How should the western areas grow? County commissioner wants to hear from residents


With new development projects in the works for Palm Beach County’s central western communities, County Commissioner Paulette Burdick says it’s time for a town hall meeting.

Burdick will host a meeting Jan. 7 focusing on land-use issues that will determine the future of communities such as The Acreage, Loxahatchee Groves and Deer Run.

The hour-long meeting with county planning staff will be at 6:30 p.m. at Vista Center on Jog Road in suburban West Palm Beach.

Burdick said she envisions the meeting as an informal continuation of issues debated 10 years ago in discussions over a “sector plan,’’ which was a growth blueprint for more than 50,000 acres in and around The Acreage.

County commissioners repealed that plan in November 2007, and some residents at the time felt their opinions didn’t factor into decisions about the area.

But Burdick said it’s at least time for a historical overview of the area since it could see change in the coming years with residential developments such as Minto West and Highland Dunes.

The meeting will allow comment from residents “who are concerned about preserving the rural characteristics of these communities,’’ said Burdick, whose district goes as far west as State Road 7.

“What’s the potential for what is going to be happening in what was once a sector plan?’’ Burdick said.

“It’s pertinent information for the entire county as we become built out,” she added. “How do we look at some of these large open spaces and the areas between the turnpike and Military Trail from 45th Street south?’’

Water issues and the Agricultural Reserve will also be part of the meeting.

Dennis Lipp, the former vice mayor of Loxahatchee Groves, said Burdick should be applauded for hosting the town meeting.

“I appreciate Commissioner Burdick for wanting to do something because the commissioners really do need to have local input,’’ Lipp said.

“People want a choice in development, and in the western communities we can give them that choice. If we turn everything into 6,000 homes on 3,000 acres, that’s not what the surrounding land is all about.’’

The central and western communities also will be the topic of other meetings early in 2014.

All seven county commissioners are scheduled in January to accompany the county planning staff on individual bus tours with stops including the old Callery-Judge Grove land and the Highland Dunes project west of Wellington.

Homebuilder Minto Communities hopes to build 6,500 homes on the 3,800-acre Callery-Judge Grove land.

Two public hearings for the Minto West project are also scheduled. The Planning Commission will consider text changes to the comprehensive plan at 9 a.m. Feb. 14 at the Vista Center. The county commission will consider the planning commission’s recommendation March 27 at the Governmental Center in downtown West Palm Beach.

Commissioners in October approved a rezoning request for Highland Dunes, allowing 2,000 homes on 1,200 acres owned by Palm Beach Aggregates.

Commissioners also are tentatively scheduled to hold an extensive workshop on the future of the Ag Reserve at 9:30 a.m. March 25. A key question will be whether to allow more commercial development in the reserve.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Kris Kobach, once the face of Trump’s voter fraud panel, is held in contempt
Kris Kobach, once the face of Trump’s voter fraud panel, is held in contempt

Kris W. Kobach, the secretary of state of Kansas and face of the Trump administration’s efforts to clamp down on supposed voter fraud, was found by a federal judge on Wednesday to have disobeyed orders to notify thousands of Kansans in 2016 that they were registered to vote.  Kobach, who served last year as the vice chairman of the Trump...
Always a Palm Beach connection: Mar-a-Lago gets passing mention in Comey memos
Always a Palm Beach connection: Mar-a-Lago gets passing mention in Comey memos

View from the west of Mar-a-Lago during last month’s Palm Beach County GOP fundraiser there. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) President Donald Trump was tweeting from Mar-a-Lago late Thursday night and early this morning about fired FBI Director James Comey, his book tour and the release of 15 pages...
Across Midwest, farmers warn of GOP losses over Trump’s trade policy
Across Midwest, farmers warn of GOP losses over Trump’s trade policy

Here in the largest soybean-producing county in the country, a snowy winter has left North Dakota farmers like Robert Runck with time on their hands before spring planting — time they have spent stewing over how much they stand to lose if President Donald Trump starts a trade war with China.  “If he doesn’t understand what he&rsquo...
Judge in Michael Cohen case described as no-nonsense, ‘judicial equivalent of Teddy Roosevelt’
Judge in Michael Cohen case described as no-nonsense, ‘judicial equivalent of Teddy Roosevelt’

 Judge Kimba M. Wood had barely finished a hearing this week that involved both Michael D. Cohen, President Donald Trump’s lawyer, and — in a stunning revelation — Fox News host Sean Hannity, when the right-wing media machine started going after her.  InfoWars, the conspiracy theory website run by Alex Jones, posted an article...
Abortion wars are heating up ahead of November elections
Abortion wars are heating up ahead of November elections

Mississippi's governor just signed a law, more restrictive than in any state, banning abortions after 15 weeks. Iowa's state Senate is trying to go even further and stop abortions at around six weeks. And 20 Ohio legislators have proposed outlawing all abortions, even if the woman's life is in danger.  In many state capitols, Republican lawmakers...
More Stories