Our Land Use
The AgTEC Land Use Category. AgTEC is an innovative land use category in Martin County that was first proposed as an amendment to the county’s Comprehensive Growth Management Plan in 2009. It is site-specific and only applies to the AgTEC tract.
Extensive public outreach efforts were conducted to ensure we had meaningful feedback on the proposed new land uses. It was approved by Martin County in 2010 and, after legal challenges, the amendment was ultimately approved by an administrative law judge and the Department of Community Affairs (under the leadership of Tom Pelham), formally becoming a part of the Comp Plan in 2011.
The AgTEC land use category combines three key elements – economic development opportunities, continuation of agriculture and environmental restoration – which are the foundation of a healthy and sustainable Martin County. The AgTEC tract is the only location along the Treasure Coast that allows for these three uses to coexist.
- Economic development, job creation and diversification of the local tax base.
The AgTEC land use category creates opportunities for targeted businesses to locate in Martin County. These industries require significant acreage in a campus-like environment, access to major transportation corridors that have plenty of road capacity, proximity to other similar uses, and no incompatibility issues with residential neighborhoods or wetland impacts. AgTEC meets all of these criteria.
A wide range of uses are permitted within the AgTEC land use category with a focus on what is referred to as “primary targeted employment” uses as defined by Martin County and the state of Florida.Potential types of entities that could locate at AgTEC include, but are not limited to: research and biotech development laboratories and facilities; educational institutions; business and professional offices; distribution centers; medical labs and recreational uses.
- Protect agriculture and help it remain viable. The AgTEC land use category specifically contemplates significant areas of open space, which would allow for the opportunity for new forms of agricultural production and/or research to help support a recovery/transition from the loss of large tracts of citrus due to HLB (greening). Through this approach, agriculture has an improved opportunity to remain a viable part of the land, potentially including such uses as alternative energy crops and their facilities, aquaculture, organic foods and fibers and other research ventures. Nearly half the property must remain in agriculture or used as common open space.
- Environmental restoration and enhancement. The land use category creates opportunities for reestablishment of wildlife habitat, creation and preservation of open space and improvements to water quality in the C23 canal which flows to the St. Lucie River by allowing for water treatment, cleansing and filtering onsite. It also supports the protection of the beautiful oak canopy along the Martin Grade Scenic Corridor to the west of the property. Additionally, the policies set high standards for the use of sustainable, environmentally-friendly, energy efficient elements in planning and design of the built elements.