GL Homes To Build 679 New Homes In West Boca
Boca Raton, FL – Boca Post (BocaPost.com) — GL Homes is one step closer to building another 679 homes in West Boca. The approved approval will add 679 new homes between Lyons and US-441 just south and bordering Olympic Heights High School.
The proposed neighborhood to be built by GL Homes will include:
- 119 Single Family Lots
- 560 Zero Lot Line Lots
- TOTAL: 679 Lots
The Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners approved a proposal by a 5-1 roll call vote during a meeting on January 25th, 2022, with the only opposition coming from District 5 Commissioner Maria Sachs.
Most of the discussion was around Palm Beach County Zoning staff’s intention to add an entrance on 95th Ave which is strongly opposed by residents living in nearby neighborhoods like Boca Bay, West Boca Estates, Carousel Circle, and the surrounding neighborhoods.
While many neighbors spoke at the meeting, they all echoed that there would have been many more if the county provided proper information about the proposal. It was said that the notifications about this project did not mention an added entrance on to 95th Ave.
Sheri Scarborough, President of The West Boca Community Council, has lobbied against this proposal due to the negative traffic implications of the already extremely busy area. Scarborough said she is not opposed developing the land and praised GL saying this is less than what they could have done adding that it is a good option for West Boca. Scarborough specifically opposed the 95th Ave connection. Scarborough also repeated that the notice that went out did not mention the 95h Ave connection. Scarborough says that the Glades Road intersections at US-441 and Lyons Road are already failing and “it doesn’t matter to GL Homes”.
David Schaefer, a Carousel Circle resident, said “I think we really screwed up in Uptown. That is a disaster”. Schaefer adds that 95% of the people who use 95th Ave are only using it to do U-TURNS. Schaefer says that 95th Ave has become a disaster on Glades Road.
Another resident expressed her concerns about traffic and added that a pedestrian bridge would be a viable option. She also expressed her concern for the new Christ Fellowship church moving into the area saying that 1000s of people are now going to use 95th Ave to perform U-TURNS. Later in the discussion, Vice Mayor Weiss added “I would not oppose a pedestrian connection if you all figure out a way to do it”.
Shortly before the final discussion and the roll call vote, Mayor Weinroth stated his observation that not one resident said, “I don’t want this development”. He reiterated what the residents were echoing, that they didn’t want the 95th Avenue entrance included as part of the proposal.
District 5 Commissioner Maria Sachs said she will vote no against the project because it is too many units in too small of a space posing too much negative impact on the environment and the infrastructure at this time. Sachs added that she is concerned about the implications this development would have on the area schools which she says are already overcrowded. Sachs also asked about why there is no public park included in the proposal to which the PBC zoning staff advised it is private property without public access.
Another topic that was debated for a bit was the county’s workforce housing requirement. GL Homes has made it very clear that they will not build any workforce housing in this new development where houses are estimated to start at $1.3M. GL Homes says that they will use the county’s exchange option to build the required 26 workforce units.
In short, what that means, GL homes will provide funding for workforce housing builder to build these units. The units will be placed somewhere else in the county. This practice has been revered as a success by the PBC Board of County Commissioners because it gets units built. GL Homes says they have already had communication with 2 individuals who want finance and build the 26 workforce units.
Maria Sachs pressed that these units should be for affordable senior housing in this area, not exchanged across the county. District 7 Commissioner Mack Bernard proposed the builder create a separate pod for the 26 units to stay on site. GL Homes responds with saying they are trying to remain consistent with how they proceed with workforce housing.
Essentially, the point is made that someone who qualifies for workforce housing may not be able to afford the costs associated with living in a community like the one GL is proposing to build. With houses starting at $1.3M, HOA fees being in the $100s of dollars a month, the 26 units just wouldn’t be affordable in this community.
After a roll call vote of 5-1, the proposal passed to develop the new 679 home neighborhood without the 95th Ave entrance.
This project is just one of 3 in the area that GL Homes is in the process of developing. Boca Post recently reported on an action against GL Homes in another project as the PBC Planning Commission Denies GL Homes Land Swap Proposal.