For the past decade, about 39 acres of farm land just east of Florida’s Turnpike on Lantana Road have been set aside for townhomes and commercial development, but nothing has been built.
Now the site’s owner, Lantana Farm Associates, has a new plan that would turn the property into 141 single-family homes, according to county documents.
The land, part of Mecca Farms, is near shopping centers and residential developments that feel much like the rest of suburban area west of Boynton Beach. Across Lantana Road is a distribution center area also owned by Lantana Farm Associates, the family behind Mecca Farms.
The Mecca family has asked for the zoning of about 3 acres of the property to be changed from multiple-use planned development to planned unit development, and for those acres to be developed as residential instead of commercial. The rest of the property is already zoned residential. The County Commission, sitting as the zoning board, will discuss the application Thursday.
The original plan for the nearly 40 acres was approved about a decade ago. The biggest portion of the property was to be developed into homes and the 3 acres was where a “neighborhood commercial center” was to be built, according to county documents.
“Due to a change in market demand, the project was never constructed,” the documents say.
New commercial has since been built at the intersections of Lantana and Jog roads and Lantana Road and State Road 7. Because of those new developments, the documents say, the site would be better fitted for residential.
Mecca family members, who could not be reached last week, bought the majority of the property in July 1991. Since then, the land has been used to grow tomatoes and strawberries.
The Coalition of Boynton West Residential Associations, an influential group in the area, supports the new plan.
Gerry Morrison, COBWRA’s growth management committee chair, said the shift to single family homes instead of the original mix of commercial development and townhouses would mean less traffic on Lantana Road.
“That’s a big plus,” he said.