Remember the debacle which erupted in Palm Beach when attempting to identify a location for the massive Scripps Institute? Mecca Farms and Boca Raton were all suggested as alternative sites for the massive Bioresearch center, however in the end, a location in Jupiter near FAU’s campus was selected. In the end, here is why the Mecca Farms site fell apart:

The plan came to a halt two years later when a federal judge sided with environmentalists and ruled that the project’s potential environmental impacts hadn’t been adequately studied. Under deadline pressure, commissioners moved the Scripps Florida headquarters to a smaller, urban site at Florida Atlantic University‘s MacArthur campus in Jupiter.

Somehow, the voice of reason prevails over absurd westward development, even if it was for a monumental institution; this project had absolutely no reason to pave over thousands of acres of farmland. Palm Beach County paid $60 million for the Mecca Farms complex and is now trying to figure out what to do with the rural designated land. Considering the reasons why the institution was blocked from building here, their “ideas” may surprise you:

More than four years after the county bought the 1,919-acre property with a sprawling Scripps Florida science campus in mind, commissioners are taking steps to usher in a new reality: suburban home development.

Suburban home development? How is this environmentally friendly? Well, it isn’t but they have some ideas which are actually worse:

County administrators want to use about 100 acres for a landfill, set aside land for water marshes and environmental improvements and package the rest for home builders.

Palm Beach County has the unique opportunity to conserve thousands of acres as farmland, able of producing enough goods to satisfy the needs of much of the South Florida area. This is a pristine opportunity to make our region sustainable, by actually producing food locally and Palm Beach County commissioners are looking to throw it away on yet another ridiculous sprawled out single family home compound. With oil recently reaching $100 a barrel, I am shocked to see still autocentric development mindset…

5 Responses to Mecca Farms = Mega Sprawl?

  1. Steven says:

    Oil tops $100 a barrel and all of a sudden counties are scrounging wherever they can for cash. By turning the farmland into marketable land for houses, it allows the county commissioners to raise their county a quick buck for other things such as roadway improvements, schools, parks, and other pet projects. The commissioners then appear that they have been productive and found unique solutions to the budget shortfall. The community and state give them high accolades as well!

    In reality, while it may be a nice quick fix for the budget problems plaguing the state right now, in the long run such development actually leads to more costs. Basically this is just a case of a group of county commissioners looking for quick and easy fixes to make themselves look good, future be damned


  2. Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal says:

    I know Steven… It’s a vicious cycle, but where/how can we stop it?


  3. ines says:

    Gabriel thanks, you managed to make me sick to my stomach.


  4. Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal says:

    Sorry Ines…Just shedding light on the sad reality!


  5. Johnny says:

    Once again poor planning on behalf of a silly county commission. Why not build a park? Then again, they can’t afford that either…so they say.


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