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WEST PALM COUNTY COMMISSIONER WOODWARD UPDATE


I want to take a moment to thank everyone who sent me support, encouragement and gratitude over the last few weeks. My “no” vote on the GL swap in the Ag Reserve came after months of meetings, researching, questioning, tours and more research. I concluded that allowing the development in the previously preserved area known as Hyder West in the Ag Reserve was not something I could support. There were many enticements in the north part of the county and civic uses offered in the south to justify this significant policy change. However, there is the crux, and this was about the change in the policy of our managed growth tier system. The area known as the Ag Reserve is 22,000+ acres between Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach and the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. It was identified as an area that needed a more restrictive growth plan due to its proximity to the Everglades and, at the time, its agricultural uses. I will not get bogged down on the development rules for this tier, but needless to say, the original vision was primarily successful. We now stand at 60% preservation land in the Ag Reserve, and that was until this most recent vote. If we want to return sold/transferred development rights in the Ag Reserve, we should do our due diligence to make deliberate and thoughtful changes to the comprehensive plan as a board of county commissioners. This is not something to be upended for one project and one developer. This is about something other than whether GL builds good communities and will deliver on the promises of water projects, parks, civic donations and workforce housing. It is our job to look at the county as a whole and not choose winners and losers based on districts. We have a comprehensive plan for a reason, and if modifications need to be made to address changes in circumstance, that is where we should begin. In an effort to create an equal playing field and continue to allow managed growth, everyone should play by the same rules. If the rules are not working, we should change them, not make exceptions for a select few. Most importantly, we need the awareness and foresight to understand the consequences of those changes. I promised myself that an issue must stand on its own merits, no matter how much I may like the presenter, and it has to make sense to me in a way I can make it make sense to you, or I will not vote for it. This project, for me, failed on both fronts. It was not an easy decision, and I lost countless hours of sleep leading up to the vote. I followed my conscience and I appreciate all the support that has followed. You may not believe it matters, but it does to me and I thank you. This item returns to the board at the end of August. On a lighter note, a huge congratulations to the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority for receiving nearly $72 million to replace 24 rail vehicles, representing 32% of Tri-Rail's fleet. This is a momentous occasion for the future of this agency and public transportation. I am excited to get on board!

A BIT OF A TIMELINE ON THE CONTROVERSY OF DEVELOPERS TRYING TO TEAR UP ONE OF THE COUNTY'S BEST WETLANDS PROPERTIES:




Some background on the Ag land itself




Don't worry that, if the land was used for agriculture, we could feed a good deal of the State and not have to bring in all the chemical ridden produce. Meh!


The 15 minute City could become a reality of developers are able to get a good claw hold in this area. The 15 minute city is synonymous with the Northern States failed city model and will allow for "salting" of communities turning them irreparably socialist/democrat

The pretty face of the socialist model.





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