Nearly 500 people have downloaded a form letter from the web site of the Coalition of Boynton West Residential Associations urging opposition to possible rule changes that would allow more development to take place in Palm Beach County’s Agricultural Reserve, a 22,000-acre farming zone located west of Boynton Beach and Delray Beach.
The letters, many of which have already been emailed to county commissioners, is the second wave of an assault the politically powerful coalition plans to make against the proposed rule changes, which it argues would lead to over-development in an area where building has been limited to accommodate agriculture. COBWRA held a meeting on the topic on June 7, drawing 400 people despite heavy rain and long car lines.
Ag Reserve rules require builders to preserve 60 acres there for every 40 they wish to develop in the reserve. Developers have not been allowed to preserve land outside of the Ag Reserve so they can build within it.
GL Homes has floated a plan to change those rules so it can preserve land it owns in The Acreage/Loxahatchee area and build more on land it owns further south in the Ag Reserve.
Residents in The Acreage/Loxahatchee area, pleased by the prospect of less development in their midst, like the idea. But many south county residents fear the rule changes will mean over-development, jammed roads and lower property values for them.
COBWRA posted the form letter to its web site earlier this week, and, by noon on Friday, 475 people had downloaded it, according to figures provided by the group.
GL is not expected to formally request Ag Reserve rule changes until later this year, but they have already become a focal point of discussion in the ongoing battle over development in the county.