Palm Beach County reviewing five major new development applications

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pbc agricultural reserve
The Palm Beach County Agricultural Reserve

Palm Beach County has reported five major recent development applications, including an apartment complex, and three senior living facilities.

According to the South Florida Business Journal, the first public hearings are scheduled for Nov. 17 before community boards. The county commission could transmit them to the state for review in January 2018, and vote on their adoption in May 2018.

GL Homes wants the county to consider a proposal that would allow it to unlock development in the Agricultural Reserve, a south-county farming zone where building is limited by county rules but home sales are lucrative.

In Sept., 2016, the county approved plans for 3,897 homes and 300,000 sq. ft. of commercial space in Indian Trial Groves, a 4.871-acre site two miles west of the intersection of Seminole Pratt Whitney Rd. and Orange Blvd. The area is currently mostly farmland, with the only addresses being 18033 and 18230 70th Rd. N. and 18600 59th Ln. N.

gl homes farmland
The area GL Homes wishes to develop is clearly currently farmland

GL Homes vice-president Larry Portnoy said the company wants to shift the 2,315 homes it would no longer build in Indian Trail Groves to the Agricultural Reserve, putting them on land that would otherwise be preserved. That plan is not explicitly stated in the land use amendment for Indian Trail Grove, but Portnoy noted that GL Homes has a separate zoning petition on three pieces of property in the Agricultural Reserve that would allow homes there.

Portnoy said the Agricultural Reserve already has the infrastructure to support new homes, and it has amenities such as schools and shopping centers, while Indian Trail Groves is in a mostly undeveloped area that would require a lot of ground work to handle major growth.

“We have been building in the Agricultural Reserve for almost 20 years,” he said. “It’s kind of our home base for Palm Beach County. It’s an area where the market knows us and we are trying to continue in an area that has made GL what it is today.”

In the Agricultural Reserve, GL Homes hopes to build 1,100 homes near the southwest corner of Clint Moore Rd. and U.S. 441, 725 more homes near the northwest corner of Boynton Beach Blvd. and Lyons Rd., and 340 homes just north of Boynton Beach Blvd. on the west side of Acme Dairy Rd.

“If we acquire more land in the Agricultural Reserve, we would build there and preserve 100 percent of Indian Trail Groves,” Portnoy said.

Meanwhile, the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach has applied to expand the Toby & Leon Cooperman Sinai Residences in Boca Raton.

Under the proposal, Jewish Federation subsidiary Jewish Community Facilities Corp. could build an additional 75 independent living beds at 12050 95th Ave.

The organization filed for the zoning change while exploring the possibility of expansion and no decision has been made on whether to expand the Sinai Residences, the Jewish Federation said.

In other projects, Resort Lifestyle Communities also says it is seeking approval for a new senior living facility in South Florida.

The new zoning would allow up to 191 congregant living facility beds in a building of up to 196,434 sq. ft.

Boca Raton attorney Ele Zacharides said Resort Lifestyle Communities would build independent senior living accommodations with month-to-month rent and no buy-in. The facility would provide three meals a day, and have concierge service and a lifestyle director.

Banyan Creek Elementary School west of Delray Beach could be rezoned into the Banyan Cove Apartments.

The project would have up to 102 units at 13132 and 13038 Barwick Rd. The site, which is owned by Andrew Podray, currently has two single-family homes.

As well, the York Assisted Living Facility wants to bring a new senior facility west of Delray Beach.

The assisted living facility could have up to 160 beds in a building up to 109,771 sq. ft.

The application, authored by Brian Cheguis of iPlan & Design, noted that there are 641 assisted living and memory care units within a 3-mile radius of the site.

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