CALUSA/ The Ranch

On the BOCC Agenda this Tuesday for 2nd of 3 required reviews and approvals.
Calusa (Applicant) is on the BOCC Agenda items PH-3 & PH-4, note that items in the Agenda in "blue" are hyperlinks to the documents, you can link through the posted Agenda at the top or individual items listed.

There are 4 Agency Comments attached, they are from: 1- The Florida Department of Commerce, 2- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), 3- Florida Fish & Wildlife, and 4- Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council. Missing from Agency Comments are the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) comments (see above) and County Staff responses to SFWMD comments regarding the CIE (Capital Improvement Element), CIS (Capital Improvement Schedule), and CERP (Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan), etc., although one can find SFWMD comments at page 235 of public comments. Also see the Applicant's attorney's response in our prior Newsletter. Note that the Applicant's package as submitted by Urban Design Studio indicates that this application dates to July 2022.

Public Comments at the LPA addressed the lack of ownership disclosures as required prior to placing on the LPA agenda, they are found in this BOCC Agenda. These disclosures are for conflict checks for those officials voting to approve developments/contracts.

Calusa is another Land Use change under the Rural Lifestyle (RLS) designation. This Staff Report indicates Calusa is a PUD (Planned Unit Developments) the County will now allow RLS land use when a development is 6,000 feet from an Urban Service District (USD). Under the basic RLS application 1 unit per 20 acres is allowed (per the original AG use) however under RLS other "ancillary" development is also allowed, golf courses, golf cottages, dormitory housing, as well as connections to water and sewer. These other facilities are not typically found on 20 acre ranchettes.

This expanded RLS land use intensifies concerns regarding Comprehensive Planning and the need for a County wide plan that addresses conservation to keep Martin County a place where all can enjoy its natural beauty. Initially, when Discovery was approved, the public was told future changes of AG land to RLS would be rare, such is not the case. RLS provides an incentive for development. We are concerned about habitat fragmentation, and land conservation.

Additionally, public comments continuously note that RLS developments need services available in the USD; services such as central water, sewer (under a new rule they may use advanced septic systems), roads, shopping centers, and medical facilities, etc. These are identified in the CIE and CIS, part of the Comprehensive Plan. In this case the Applicant provided a breakdown of millage allocation, but that is not a infrastructure plan that addresses cost and construction. We are looking to the County for a Comprehensive Plan that is transparent, and addresses all of these matters.

~ A Wildlife Bridge

Over the 10 lanes of the LA Freeway. This shows what a committed group of people can achieve! Lots of interesting links, and a concept of what we are striving for in Martin County , although on a much smaller scale.

~ New Loxa-Lucie Brochure

Help support our efforts to protect the headwaters of the Loxahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers!
Summaries and posts provided herein are abbreviated interpretations by its writers of various content and should not be considered as legal opinions.

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