Feasibility Q&A

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Feasibility Q&A

Incorporation…Annexation…"Do Nothing"

WHICH IS "RIGHT" FOR LOXAHATCHEE GROVES?

  • Why conduct a Feasibility Study? At its October 2003 meeting, the LGLA membership agreed that, in the face of surrounding municipalities’ westward expansion, action is required to assure development in Loxahatchee Groves that is consistent with our rural lifestyle and character. The membership voted to form committees to gather and present facts to the community. The committees would explore whether Loxahatchee Groves should incorporate as a legally constituted town, deliberately seek "friendly annexation" by Wellington or Royal Palm Beach, or "do nothing" other than seek protections from Palm Beach County to retain our rural values as an unincorporated community.
  • Three Committees studied these alternatives and presented their initial recommendations at LGLA’s November community meeting.
  • The Committees reported that all three may be viable. Attendees agreed to continue to study the feasibility of incorporation and participate in the County’s Sector Plan process. The annexation study was put on hold.
  • A growing number of residents believe that the community needs to make a decision and a commitment to action as soon as possible to (a) protect our area against piecemeal land use changes and annexations, and (b) gain the ability to make critical decisions on our future.
  • Members at the February LGLA membership meeting voted to commission a Feasibility Study by a qualified consultant. He presented a proposal at the meeting to provide the facts the community needs to decide the appropriate option.
  • LGLA currently does not have funds in its treasury to pay for the Feasibility Study, and other related expenses. The members attending the February LGLA meeting voted to ask for funding to come from the Loxahatchee Groves residents, neighbors, and friends specifically for this purpose

bulletWhat is the "Feasibility Study" and what issues will it address? The Feasibility Study is being commissioned to have a qualified and objective third party collect pertinent facts and ask/answer "the right questions" to determine the following:
  • The statutory feasibility of each of the three options.
  • The community’s responsibility and alternatives for providing services that are presently being provided for us by the County and Loxahatchee Groves Water Control District.
  • The necessary steps, costs and timeline for the three options.
  • In the case of incorporation, alternatives for government.
  • Property tax implications of each option.

bulletWhy did LGLA members vote to support the Feasibility Study? Retaining a professional planning consultant is the only way to be sure we have objectively considered all issues. The Planner will accurately estimate the costs associated with each option. If the community selects the incorporation option, the feasibility study that is required will be ready. Numerous surveys taken within the community have indicated Incorporation to be the preferred course of action to achieve our objectives.
bulletWhy conduct the Feasibility Study NOW? Can’t it wait? Escalating pressure for development in Loxahatchee Groves and the surrounding areas strongly indicates that our community needs to act now to preserve what we have. We may not be able to do it later. Keep in mind the following things going on around us at this time:
  • The County’s westward expansion fueled by major land developers and retailers,

  • Pressure for commercial development by Loxahatchee Groves landowners who intend to "cash in" without regard to the impact on the community’s character and lifestyle,

  • The way that the highway widening of SR80/Southern Boulevard will "open up" the Western Communities to accelerated development along this corridor; and

  • The County’s commitment to the Scripps project.

bulletWho will perform the Feasibility Study? Arthur Semantelli, a land use planning consultant, has performed similar studies for several small rural communities that have faced similar issues and decisions.
bulletWhat will the study cost? The cost of $3,400 was possible because of the previous work by Palm Beach County’s Comp Plan containing the Managed Growth Tier System and the Sector plan.
bulletHow long will the study take to complete? 60 to 90 days.
bulletHow will the Feasibility Study be presented to the Loxahatchee Groves Community? The consultant will present his report at an open community meeting. The residents of Loxahatchee Groves will have an opportunity to give their input and to ask questions at this meeting. The consultant will be looking for the strongest indication of the community’s feeling for the three options presented. The report will also be posted on the website.
bulletWhat will we do then? A petition sponsored by the LGLA would be circulated to all residents of Loxahatchee Groves to see if there is enough community interest in proceeding with the direction shown to be the best way to preserve our rural lifestyle and character.


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