Tag Archive for: agricultural reserve

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Palm Beach County officials could approve a land use change that would permit more than 2,100 apartments in the Agricultural Reserve to address the lack of workforce housing in the area.

The County Planning Commission approved on April 8 the future land use change to facilitate “essential housing” in the Agricultural Reserve west of Delray Beach and Boynton Beach. The application was initiated by county staff, not a particular landowner. However, the application would apply to five specific parcels covering a combined 269 acres in the area.

The Agricultural Reserve is one of the largest markets for single-family home development in all of South Florida. The development rules encourage low density and a certain portion of land must be set aside for agriculture and open space for every acre developed. Using density of 2.5 units per acre, nearly 11,000 homes have been developed there, according to the county memo.

Given the low-density development pattern in the Agricultural Reserve, there are almost no housing opportunities for most people employed in the workforce, the county memo stated. The median sales price of a home on less than one acre in the area was $880,000, according to the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser. Less than 3% of the homes sold for under $500,000.

“Creating a higher density category with both a significant workforce housing requirement and a preserve requirement will help to address this imbalance while continuing to support the preservation objective,” the county memo stated.

The staff recommendation for the essential housing land use category is eight units per acre and a requirement to preserve 60% of the site and develop 40%. In addition, 25% of the units must be workforce housing.

That land use category would be restricted to locations fronting major roads, like Atlantic Avenue and Boynton Beach Boulevard, in close proximity to Florida’s Turnpike. Under the essential housing proposal, these five sites could be developed with a combined 2,152 units. However, that number could increase to 5,379 units if the owners of these properties are able to preserve land in other locations within the Agricultural Reserve, thus being able to build apartments on the entirety of their land within the essential housing district.

Developers such as GL Homes frequently buy land in the Agricultural Reserve for preservation in order to build home communities in other locations in the area. One of those five locations already has a pending development application.

The essential housing land use plan would need approval from the County Commission at a later date.

 

Source: SFBJ

 

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A plant nursery west of Boynton Beach could be rezoned as industrial, potentially leading to redevelopment.

Las Farms of the Palm Beaches LLC, managed by Lois and Andrew Soowal in Deerfield Beach, filed a land use amendment with Palm Beach County officials for the 6.95-acre site at 9437 S. State Road 7. It’s a few blocks north of Boynton Beach Boulevard.

The agricultural site at 9437 S. State Road 7, Palm Beach County, could be rezoned industrial.
(PALM BEACH COUNTY RECORDS)

It’s currently zoned “agricultural” and has a plant nursery with a 3,713-square-foot office building. The application calls for rezoning it to “industrial,” with only light industrial uses. Heavy manufacturing, uses that create lots of noise, operate 24/7 or use hazardous or toxic chemicals would not be permitted.

The application says the maximum amount of industrial space permitted under the new zoning would be 136,234 square feet. This would generate 964 daily vehicle trips, according to the developer’s traffic study.

The developer’s representative, Jennifer Morton of Palm Beach Gardens-based JMorton Planning & Landscape Architecture, said the new zoning would permit both industrial development and the business offering landscaping services, which are not permitted under the current agricultural zoning. The owner has not decided whether it will redevelop the property with industrial buildings in the near future, but that would be a possibility under the new zoning, she added.

There has been a spike in demand for industrial space in Palm Beach County, as vacancy rates have fallen and rents have increased. The site would probably be worth more with industrial buildings, depending on the tenants.

In the application, Las Farms noted that only 1,700 acres of the 22,000 acres designated for development in the county’s Agricultural Reserve have no development approvals. Over the past 20 years, the Ag Reserve has become a mostly residential area. The application says the industrial zoning would create more job opportunities for the area on one of the few remaining development sites left.

The land use application is expected to go before the Palm Beach County Commission in November. After a state review, it would require a second county commission vote at a later date.

 

Source: SFBJ

Sunrise-based GL Homes promised to donate land and money for the construction of new public schools if it wins approval of its proposal to build houses in Palm Beach County’s Agricultural Reserve.

GL has approval to build 3,900 houses on a 4,900-acre tract called Indian Trails Grove. But instead, the company has proposed building houses outside of Indian Trails Grove in the county’s Agricultural Reserve, a 22,000-acre farming zone west of Boynton Beach.

GL would use its land at Indian Trails Grove to meet the county requirements for building in the Agricultural Reserve, which require conservation of 60 acres for every 40 acres developed.

In a non-binding letter of intent, GL said if its proposal is approved, the company would donate $10 million and 105 acres of land for construction of a public high school and an elementary school. Its offer wouldn’t preclude GL from paying impact fees in connection with its housing development.

 

Source: The Real Deal