Newfield Advances to BOCC Hearings Dec. 8 and Dec. 15
Nov. 30, 2020 — After nine months of cordial negotiations with Martin County staff, our proposed new community of Newfield and the surrounding 500-acre Kiplinger Conservancy are moving towards anticipated Master Site Plan approval, leading to a projected start of development in early 2021.
At a hearing of the Board of County Commissioners on Dec. 8, the focus will be on the multi-part “developer agreement” that will assure that our new community will pay the county—in cash or in-kind contributions–the costs of public services required by its future residents, such as road improvements, public safety, a new library, public parks and playing fields, etc.
Our Newfield team and county staff will endorse the draft agreement on Dec. 8 and recommend that the commissioners approve it. (Due to the transition in county school management, we haven’t yet reached agreement with the new Superintendent’s office and School Board on our contribution of impact fees for future enrollment needs, but we are confident that can be achieved early in the new year.)
We hope that you will be able to attend the Dec. 8 hearing at the Blake Library, either in person or virtually, by tuning into the county Web site for instructions. Or send your comments on the plan to the county commission before, during or after the hearing.
Here are some highlights of what Newfield is offering to pay, give to or build for the citizens of Martin County as part of Phase 1 of the new community:
- The new Kiplinger Conservancy, totaling some 500 acres of scenic natural pine forests, dry upland pastures and wetlands—about the size of the county’s largest current park, Halpatiokee. It is traversed by existing trails for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking, which will be maintained and accessible by three new trailheads along Citrus Boulevard. The Conservancy will be governed by a county-approved PAMP (Preserve Area Management Plan), and it will be enlarged by later additions to the Conservancy as Newfield grows. Eventually total open space at Newfield will comprise some 70% of the entire 3,400 acres…almost 2,400 acres.
- Several new sports playing fields, for soccer, baseball and other activities, lying along Citrus Boulevard and Boat Ramp Avenue.
- A new 6,000-sq.-ft. library with space for community meetings and other services, to be located in the new town center of Newfield.
- Improvements and extension of 84th Street from Busch Street to Citrus Boulevard through our property. This new connection, in conjunction with a future, County-funded fire station proposed where the current shooting range sits today will improve first-response service and time to existing communities like Palm City Farms and Stuart West/Cobblestone, as well as serve future residents of Newfield.
- Improvements to Citrus Boulevard at the Newfield town center as it grows, including wide multi-modal bike paths and slip access lanes (paralleling Citrus in a true boulevard configuration) and future traffic circles.
- A flow-through marsh that will divert water from the C-23, filter it naturally and return it cleaner to the C-23 downstream (similar to the current county marsh along Citrus at the Canopy Creek development).
- Martin County’s first gopher tortoise relocation areas, to resettle tortoises from this and other parts of the county to new burrows in the Kiplinger Conservancy.
At the Dec. 15 hearing of the Board of County Commissioners, the Developer Agreement will get a second hearing. The BOCC will also review the details of our Master Site Plan for Phase 1 of Newfield, and also discuss the proposed Community Development District, a funding vehicle for community infrastructure at Newfield. We hope you can attend or listen to that meeting too.