Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rezoning Fails For Armboz Race Facility In Glades

Applicant's Application For Land Use Change Fails

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- An application to change the land use of a proposed Glades County "automobile club" that would include race track facilities for sports cars was put in the slow lane Tuesday in Moore Haven.

Armboz, Inc., owner of the proposed Driving Club of Port LaBelle has filed numerous applications to change the use of the now agricultural land on the Hendry and Glades county border.

The Motion to Approve the land owner's application failed to pass by a 2 to 3 vote.

After the Tuesday morning meeting of the Glades Commissioners, county commissioner Donna Storter Long said "After considerable discussion of the reasons for the filing of this application to change the future land use of 74 acres in Port LaBelle from Open Use Agriculture to Residential, Commissioner Echols moved to approve with second by Commissioner Beck.

"Addressing the Board supporting the application were the County’s Community Development Director Larry Hilton and Southland Vice President of Development Gerard Ripo.

"Citizens voicing objections included Growth Management Specialist Julianne Thomas of Conservancy of Southwest Florida, environmental scientist Dr. Roger Myers, adjacent property owners Don Carter (by Jack Zorn), Elaine Young, Merlin Briner, and Jack Zorn."

Conservancy Of Southwest Florida Cuts Holes In Applicant's Plan

Ms. Thomas of the Conservancy had delivered to Glades Commission Chairman K.S. "Butch" Jones a letter explaining her objections saying Armboz' "application, as currently written, does not provide the necessary, accurate or complete information which is needed to approve an amendment to the comprehensive plan."

"The applicant is attempting to support this amendment by referencing a future change to the Port LaBelle area.  However, this is incorrect from a procedural standpoint.  A comprehensive plan change cannot be predicated upon a future zoning amendment, but must be supported and found consistent with the comprehensive plan based upon its own merit, regardless of what development may be proposed on the site in the future."

She continued, "Under the existing FLU designation of AG/Open, the maximum development that can occur
on the 74 acres is 4 single family homes (1 DU/20 acres).  Under the proposed FLU designation of RES, the maximum development that can occur on the 74 acres is 518 single family homes (7 DU/’acre).

"By adopting this FLU designation, you are agreeing that it is appropriate to build up to 518 single family homes on these 74 acres.  The applicant has not provided any data or analysis that it is appropriate or even possible for Glades County to provide services for these potential 518 single family homes, or that it would be in Glades County’s best interest to allow an additional 518 single family homes."

Thomas continues with more inconsistencies in the Amboz application: "Page 4 of the application is supposed to address facility capacity analysis.  This application does not do this.  Under the “number of homes added to the water system as a result of this application”, the information provided is “The zoning request approval for 300 units.  There are 375 lots platted within the property boundary and 1,158 allowed based on the Future Land Use Map.”

"This answer doesn’t make any sense.  Based on the maximum density for RES, approval of this amendment means approving 518 single family homes.  Under the current FLU designation, AG/Open, 4 single family homes are allowed.  This means that approval of this map amendment would add 514 homes to the water system.

"The applicant does not acknowledge this addition, nor does the applicant provide data that an additional 514 single family homes can be supported by the Port LaBelle Utility Service (PLUS) for water and sewer."

Thomas added, "Approving the addition of 514 single family home sites in Port LaBelle, an area already
underdeveloped and with excessive platted vacant residential home sites is not development consistent with the capacity of the natural, physical and human resources of the Glades County."  

A change in zoning from single family residential to planned development for the 234 acres property with 222 acres in Glades county is scheduled for a public hearing before the planning and zoning board at the Glades Courthouse on July 10 at 5:05 p.m. and their recommendation will be forwarded to the county commission for a public hearing August 14th at 9 a.m.

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