produce just as many tomatoes, beans, sweet corn, sugar cane and other vegetables per acre as they grow in the Ag Reserve, near U.S. 441 and Florida’s Turnpike. So extra farming acreage from our Agricultural Preservation Plan means more locally grown produce. The Agricultural Preservation Plan is consistent with the county’s Master Plan objectives for the Ag Reserve, as well as the county’s goals to preserve farming.

KEVIN RATTERREE, WEST PALM BEACH

Editor’s note: Kevin Ratterree is a vice president of GL Homes.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

Editorial: Fire chief’s response time on sex harassment was his undoing
Editorial: Fire chief’s response time on sex harassment was his undoing

So the fire chief couldn’t stand up to the county administrator and now wants his job back. Jeffrey Collins, the former Palm Beach County Fire Rescue chief, resigned on Jan. 12 in the wake of sexual harassment and retaliation complaints under his command. Almost immediately he “rescinded” his decision, saying he had been pressured...
Letters: Brightline accidents tragic, but is railway really to blame?
Letters: Brightline accidents tragic, but is railway really to blame?

BRIGHTLINE, the innovative high-speed passenger rail service, has been in operation for only about a week and a half, and already three people have been hit by trains. Tragically, two of them died. You’ve sent us a flood of letters and emails about it — nearly 100 in all. As you’ll see below, most put the blame not on the railway...
Rampell: Blame McConnell and Ryan for the shutdown

It was neither the #TrumpShutdown nor the #SchumerShutdown. It wasn’t even the #StephenMillerShutdown. It was always the #McConnellRyanShutdown. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan are responsible for the completely avoidable three-day federal shutdown that ended Monday. They will likewise be responsible for the...
Gerson: The Trump evangelicals have lost their gag reflex

Billy Graham has been one of the most visible, respected and influential Christians in the world since the 1950s. But he often had a blind spot when it came to politics. Graham was Richard Nixon’s spiritual adviser. And Nixon consulted him on everything from his vice presidential pick to the conduct of the Vietnam War. It must have been a heady...
Commentary: The provocative last request for Erica Garner
Commentary: The provocative last request for Erica Garner

Erica Garner died two days before the new year. She was 27 years old. Garner became an activist for civil rights after the 2014 death of her father, Eric Garner, a black Staten Islander who died at the hands of a white police officer. Stopped for selling loose cigarettes, Garner went into cardiac arrest after being put into an illegal chokehold. The...
More Stories