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There's A New City In Palm Beach County, And It's Bringing Development With It

oranges
Britt Reints via Flikr
/
WLRN
The land that is now the city of Westlake used to be the Callery-Judge Grove, where citrus crops were grown.

 

Palm Beach County just got a new city.

Land that was once used to grow citrus is now set to be a sprawling, incorporated, suburban development.

 

All it took to make Westlake it’s own municipality was five votes.

 

Those votes came from the only people who are registered to cast ballots within the lines of the Seminole Improvement District, which is now Westlake. It’s inside of a more rural area called The Acreage.

 

The development firm Minto Communities intends to build more than 2 million square feet of shopping centers and businesses in Westlake, to go with the 4,500 houses planned for the new city.

 

Wayne Washington reported on the story for the Palm Beach Post. He said Westlake can legally become a city because of a state law passed a few years back.

 

“That’s the legislation that was used to empower these five residents of the Seminole Improvement District to convert that district into a new city," Washington said. "And so now, Palm Beach has not 38 cities but 39.”

 

Washington also said county commissioners in Palm Beach feel this state law did not give them a say in the creation of Westlake.

 

“They very much do not like that authority because they believe that if a developer wants to build at a density or at a size that the county officials disagree with, that they can just go ahead and incorporate and do what they please,” he said.  

The city of Westlake can officially claim the title of “city” on Aug. 1.