Ocean Ridge residents fear development could threaten peaceful community

7,600 homes slated for east edge of Boynton Beach

OCEAN RIDGE, Fla. - Sleepy Ocean Ridge is waking up to a view residents don't want to see. Precious dunes that line the beach are being stomped on. 

"I've seen people drag kayaks, boats with an engine on it, people walk through and they don't respect the dunes in Ocean Ridge," said resident Steve Coz.

For 25 years Coz has called Ocean Ridge home. He's noticed a shift. 

"Huge increase in vehicles, traffic, bicycles, pedestrians, the small town doesn't have the infrastructure to handle this," said Coz.

In fact another 7600 homes are proposed for the eastern corridor of Boynton Beach over the next 10 years. A move town leaders say will only bring more visitors. 

"There's a lot more development in Boynton Beach along the US-1 corridor and those people are coming here now," said Ken Schenck, Town Manager for Ocean Ridge.

Coz and his neighbors first tried posting 'no trespassing' signs to keep people off their privately owned dunes. But that only confused visitors. 

A lot of people don't know that much of the beach is privately owned, the public area starts at the high water line, which is usually marked by seaweed.

Now neighbors created the Beachway Dune Preservation Society. They are meeting next month with city leaders to brainstorm how to protect the dunes and keep the town's charm intact. 

"That's what we want to do, keep the charm of this small community," said Schenck.