By Jill Fox
After the details were made public, residents expressed their anger and concern over the three proposed plans for the development of the Heron Bay golf course.
Under the agreement, 150 acres will be used for stormwater retention, including giant storm sewers to protect the city from flooding. The remaining 70 acres of the plot will be used for commercial development.
While not on Monday night’s agenda, dozens of residents expressed their views during the public comment portion of the city commission meeting. Some were for, but mostly against, the project. However, the first step in the decision-making process rests with a pre-chosen selection committee, not the podium members.
“I don’t want the Mall of America to be close to my house, and neither do these people,” said Neil Vogel, president of the Heron Bay Community Association. He sits on the selection committee with representatives from Parkland, Coral Springs, the Heron Bay Homeowners Association and North Springs Improvement District.
Residents took turns talking about their pride in the community and gesturing towards the city’s seal on the wall as they pleaded with the commission to keep the property green and free to trade.
Robert T. cited Parkland’s mission statement, “… to provide quality services while protecting the uniqueness and natural environment of the community…”. He argued, “Putting a 70-acre commercial development property on the Heron Bay golf course is not in line with this mission statement. “
The fate of the former 223-acre Heron Bay Golf Club will be determined by a vote on Wednesday, September 15, when the selection committee chooses one of the three developers.
Purchased in 2011 for $ 3 million by ClubLink, a Canadian company that owns several other clubs in South Florida, they closed the golf course in 2019. On March 3, NSID signed a contract to purchase the Heron Bay golf course and buildings for $ 32 million. of dollars.
Ronnie S. said: “I promise you if you develop this project Parkland will be destroyed – it will never be the same again.”
Amid loud applause, Vogel said he was so proud of the residents who came to let the commission know exactly where the families in Heron Bay were on the matter. “We will not allow any of these three development systems to see the light of day.”
Since August 27, the selection committee has considered the proposals, which include shopping malls, restaurants, fountains, even botanical gardens that could potentially occupy the commercial part of the project built on the land. The developer with the highest score will have a seat at the negotiating table.
Neil B. thinks that it is foolish to select one of these three propositions. “I can’t believe we need a mega mall built here within our beautiful community of Heron Bay gobbling up houses,” he said.
One by one, residents called the choices illusory, even referring to the promises made by the commissioners during the campaign.
Heron Bay resident and Commissioner Simeon Brier expressed concern for the views of the golf course and the safety and traffic that this would entail. “I am opposed to the three proposals as they stand,” he said.
Mayor Rich Walker asked residents to be patient. He said the NSID promised to keep the property 70 percent green, and that’s a huge victory. “These conceptual designs are just that, conceptual – we have nothing to review, approve or deny,” Walker said.
Commissioner Jordan Isrow stressed: “It is just not realistic to believe that someone is going to pay $ 30 million for a green park to remain grass.
Parkland Bay resident John F. had a similar point of view. “I think that’s a phenomenal option considering that if Lennar or some other builder got their hands on 225 acres, we could be talking about 1,000 homes and commercial properties.”
Vice Mayor Bob Mayersohn encouraged residents to attend the NSID meeting on Wednesday. “My recommendation for you is to go to NSID and express your opinion there,” he said. “I don’t know what the results will be, but I can tell you this is the place to go.”
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Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.