FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is our campaign about?
- Minto purchased the former Callery Judge Grove consisting of approximately 3,800 acres and renamed the property “Minto West” (this property is the former orange grove in the center of the Acreage). The property has a current land use approval for the construction of 2,996 single-family homes and 235,000 sq.ft. of non-residential. However, Minto has filed a new land use amendment application seeking approval to build 6,500 residential units (single-family, zero lot line, townhomes and apartments), plus 1.4 million sq.ft. of non-residential (commercial retail, office, industrial), plus a spring training baseball stadium, plus a 3,000 student community college, plus a hotel. Our campaign is to hold Minto to the existing approval, with no increase in residential density, commercial intensity, or added institutional and private recreational.
Is this a done deal?
- NO. The 2,996 homes and 235,000 sq.ft of nonresidential have been approved. The application for 6,500 residential units and all additional commercial, private recreational, institutional, etc. has NOT been approved and can be denied by the PB County Board of County Commissioners.
What does this mean to me?
- Traffic and Road Impact: The Minto West project will bring increased vehicular and construction traffic, congestion, speeders, traffic noise, etc. Minto estimates build-out over 20 to 25 years, resulting in decades of construction traffic and delivery vehicles, commuting back and forth through the community. It is projected (by the County) that eleven local road sections will be widened, some up to 10 lanes wide. Some residents may lose a portion of their property as there is always a potential for eminent domain if the roads are to be widened. Roads in the Acreage and Loxahatchee, including our privately owned roads, will be flooded with cars going to and from the Minto West development, over 70,000 trips per day which is equivalent to one car per second for 19 hours each day. Bottom line: The Minto “Traffic Plan” consists mainly of widening roads to carry MINTO traffic, over 25.5 million new car trips per year.
- Pollution: air, water, light, litter, noise, vehicular emissions
- Increased population: According to the US Census, there are two adults in a home. The “average” American has 2 children. At full capacity, Minto West potentially will add approximately 26,000 more residents to the Acreage, which has a current population of about 40,000.
- Crime: As PBSO has pointed out in various meetings regarding Minto West, where there is increased opportunity for crime, there is usually a corresponding increase in crime. Construction sites, as well as large commercial areas, are well known to result in higher crime rates.
- Other Developers: An approval of this project may open the door for other large landowners in the area who also wish to apply for large developments of residential and non-residential components.
- Property Tax Increases: With a substantially increased population comes a substantial increase in demands on existing fire/rescue, police, schools, library, waste management, etc., which are usually associated with hikes in property taxes. While it is true Minto West residents will pay for these services via their property taxes, all homeowners in the Acreage will probably see their taxes rise to help pay for their reliance on these services.
- Property Values: Thousands of homes will see traffic triple or quadruple in front of their homes. The face of the community will change with lighting, noise, population increase, etc. Property values may decline for these residents. This will likely drop comparable values throughout the area. For potential buyers in our community, the attractiveness of our area (and the reasons why people move here) will most likely be detrimentally affected.
Will Minto bring jobs?
- Minto claims it will generate about 3,100 permanent jobs. However 6,500 residential units will bring an estimated 13,000 working-age residents (plus children of all ages), resulting in a likely net negative of approximately 10,000 jobs (numbers used to calculate jobs were estimated by Fishkind & Associates of Orlando, FL for the Fiscal Impact Analysis Mode that was created for the Florida Department of Community Affairs). The promised construction jobs will likely be sub-contracted out to other companies who have their own existing employees, or contractors that work with Minto on their other developments, leaving only low-wage, low-skilled labor employment opportunities.
What about schools?
- The School District Planning and Real Estate staff reviewed Minto’s future land use amendment and projects that by October 2017, two schools, Golden Groves Elementary and Western Pines Middle, will exceed capacity. Two other schools, Loxahatchee Groves Elementary and Seminole Ridge High will be approaching capacity. As reflected in Minto's land use application, Minto has NOT set aside land for construction of any new schools. As Minto West is closer to the existing schools than many Acreage residents, we may see some our own children forced to go to schools outside of our area and/or being taught in portable units until new schools or additions to existing schools are built.
How Will Minto Impact Our Drainage Issues?
- Since a high percentage of Minto will be “impervious” roads, structures, and parking areas, there is less surface area where water can percolate, so their lakes and canals will fill up faster. They will need their drainage capacity more than ever, as the vast majority of Minto's land is currently in the FEMA flood zone. Minto cannot "give" us any discharge; it has to be done through the SFWMD permit process, and there is no guarantee SFWMD will ever approve it. The discharge would be governed by an “interlocal agreement” and Minto would be in control, not ITID. In a severe storm, it is highly unlikely that Minto would accept ITID discharge if Minto homes were at risk of being flooded. If they give us some of their drainage, it may require them to build higher house pads, roads, parking lots, commercial foundations, and take many other expensive measures to keep their properties from flooding. ITID already has significant, and growing, discharge permits.
It Takes a Community to Save a Community: What Can I Do to Help?
- Sign petition and encourage others to sign
- Help spread the word! Tell your friends, neighbors, people at work, etc.
- Contact the County Commissioners
- Write Letters to the Editor at local newspapers
- Attend meetings
- Participate in activities such as our weekly rallies
- Donate funds
- Buy a banner to put on your property, car magnet and/or car window screen. To purchase, please contact Teresa at 561.596.3985 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where Can I Obtain More Information?
- Our website is NoToMinto.com; you can also join us on Facebook: Acreage Hitching Post
Who is Behind the Opposition to Minto?
- We are a grassroots group of residents, entirely composed of volunteers. We have no leadership, and decisions are made by the group. We are up against a multibillion dollar corporation, fighting for our community and rural lifestyle. Just remember David and Goliath - David won!! We have the “home court advantage” and we are literally fighting to preserve our quality of life. We are not opposed to progress, but if it makes things worse, it is not progress. We are opposed to massive overdevelopment that stands to destroy our community and way of life. We believe the Minto proposed project will bring nothing that we want or need.