We are the farmers and land owners who purchased our property with land use rights that were stripped away by the mass zoning change of 1997. Below are our stories:

“When the Atlantic Avenue Road widening project took place for the Delray Market Place, we lost the frontage of two 5,000 square foot buildings and the main entrance on the corner building. Eminent Domain never paid us enough money to relocate and now I am stuck with two empty buildings with high property taxes. Eminent Domain and zoning have rendered my buildings useless.”

Lenny Mecca

In the early ‘80s my family bought 3 parcels totaling 110 acres in western Delray Beach before it became the Ag Reserve and before our land rights were severely restricted. This land has been farmed for decades. In 2005 we were assessed close to $102,000 plus over $78,000 in interest totaling over $180,000 for a Wastewater Force Main which was of absolutely no benefit for agricultural purposes. At the time, commissioners indicated that landowners would be able to develop their land in the future- the special benefit in exchange for the special assessment. We are asking only for what is fair – that our land rights be restored.

Linda Woodworth

“The Turnpike Authority’s taking for the new turnpike exit entrance in the early 2000’s was the beginning of the end for Morningstar Nursery. The 19 acres the Turnpike Authority took was more than one-third of our nursery production. I took the issue to court and lost in the lower court. I appealed to the 4th District Court of Appeals and lost there as well.”

Paul O’Kean, Owner, Morning Star Nursery

“I have been farming for 39 years. My father purchased land to start a nursery in the mid-1970’s. That land today is part of the Four Seasons Estate Homes Residential Development. Our current land on 441 had property rights that were the same as every other agricultural piece of land in Palm Beach County, until the mass rezoning in 1998 that stripped away my property’s land use rights. I would like my rights back and to be treated fairly.”

Joe Mulvehill, Owner, Mulvehill Nursery

“I had to sell my development rights and later my land as I could no longer afford to operate as a nursery in the Agricultural Reserve. With a large housing development to my south, Mizner Country Club, a large church to my east, St. Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church, and plant nurseries closing around me, it was no longer viable for me to farm in the Agricultural Reserve.”

Stan Hall, A Nu Leaf Nursery

In the last 17 years since my husband’s untimely death, I have received at least 30 proposals or contracts for my 39+ acre piece of property at the corner of Acme Dairy Rd and Boynton Beach Blvd.  My property was purchased a number of years ago, before the Ag Reserve restrictions went into effect. The offers I have received have been for projects such a polo club, a private school, a church, a synagogue, commercial, and workforce housing. Only one person was interested in buying my property for agricultural purposes.  None of these offers came to fruition because of restrictions imposed by Ag Reserve rules. As much as my husband and I loved our property, at age 85 it’s time for me to park my tractor and move on….Give me a break!!

Barbara Logan

Paid Political Advertisement by Forced to Farm 2020, 9481 W. Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33446