By Marci Shatzman
Eager to correct wrong info swirling on social media, GL Homes’ vice president Kevin Ratterree outlined plans for properties on Lyons Road, particularly the west side near Olympic Heights High School in West Boca.
“There’s a lot of interest when there’s development, and people think it will affect them. What we can do is mitigate the effects,” vice president Ellen Winikoff said at West Boca Community Council’s recent meeting in West Boca Library and on Facebook Live.
In fact, GL Homes’ 259.51-acre Johns West PUD, with 655 homes starting at more than $1 million, was approved by Palm Beach County last year, Ratterree said, adding the developer was approved for 679 homes. The county agreement required 26 units of workforce housing. “Another builder is picking up that obligation,” he said.
Showing a map of the PUD, he described a required “civic pod” envisioned as a new rescue station, with that decision up to the county, he added. “We will have to build a bridge over the canal.”
“The point of contention is 95th Avenue access,” Ratterree said, referring to the street off Glades Road leading to the commercial and residential Uptown Boca complex and the gated Jewish Federation campus to the south and Glades Road Public Library to the north.
“This was an old plan and we agreed with the community, so there’s no access on 95th Avenue. There’s a pedestrian connect only,” he said.
The new development is envisioned as a continuation of Lotus Palm, the former Boca Raton municipal golf course off Glades Road. Those homes are selling well, he said, adding the new PUD won’t have the same name.
Community members’ questions centered around possible school overcrowding and traffic the new community could generate. “We have a left in and right out,” he noted about the community, showing a graph of possible daily trips. A county provision for improvements remains in effect for 24 months after the last house is sold. But there are strict rules about when they can install a traffic light, he added. Homes’ price points are expected to have “a good proportion of students who will go to private school,” he said.
There’s no decision on a start date for Johns West PUD, and no plans for Johns East, he said, adding that condos are “anticipated” on the east property that would have “lower pricing.”
Council president Sheri Scarborough updated members on new anticipated projects in West Boca, including a Whole Foods anticipated in Uptown Boca in late 2024, and additional plans for Shadowwood Square, where there are new tenants including a recently opened organic supermarket, but a movie theater that went out of business. “We’re getting input about what they will tear down,” she said, adding “a new Publix is coming to Boca Greens.”