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Housing development in Palm Beach County's Agricultural Reserve heading toward final vote

'What we lose is all of this, in terms of developers now coming in, precedent has been set, preserved land is no longer sacrosanct,' Barbara Roth says
Posted at 6:19 PM, Oct 06, 2023

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Plans to build a large housing development in southwest Palm Beach County are dividing some over the issues of preservation and development.

GL Homes is looking to do a "land swap," exchanging land with Palm Beach County to be able to build in the Agricultural Reserve along U.S. Route 441 west of Boca Raton.

Agriculture Reserve west of Boca Raton

Real Estate News

Palm Beach County commissioners OK land swap west of Boca Raton

Allen Cone
12:11 AM, May 04, 2023

"This is a massive undertaking," GL Homes Vice President Kevin Ratteree told the county's planning commission on Thursday. "This type of project is moving Palm Beach County forward and meeting a lot of objectives and goals for long-term benefits to the county."

GL Homes is hoping to build 1,000 homes along with 277 workforce housing units and various other things, including a synagogue and a park.

GL Homes Vice President Kevin Ratteree Oct 2023 PBC commission meeting
GL Homes Vice President Kevin Ratteree discusses how the housing development benefits the county as a whole.

In exchange, GL Homes would give the county $100 million in land it owns further north near Westlake for preservation and what GL president Misha Ezratti calls a "transformational water resource project."

"Today, the county faces an array of challenges, including water quality and a lack of available workforce housing," Ezratti said in a statement.

"Overall, the public benefits to our proposal are significant and will positively impact Palm Beach County for decades to come," the statement continued.

Real Estate News

Views differ after construction in Ag Reserve gets greenlight

Matt Sczesny
6:31 PM, May 04, 2023

The project though has stiff opposition from the Coalition of Boynton West Residential Associations, known as COBWRA.

They object to developing the Agricultural Reserve, which was approved by voters in 1999 to set aside for preservation.

Barbara Roth of the Coalition of Boynton West Residential Associations Oct 2023.png
Barbara Roth of the Coalition of Boynton West Residential Associations explains how this would move would change how developers view preserved land.

“What we lose is all of this, in terms of developers now coming in, precedent has been set, preserved land is no longer sacrosanct," COBWRA's Barbara Roth said.

A final vote by Palm Beach County commissioners on the proposed development is set for Oct 24.