Controversial Plan to Build 1200 Homes in Agricultural Reserve Gets Green Light!

Controversial Plan to Build 1200 Homes in Agricultural Reserve Gets Green Light!

BOCA RATON, FL. — The Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners decided just after 7 p.m. to APPROVE a plan by G.L. Homes to build 1200 homes, worker housing, and space for Jewish educational centers on a piece of property the company owns north of Clint Moore Road along U.S. 441.

The vote was 7-2, and Southwest Palm Beach County Commissioner Maria Sachs was the only one to vote against the bill.

The land is in an area called the “Agricultural Reserve,” which is a section of farmland in Palm Beach County that was meant to be “reserved” for farming. But G.L. Homes has asked for and been given permission many times to build neighborhoods in the area.

In the company’s Bridges, Boca Bridges, Seven Bridges, Lotus, Dakota, and Valencia projects, tens of thousands of people have bought homes, most of which are worth more than $1M.

Because of the increase of people, public schools in the area are too full, and Lyons Road has a lot of traffic problems. G.L. Homes hasn’t offered to build schools to make room for more students.

During a meeting that lasted for hours on Wednesday, many people from Palm Beach County spoke out against the plan. They said that building in the Ag Reserve without infrastructure should be stopped. But G.L. got a few customers to say nice things about the company.

One homeowner said that before he bought a home from G.L., he lived in a one-bedroom apartment in New York City and moved to Palm Beach County because he wanted more park land. Several acres of the new G.L. neighborhood will be set aside as parks.

Some people call it “horse trading,” but G.L. is also giving land for a water reservoir in another part of the county. People who don’t like the plan say Palm Beach County should take care of it on its own, without the help of a private builder who seems to have bought unwanted land to use in a trade.

Several people from a Chabad in the area talked about how important it was for G.L. Homes to give free space to Jewish groups so that people could walk from their homes to a shul on the Sabbath.

Even though this is a big choice, it is not the last one that needs to be made about the job. Staff from the county will now work with officials from G.L. and the County Commissioners to complete the wording needed for the project to move forward. In a few months, there will likely be another vote.

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