The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 29, 1998 · Page 87
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March 29, 1998

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 87

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Sunday, March 29, 1998
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Page 87
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6E THE PALM BEACH POST SUNDAY, MARCH 29, 1998 J8 Rural lifestyle of Groves, Acreage depends on wise decisions the western area, developer?, i friendly Ken Foster, is rearing this year, but most of the growtH these key areas near The Acreage want that designation applied to the 13,000 acres in such a way as to guarantee that the land will be developed before anyone has de If The Acreage, Loxahatchee Groves and the surrounding areas get paved over, the public will pay hundreds of millions for services, school crowding will get worse and drinking water supplies will be at risk. industry which finances county commission elections has lined up behind Royal Palm Beach Mayor Tony Masilotti, the favorite to succeed Mr. Foster. As Mr. Gotthelf pointed out, single-member districts prevent rest dents of The Acreage and Loxahatchee Groves from voting Saunier, director of the Loxahatchee Groves district, cites the E Road threat. Mr. Gotthelf thinks an incorporated Acreage could block the wider east-west roads needed if the Walsey property is to be developed. But cities control roads only if those roads are not on the county thoroughfare plan. Once they are on the plan, the county is in control, and the roads can be paved or widened regardless of whether the city goes along. And it's a safe bet that if the county rezones the 13,000 acres, the roads will follow. Groves' future rests on others The best hope for Loxahatchee Groves and The-Acreage would be a county commission that finally stops encouraging greater western growth. The incumbent commissioner for for the other six commissioners; who also will decide the area's fate. These communities must d pend for help largely on peopl who live elsewhere. Since th at least in the case of Callery-Judge, is nonresidential development. Callery-Judge has sold land along Seminole Pratt Whitney Road for a shopping center and recently suggested an industrial park to provide jobs for Acreage residents. Besides the county effort to pave E Road, the state is studying the extension of State Road 7 north from Okeechobee Boulevard to Beeline Highway. The county has changed its traffic rules to allow more traffic on Southern Boulevard and is pre paving over of an area rarely def pends on one vote, it's tough td mount a campaign against county commissioners who insist or) turning Palm Beach County into another Broward. But all residents have a stake in helping Loxahatchee Groves keeps the pavers away from those dirt WILD WEST From IE roads, a few of them paved, are wider. People who live in Loxahatchee Groves and The Acreage are worried that the county isn't very serious about the fight to keep their area rural, and they have good reason to worry. The Palm Beach County Commission shows every intention of forcing urban development on people who don't want it. . " For the rest of the county, the implications of such a policy also are significant. Palm Beach County already seems to have given up on protecting most of the south county Agricultural Reserve Area. Lobbyists for landowners got State Road 7 widened to Okeechobee Boulevard, thus intensifying development in that area. Open space on endangered list If The Acreage, Loxahatchee Groves and the surrounding areas get paved over, the public will pay hundreds of millions of dollars services, school crowding will get worse and drinking-water supplies will be at risk. - The west-central area bounded roughly by Southern Boulevard, the Beeline Highway and lines running north from State Road 7 and 20-Mile Bend already has nearly 60,000 people with the potential to reach 100,000 even if no farmland is re-zoned for homes. Another 13,000 acres lie near The Acreage, plus there are smaller properties within Loxahatchee Groves. In revising its land-use plan, the county is talking about something called a "future plan paring to widen the boulevard. All these changes increase the ca cided whether it should be developed. If they prevail when the plan is adopted next year, the fight to save west-central county is all but over. Loxahatchee Groves and The Acreage may try to wrest control from the county by becoming cities. Those who support incorporation say they want to be in charge of their own destiny, but there is not necessarily agreement as to what that destiny is. Also, there is one obvious spot of conflict between the two areas. The pressure on Loxahatchee Groves is coming from two directions. On the south, landowners want commercial development along State Road 80. The owner of 97 acres between A and B roads wants to develop homes and shopping and annex the land into Wellington. The owner of 3 acres at Folsom Road wants to build a Walgreen's and annex the land into Royal Palm Beach. On the north, The Acreage wants E Road paved and connected to 140th Avenue to provide another outlet from The Acreage to Southern Boulevard. In October, the county commission told staff engineers to begin planning. Loxahatchee likes dirt roads Loxahatchee Groves residents seem to be of a single voice about the intrusions: They are opposed. "We're concerned that communities around us are eye-balling our land and trying to gather it in for their tax bases," said Bryant Culpepper, board president of the Loxahatchee Groves Water Control District, pacity for development, and when caDacitv comes, development is never far behind. Louda, president of the Loxahatchee Groves Landowners Association. Besides being larger, The Acreage is becoming more diverse. That, in turn, leads to differences as to what the future should be, said Bill Gotthelf, - president of the Indian Trail Improvement District, which provides parks, roads and drainage for The Acreage. Half the residents have been there less than five years, and The people moving here (recently) are more urban," as Mr. Gotthelf put it. More money, representation With incorporation, Mr. Gotthelf says, The Acreage would get back $7 million to $8 million in money now going to the county. "Besides," he said, "your neighbors will be elected by you." He pointed out that with single-member districts, Acreage residents get to vote for only one of seven county commissioners. Carol Francis, vice president of the Acreage Landowners' Association, is skeptical about incorporation. There's got to be a lot of trust in our civic leaders before people will sign a blank check over to them to run our lives," she said. If the county allows the 13,000 nearby acres the 7,000-acre Walsey property, the 4,000-acre Callery-Judge property and a 2,000-acre Mecca Farms tract to be developed at just one home per acre, the result could be 50,000 more people. More likely, First shopping center going in Building on 3UCC6SS Lennar owns most of the large developments out west. We explore their land-and what they're building on it. The county has approved the first shopping center in The Acreage, at Seminole Pratt Whit ney and Orange Boulevard, and Indian Trail is negotiating with . Jjfefym Beach Ibst West Palm Beach to provide sewer service. Mr. Gotthelf MRB thinks that is a good idea because it will allow Acreage Pines Ele mentary School to get rid of its sk ft small treatment plant and would eventually serve such public fa cilities as a fire station, a post of fice and a library. It also could encourage rezoning of land for ftp gggg Qfjgaib more mtense development. i Proponents of incorporation seem to think Loxahatchee Groves and The Acreage can Do you know how your .. 1 ning area overlay" a special land use for a specific area to handle "areas subject to growth pressures" open land near developed areas. Landowners in which provides roads and drainage. As for the roads, "We want to keep them dirt," said William control growth by blocking road projects they do not want. Clete TheMm Beach Post l competitors are doing? PostFacts Does! Do you have the information you need on leaders in your industry? PostFacts Does! Clinton's diplomacy PostFacts a guilt trip GREA1 NEWS WASHINGTON Bill Clinton, by his excursions into ational contrition on his current Do you have the up-to-date , information you need on i changes in your industry? PostFacts Does! PostFacts can search The Palm Beach Post, dating back to 1916, and hundreds of other publications to find the information you need. wing through Africa, raised Research Services from The Palm Beach Post Call or Fax PostFacts Today! (561) 820-4000 Fax (561) 837-8409 Prices stmt at KS. All orders must be prepaid. Major credit cards accepted. eyebrows on two continents. He expressed regrets for slavery, for the Cold War coddling of some African dictators and for what he calls the country's slowness to SouthTrust's Home Equity Loan Line respond to genocide in Rwanda. These subjects lie outside traditional diplomacy. His words expose him to the charge that for BATTER UP! AND PLAY BALL personal and political reasons, he is advertising a lopsided and gratuitous vision of the country he represents. (ft 6 WITH OUR MAJOR LEAGUE MATH PROCRAM Introductory 6 Month Rate' Still, he is addressing themes deeply relevant to the United States and Africa. Formative de velopments such as slavery and the Cold War, the continuing Af rican mass upheavals: These are on American minds and on Afri can minds as well. Regular Rate2 For rrriit limits of '$50.000 or mure. Regular Rate ' For rreiiit limits less than $50,000. Most Washington talk of affairs goes to matters of policy. The current, quiet policy argument centers on whether the administration has tilted too much toward development and stability as against democracy and human rights. It is necessary to remember, after all, that much African misery is the handiwork Teachers, give your students the opportunity to "play ball" in the big leagues this Spring with The Palm Beach Post's Newspaper In Education program, "BATTER UP!" featuring the Florida Marlins! Each student will receive their very own tabloid-sized workbook and accompanying sets of The Palm Beach Post newspaper. With "BATTER UP!" students will calculate player's batting averages, determine pitchers' ERA's and keep track of team standings as well as completing weekly whole language and geography activities. The activities in "BATTER UP!" are appropriate for students in grades four and above. This sponsored program, courtesy of The Children's Hospital and Adelphia, is available at not cost to the first 250 teachers who register. The "BATTER UP!" program begins on April 20, 1998. To sign up for "BATTER UP!" and accompanying sets of The Palm Beach Post call our Educational Services department today at (561 ) 820-4648 or toll-free (800) 432-7595, ext. 4648. You may also fax this coupon to (561) 837-8400. Deadline for registration is April 6, 1998. of tyrannical post-colonial African governments that were brutal to their own people and ransacked their own treasuries. 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His trip was designed to counter that neglect An admission of neglect carries an implicit promise to pay closer attention. The president, who early in his trip hailed a prospective African "renaissance," has not offered new ideas to match. But some old ideas not just aid but trade and investment aio still eood. Support for Africa's institi- Name School Address CityStateZip Grade Number of Students Vnfrc Not Just Another Customer. Were Not Just Another IJink. www.soiitlitnist.f om Telephone ( ) Fax (561)837-8400 or mail coupon to: The Palm Beach Post, Educational Services Dept., P.O. Box 24700, West Palm Beach, FL 33416-4700 Menbcf FDIC tional and physical infrastruc- j Newspapers and Curriculum sponsored by a tures should proceed as fast as Africa's own participation permits. The Clinton concern for genocide should translate swiftly into international programs to spare new victims and rescue Africa's millions ot refugees. 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