PALM BAY, Fla. — Time is running out for Palm Bay residents to comment on an application submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers to develop 1,573 acres of land, with nearly 100 acres on wetlands.

  • Emerald Investment Holdings wants to develop land for multi-purpose use
  • Army Corp of Engineers determined wildlife could be impacted
  • Residents have until Thursday at midnight to voice concerns
  • Get more Brevard County coverage

Emerald Investment Holdings, LLC wants to develop the land for residential, commercial, educational and recreational use.

The site would be split in half by Interstate 95, with 895.7 acres west of I-95 and 677.4 acres east of it.

Residents had 21 days to voice their concerns. Anybody can request a public hearing and submit the request during the public comment period in writing and explain the reason for the request.

But public comment expires Thursday at midnight.

According to documents from the application, The Emerald Lakes development is proposing to preserve more than 80 percent of the wetlands on the east and west side.

But the Army Corps of Engineers determined the project could impact wildlife, affecting species like the red cockaded woodpecker, the wood stork, the Florida scrub jay, and the eastern indigo snake.

Roy Atkinson and George Amaral moved to Palm Bay a little over a year ago, and they say even though they believe traffic is going to be bad, people need a place to live.

“The traffic is going to be bad, there's no doubt about it. But there may be more houses, because when I look at the news, there seems to be a housing shortage,” Atkinson explained.

According to the planner for Emerald Lakes, the development is expected to create new jobs and a sustainable job-based community in Palm Bay.

“The Residents and Businesses are looking forward to a new Regional Activity Center for Southern Brevard County, which will provide new employment, a sustainable job-based community with retail, medical, educational and corporate office opportunities with over 2.8 Million sq ft of non-residential uses and 3,760 residential units,” said Brenda Yates, planner for Emerald Lakes. “We are currently in the permitting stage and expect land development to begin 2Q/2020, with homes and businesses open in 2Q/2021”

Emerald Investment Holdings has requested a 10-year permit due to the size and complexity of the project.

After public input, it will take the Army Corps of Engineers about 120 days to review all the documentation and decide whether or not to approve the permit application.