A single seven-acre project, West Boynton Center, is the impetus behind the request, but the exemption would apply to the entire 21,000-acre Ag Reserve.
It was disappointing to read that the Palm Beach County Planning Department staff recommended approval for an amendment to the Agricultural Reserve development restrictions to exempt self-storage facilities, and the Planning Commission agreed.
A single seven-acre project, West Boynton Center, is the impetus behind the request, but the exemption would apply to the entire 21,000-acre reserve. Now, a clear attempt to conceal “spot zoning” goes to the County Commission for consideration.
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If the County Commission agrees that downsizing empty-nesters living in the Ag Reserve have an “imperative” need for a place to store their leftover stuff, the exemption should pass easily. However, if they consider other county needs that are truly imperative, a more meaningful discussion about the future of the Ag Reserve may ensue.
Some truly imperative needs would include: affordable housing; locally grown produce; land-uses, like agriculture, that capture carbon; and self-sufficient communities that densely mix residential and commercial uses together so vehicle trips are reasonably minimized.
If county commissioners agree that countless charities offer free pick-up of leftover stuff to stock their thrift stores that provide second-hand marketplaces for those who are unlikely to ever experience the perils of downsizing, they may discuss the bigger picture, and speak to the needs of all county residents.
If the County Commission were to consider the ramifications of a blanket exemption to encourage storage, rather than re-sale, of second-hand stuff throughout the Ag Reserve they might even vote this down.
TIMOTHY HULLIHAN, NORTH PALM BEACH