By Neil Bass
On Wednesday, at the North Springs Improvement District (NSID) board meeting, selecting East Coast Builders & Developers to develop 70 acres of the Heron Bay Golf Course was surprisingly deferred for 30 days.
In response to several email requests from the Heron Bay HOA Board, residents packed the house at NSID’s meeting today.
Many residents spoke for up to two minutes, expressing their horror at East Coast’s proposal to build what appears to be up to 1 million square feet of commercial space within the Heron Bay community. Only one individual spoke up in favor of the project. Mark Bosua, president of the Heron Bay HOA Board, urged the Board to defer their decision until their next board meeting in 30 days.
After residents had an opportunity to speak, members of the NSID board voiced their opinions. Curiously, the NSID board president, Vincent Moretti, was a no-show for the meeting. Grace Solomon, NSID board secretary, spoke up in favor of East Coast. Solomon, a former city commissioner who lives in Parkland Golf and Country Club, noted that she is tired of driving to Boca to go to a nice restaurant or grab a coffee and ice cream, adding that we can use another Starbucks.
Robert Payton, former city manager, NSID board assistant secretary, and resident, stunned the audience. Payton, a man with 20 years of experience as a city manager, noted that generally, for each $1 that a residential development generates in tax revenue, the city’s cost is 90 cents.
Conversely, commercial retail developments cost a city $1.25 for each $1 of tax revenue generated. These comments are in stark contrast to everything we have heard from local public officials so far.
After some back and forth with NSID’s attorney, Richard Sarafan, Payton motioned to defer the board’s decision to choose East Coast for 30 days, the day of their next board meeting.
Until then, the numbers and costs will be evaluated so the public and the board can better understand the costs involved with a residential development vs. a commercial development. With Solomon being the only other board member on the dais, she appeared to have no choice but to second Payton’s motion to defer. So, she reluctantly did.
Our voices are powerful. Please attend the Parkland City Commission meeting tonight at 7 p.m. at city hall and show them that you care.
NSID and East Coast’s plan to redevelop the Heron Bay Golf Course into a major retail and dining destination would bring droves of people into our town. See www.stophbstores.com.
Some of us chose not to live next to the Boca Mall, including the members of Citizens Against Golf Course Redevelopment, Inc. (CAGCRI), who sued to prevent the development of the golf course.
With five-and-a-half years remaining on the 30-year deed restriction on the Heron Bay Golf Course, NSID appears to be ignoring the restriction with its attempt to sell the 70-acre parcel to East Coast. However, the restrictive covenant prevents construction on the golf course until at least December 2027.
Have questions? Feel free to talk to CAGCRI’s lawyer to learn more about your rights and this case. Joe Garrity is available by phone at 954-331-1294 or email at email@example.com.
Neil Bass has lived in Heron Bay in Parkland since 2012. Neil is a certified public accountant and owns a corporate tax consulting firm called Bass Tax Group. Neil lives with his wife, Leslie, and two children.
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