Southeast Florida Democrats Continuing Rush to Over Develop Remaining Open Space

It is no secret that southeast Florida is overdeveloped. Unlike other parts of the state that have managed growth in a more responsible fashion, the entities that run the three southeast Florida counties have been far from responsible in their weighing of issues related to growth. For years, the region’s infrastructure was lacking relative to the amount of new developments being built. As open space quickly dwindled in the 1980s in Miami-Dade County, 1990s in Broward and 2000s in Palm Beach, the demand for services in the new developments finally began to catch up with the fast rate of growth.

This week the Palm Beach County Commission approved more building in the Ag Reserve and the Acerage threatening the limited remaining green space in the county as well as having a potentially devastating effect on the local ecosystem. The Commission in Palm Beach has only two Republicans, so the Democrats on the Commission as they have been prone to do for twenty years were the driving force behind the expansion of development in environmental sensitive areas.

The critical nature of the Ag Reserve to the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refugee and Everglades is confirmed by Palm Beach County government itself on this webpage. Yet local Government seems willing to sacrifice this land to cash in on developers promises. This has been a recurring theme in the region and is a bi-partisan problem.

Broward County’s most explosive and un-managed growth took place when almost every relevant county office was held by a Democrat. In fact, the growth was so overbearing on existing resources and infrastructure, activists in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast began warning of the “Browardization” of their areas. At the same time Big Sugar was making bigger and bigger contributions to political candidates in the region trying to slow down the pace of the Everglades Restoration plan that had been mandated by the Federal Government.

A few lonely voices in all three counties stood in defiance of the reckless out of control development. Some of the voices were those of otherwise conservative Republicans who understood our natural resources and water supply were in grave danger with continued poor growth management, and ultimately economic growth would be curtailed if the Everglades were destroyed. As time went on and awareness about the fragility of the Everglades ecosystem became more apparent, the once lonely voices became leaders of a great movement. But unfortunately, despite the masses that assembled for the cause, the money on the other side more often than not trumped common sense when local governments voted on projects and development.

Florida’s environment and natural scenic beauty is perhaps the greatest economic driver the state has. Through tourism, agriculture and eco-friendly industries the state depends on a clean water, clean beaches and green space more than other highly populated states. Florida’s elected officials are custodians of this environment. Too often they have shifted positions on issues of importance to satisfy short term political considerations or have approved projects because of the lobbying influence of certain development companies. All of this puts a greater strain than ever on Florida’s environment as we move forward, clean drinking water and the ability protect our preserved areas for tourists and generations to come will become more prominent issues in statewide campaigns.

Many (but certainly not most) Democrats in Florida have a poor record on environmental protection. Let us hope going forward progressives can apply enough pressure that those in office change their ways.


13 thoughts on “Southeast Florida Democrats Continuing Rush to Over Develop Remaining Open Space

  1. This is a disgrace. The Atgreserve is critical to being a buff er between protected wetlands and development. The Commission has again taken campaign cash over public welfare and long term sustainable areas into consideration. They should be ashamed!

  2. They started down the sllippery slope of allowing development in the Ag reserve years ago.

    It is important buffer land with the Glades as mentioned in the article and also flood control area. Building right up to the limit of the Loxahatchee National Refugee cannot be allowed.

    I think the feds may have to step in here and buy some of the land in the Ag reserve from PBC and lease it back to the same farmers to protect it. Otherwise WCI will put another 50,000 homes out there.

  3. This is an unfortunate article. Wrong in the Ag Reserve which has been saved by the actions of the commission. If you had the wrong commissioners in there the whole thing would have been paved over by now. You simply do not understand compromise and moderation, do you?

  4. It is all about Commissoiner Aaronson. Did he harrass a judge today or was it just Aronberg paying fake protestors. They are all sick.

  5. What the author of this article fails to acknowledge is that almost 2/3rds of Broward County remains undisturbed and preserved wildlife habitat. Few other Counties have such a large contiguous undisturbed environmental resource.
    Are most of the developed areas of Broward County urban/suburban with little urban wilderness left, yes. But there is a conscious decision to keep those areas contained, and a fervent commitment in our county to protect the undeveloped areas outside of those boundaries.
    Smart urban growth is what Broward leaders are looking towards in our future.
    I would suggest the same for Palm Beach.

    Seth Platt
    Proud Broward Resident
    Environmental Advocate

  6. Sorry but in your county every inch of land that could be developed legally (non protected ) has been.

    Broward is a concrete jungle. We in Palm Beach despise what you did to your county and have tried to stop it here.

  7. It is bipartisan money. I think we all need to be more careful regarding expanding.

  8. I agree 100% with the sentiment of this piece.

    As a Broward resident who can remember when we had nothing west of the Turnpike, building all the way to US 27 is just disgusting.

    We do not have the water supply or infrastructure to sustain this situation forever, unless we want to spend $$$$$ to desalinize sea water.

    Bad situation all around.

  9. Moderation was buying out the farmers development rights. Paving over is when people like Aaronson vote to develop that land anyway.

  10. This makes me wonder, we bought out the development rights from the farmers, now that the land is going to be developed what happens to that money??? Will PBC get a refund from the farm community ???

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