|The President’s Hoot|
by Richard H. Baker, Ph.D.
Go Again! Less than 2 months after the county commission primary election,
the Liberty Park 991 house development is coming back on the commission agenda.
Pulled just before the primary, it is coming back! This Developer is taking
advantage of a huge Comp Plan loophole to build a large586 acre Planned
Development Traditional Neighborhood Design outside the Urban Service Line
(USL). This type of development can be considered “inside the urban service
area” if any tiny portion of land straddles the USL, which can cascade deep
into our finest agriculture lands eventually leading to sprawl. Hopefully, our
commissioners, all who ran on keeping development inside the USL, will not
approve this 88% outside of the USL, where our county is required to provide
services, e.g. water and sewer.
Moreover, this project also wants to transfer density rights from 70 acres (unbuildable wetlands, actually) located inside the USL out to their 516 acre low density land outside the USL. Unfortunately, this is completely the reverse of good planning. These developers want to move density from inside the USL where roads, businesses, fire and police, and water and sewer are readily available into the county’s productive agricultural area where they are not.
bad planning, this makes no sense especially now when we have so many existing
vacant homes and lots available. This Development will require new sources of
drinking water since current capacity has been based on houses that are already
in the pipeline. County roads in and around the U.S 1, CR 510 and 66th Ave area
already require upgrading without the addition of 991 homes, with taxpayers
paying, of course.
Once developments are approved, they often come back to get approval of even less desirable adjustments (e.g. Pointe West development, thought originally to be a part of the “New Neighborhood Traditional Urbanism” has now been approved to have standard gated-communities). This could happen to Liberty Park as well, but more importantly it sets a bad example for future new Villages.
Instead our county commissioners should:
- Reject Liberty Park, as it sets a dangerous precedent for unwanted and unneeded development outside our boundary area that burdens our natural resources and taxpayers.
- Direct planning staff to a) Establish guidelines for transferring development rights to and from the urban service area. b) Revisit all zoning regulations for loopholes such as this one.
Please Email your County Commissioners:
or call them at 567-8000 ext 1490 and tell them you want them to put the County First!