Jupiter Open Space Program
Land Acquisition Bond Referendum on March 12, 2019 Ballot
On the March 12, 2019 ballot for the Town of Jupiter municipal election, voters will be asked to approve a referendum authorizing the Town to issue up to $20 million in general obligation bonds for the purpose of acquiring land. For more information about the 2019 land acquisition bond referendum and the upcoming election, please visit the program's webpage.
A Brief History and Overview of Jupiter's Open Space Program
Jupiter is a community that values and benefits from its natural environment. From its founding in 1925 through the early 1990's, development in Jupiter occurred at a very slow pace. This changed with the sale of the John D. MacArthur Foundation lands, which were largely undisturbed natural habitat. These lands included parcels that were transformed into projects such as Abacoa, the Bear's Club, and Trump National Golf Club among others. Recognizing the diminishing amount of undisturbed natural areas, in 2004, Council approved placing an open space bond referendum for $17 million on the ballot, with the goals of preserving and protecting remaining areas of rare and sensitive natural habitat and linking existing preserve areas and waterways. Jupiter residents overwhelmingly voted in favor of the bond referendum, which led to the creation of the Town's Open Space Program.
With over 400 acres of preserve land already in public ownership and an additional 800 acres of town and county parks, the Town was able to protect many additional acres of preserve land as a result of the Open Space bond referendum. Some of the land acquisition and subsequent management was accomplished in partnership with other agencies, such as Palm Beach County, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection - Florida Communities Trust, the Loxahatchee River Preservation Initiative, and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Properties purchased through the 2004 Open Space Bond Program:
- Fullerton Island - 12 Acres | $2.9 M Purchase Price | Purchased June 2008
- Jones Creek Preserve - 2.71 Acres | $1.4 M Purchase Price (Town cost = $700 K) | Purchased July 2005
- Delaware Scrub - 15.88 Acres | $7 M Purchase Price (Town cost = $1.7 M) | Purchased May 2005
- Sims Creek Preserve - 2.82 Acres | $2.5 M Purchase Price | Purchased November 2005
- Cinquez Park - 10.08 Acres | $5.4 M Purchase Price | Purchased September 2008
- Washington Street Preserve - 16.6 Acres | $4.3 M Purchase Price | Purchased March 2011
- Todd Street Mangrove Preserve - 1.17 Acres | $15 K Purchase Price | Purchased May 2014
The complete list of all Open Space Program properties, with detailed descriptions, can be viewed on the Open Space Map.
How Were Properties Evaluated for Purchase for the 2004 Open Space Bond Program?
The 2004 open space bond referendum included a set of evaluation questions to determine a list of properties that were suitable for purchase. Some of the criteria considered were:
- Is the parcel an "environmentally sensitive" area as defined by the Town's Comprehensive Plan (Policy 1.1.2 of the Conservation Element)?
- Does the parcel have unique natural, environmental, historic, or cultural features?
- Does the preservation of this property alleviate potential traffic issues vs. if it were to be developed?