What we are seeing today in our community, in our view, is the gentrification of our area, encouraged by the county, increasing county tax revenue, while our community suffers and does not see increased investment of that revenue in our area. The County plans and codes are constantly being tweaked (without our community input) and it is drastically changing the nature of our community.
The future council should adopt codes in the ULDC (Unified Land Development Code) which will not only reflect preserving and protecting the rural, agricultural and equestrian community, it should specifically set out to adopt code that protects the right to farm for all landowners in our village and specifically applying the Right to Farm Act principles to single family residential without requiring a “Bona Fide Ag” tax exemption from the property appraisers office, as is currently the case with the County.
While we cannot bind the future Council to rules and regulations, it is our desire to engage the community in drafting what our codes could and should look like so that we can present that in the future. The future Council will be residents that live here and are elected by the registered voters in our community, unlike the 7 County Commissioners who control us now. We will also have advisory committees that are made up of residents just like you and I.
In drafting the codes, we will be trying to find a middle ground on some of the more controversial issues: Not everyone wants the same thing in our community but we must stay true to our mission of preserving and protecting our rural residential agricultural and equestrian character. Of course, there will be code enforcement in the municipality, there is code enforcement now by the County. The difference is that the code that will be adopted and enforced by the Village of Loxahatchee will reflect our community character and lifestyles. We also envision a citizens committee to help landowners in need and who want help in our community. By no means do we envision a code that, for example, that would be citing landowners with grass that exceeds an inch. This is preposterous and certainly does not reflect our rural agricultural characteristics.
As previously noted, “Municipalities are granted Home Rule Authority by the State but are subject to Federal and State Laws. The County prevails only on those items granted by the State and set out in the Charter since Palm Beach County is a Charter County. The new municipality would have 2 years to write its’ own comprehensive plan and then another 2 years to write it’s own code. It could be done sooner but we would want to make sure we have a process with community involvement and citizen committees helping to write these very important documents.
We would make our own ordinances and codes subject to Federal and State Statutes and subject to the County ONLY on those items they have Home Rule Authority on. Click here to review the Florida Statutes that grants powers by the State to municipalities.
It is untrue that we will be creating another layer of rules more stringent than the County code. The County code will only prevail as set out below and a direct excerpt from the County Charter:
Municipal ordinances shall prevail over county ordinances to the extent of any conflict regardless of the time of passage of the municipal ordinance, except that county ordinances shall prevail over conflicting municipal ordinances:
(1) In matters related to the protection of wells and wellfields within the parameters set forth in section 3.3 of this Charter.
(2) In matters related to school, county-owned beaches, county district parks, and county regional parks, solid waste disposal, county law enforcement, county road programs, and county public buildings impact fees; and in matters related to county fire-rescue and county library impact fees in those municipalities whose properties are taxed by the county for library or fire-rescue purposes, respectively. This subsection shall not be construed as preempting or limiting in any way the enactment of municipal impact fee ordinances for those capital facilities provided exclusively by municipalities. The county shall provide a credit toward the payment of county impact fees for properties within those municipalities which provide like capital facilities. This section shall not be construed as a transfer of functions or powers related to municipal services.
(3) For the adoption and amendment of the countywide land use element adopted in accordance with article VII of this Charter, “Countywide Planning Council” [now repealed].
(4) In matters relating to the establishment of levels of service for collector and arterial roads which are not the responsibility of any municipality and the restriction of the issuance of development orders which would add traffic to such roads which have traffic exceeding the adopted level of service provided that such ordinance is adopted and amended by a majority of the board of county commissioners.
(5) In matters related to voluntary annexation.
(6) In matters related to the Ethics Regulation in accordance with Article VIII of this Charter: The Palm Beach County Code of Ethics, Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics and the Office of Inspector General in municipalities where the charter amendment is approved by a majority of voters in that municipality voting in the referendum as set forth in Sec. 6.3 of this Charter.”
In other words, unless it is set out above or is subject to State Statutes, the municipality would have home rule authority. The municipality can set its’ own comprehensive plan and Unified Land Development Code (ULDC) subject to the above.
Can we relax county/state/federal code enforcement or only add more additional layers of rules to what already exists at those levels?
Municipalities are granted Home Rule Authority by the State but are subject to Federal and State Laws. The County prevails only on those items granted by the State and set out in the Charter since Palm Beach County is a Charter County. The new municipality would have 2 years to write its’ own comprehensive plan and then another 2 years to write it’s own code. It could be done sooner but we would want to make sure we have a process with community involvement and citizen committees helping to write these very important documents.
What can we do to guarantee, protect and even to allow people their boats, swamp buggies, livestock, horses, (way of life) etc?
The proposed Charter sets out specifically that we are an agricultural equestrian community. This is to guarantee and protect our agricultural and equestrian rights continues as a municipality. It is the one of the main benefits of incorporation. The new municipal Comprehensive Plan should adopt the existing land uses (primarily 2.5 acres per home in the exurban tier). The municipality should adopt a Unified Land Development Code consistent with the character and lifestyles of our community. It should not only allow but protect these things most precious to our agricultural community.
Our former County Commissioner, Melissa McKinlay at a BCC Zoning Hearing questioned staff on whether incorporation would allow us to make our own code. View the snippet of the meeting below.