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A bill could turn this town into Palm Beach County's 40th municipality

Proposed boundaries from 2021 municipality feasibility study of the Village of Loxahatchee
Screenshot feasibility study
Proposed boundaries from 2021 municipality feasibility study of the Village of Loxahatchee

In an effort to preserve the rural charm of Loxahatchee, Palm Beach County’s bipartisan legislative delegation voted unanimously on a proposed bill that would give residents the choice to become the county's 40th municipality.

Under the bill, the area's 43,000 residents would be given the ability to vote on a referendum on whether to incorporate its 70,000 plus acres of land as the "Village of Loxahatchee."

Republican State Rep. Rick Roth from West Palm Beach, who sponsored the bill, said it "shall serve to preserve and protect the equestrian and agricultural character, natural resources and quality of life of the community." 

Loxahatchee is an unincorporated area nearly 20 miles west of West Palm Beach and northwest of Royal Palm Beach.

A 2021 feasibility study, analyzing the proposed area, argues that the population has grown significantly, and "the need for municipal incorporation and self-governance has become evident."

Supporters said they want to maintain "the rich quality of life and living environment while ensuring a resilient tax base under the control of current and future residents."

But the process to vote on incorporation will take time.

During a Jan.12th meeting at the Els Center of Excellence in Jupiter, some members of the community voiced their concerns, saying there wasn’t enough time to flesh out taxes, homestead, and other landowner concerns.

Republican Rep. Mike Caruso from Delray Beach said he’s in favor of residents' "self-determination" and believes the delegation "brought forth a bill that is a good bill."

"Voting here today is not the last step. This just gets it up — bumps it up to Tallahassee," Caruso said. "It's still gotta go through committees. It's still gotta go to the house floor. It’s gotta go to the senate floor and pass both houses and the governor's got to sign it."

Wilkine Brutus is the Palm Beach County Reporter for WLRN. The award-winning journalist produces stories on topics surrounding local news, culture, art, politics and current affairs. Contact Wilkine at wbrutus@wlrnnews.org
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