Lantana homeowners fight future development

Hypoluxo & High Ridge Roads

LANTANA, Fla. - Hundreds of homeowners living near Hypoluxo and High Ridge roads are taking a stand against a development plan that would bring a gas station, convenience store and two restaurants within feet of their homes.

"No one is in favor of this project going through, we don't want it," said Suzie Walsh.

Like many of her neighbors, Walsh has lived in the neighborhood, just outside Lantana city limits, for decades.

She says the proposed plan could bring "traffic, congestion, pollution and crime."
    
Lori Taylor's house and her parents' house are a stone's throw away from where the development would be.    

"I'm a business owner in Lantana, and I support development, we all support development, but at what cost?," she asked.

The group would rather have Palm Beach County develop the land as a bank or a retail store, which is what the original commercial plan called for.

John Allan, who lives behind the site, worries about the property values of the nearby homes.
   
"This is going to make these homes plummet," said Allan.  

But developers say they've made concessions for worried residents.

Bob Bentz is part of Land Design South, the company behind the plan. He says the updated site plan was created with homeowners in mind.
   
Comparing the new plan to the old design, Bentz said, "Square footage wise, (it's) a much smaller project, a lot more open space, green space, a much bigger landscape buffer, less access points on to High Ridge Road."

The newest plan, that has received a thumbs up from the county's planning and zoning commission, includes a wall, up to eight feet high, in between the homes and the site.

Bentz says the actual buildings will be smaller too, leaving more room for green space.

All of that may not be enough for homeowners. Many plan on attending and speaking at the commission meeting, scheduled for December 5, where the proposed plan will go in front of Palm Beach County commissioners for approval.

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