Land swap would jeopardize Ag Reserve

GL Homes wants to exchange 1,600 acres of land in the Indian Trail Groves area in northern Palm Beach County to build homes on 540 acres of preserved land in the Agriculture Reserve just west of Boca Raton. This proposed land swap is a bad idea.

Supporters claim the 1,600 acres is worth $90 million and that the land, located in an area with limited access and no infrastructure, is of equal value to land in the Ag Reserve. We all know this is not true. Supporters also talk about a $10 million boost in tax revenue from the new homes in the Ag Reserve. What they don’t mention is the $11.8 million in required services needed to accommodate the new residents.

It seems the commission is putting the cart before the horse. They appear focused on getting the 1,600 acres but have no meaningful idea what they would do with it. Before jeopardizing the Ag Reserve’s survival, the commissioners first need to take a breath and identify specific water projects, their timing, costs, and benefits. Only then will they be in a position to make an informed decision.

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