STUART, Fla. — For hours on Tuesday, those in favor and those opposed came before Martin County commissioners to talk about the proposed "rural lifestyle" zoning designation.
“This is one of the greatest opportunities to be handed to us,” said Scott Fay.
“It wrecks the urban boundary, wrecks our Martin County difference,” said Donna Melzer.
The first property that would fall under the new rules would be the site west of Hobe Sound, where world renowned golf course architect Tom Fazio would build on what would be known as Atlantic Fields.
“You’re not going to find a better company, developer, or group,” said Fazio during the meeting. “It’s not a developer who’s here and gone.”
The 1,500 acre property will have 317 multi-million dollar homes, where 70% would be left untouched.
The developer said that beyond the potential $20 million in annual tax revenue, an equestrian facility would be donated to Atlantic Ridge State Park to provide more public access.
Wetlands would also be restored, and the family’s 800-acre tree farm would be put into a permanent agricultural easement.
While commissioners appeared to be in favor of the particular project, there was a reluctance to proceed with an entirely new zoning designation for the county.
After nearly seven hours, the commissioners decided to table the proposed “rural lifestyle” zoning designation.
Now, the applicant will have to decide whether to bring the project forward again.