By: Jen Russon
The Coral Springs city commission meeting grew contentious Wednesday when a parcel of land located at Wyndham Lakes Plaza and Wiles Road came up for a vote on future land use.
The area is under development by 13th Floor Homes to build the townhome community, Sunset Trails.
Outnumbered 4 to 1, Commissioner Shawn Cerra said that with only 30 acres of vacant land left in Coral Springs, he considered it harmful to the community to rezone that area for residential use.
“I don’t think it’s a good thing to build homes that will overlook an industrial park,” said Cerra, adding that with Cornerstone, Village Square, and the new community at Coral Square Mall planned, the city has a glut of residential space.
Referencing his father’s history as a land developer, Cerra said he was raised to appreciate land as the most sacred thing there is, and contesting the rezoning of Parcel A during Wednesday night’s public hearing was a good example of why he ran for office.
“There’s a perception out there that this is already a done deal,” Cerra said of the Sun Trails project.
Mayor Scott Brook said he resented Cerra’s remark, and nothing is ever a done deal until it comes before the commission board for a vote.
The Sunset Trails project had its first public hearing in January. Nearly one year later, the city commission voted to move forward on the rezoning, with only Commissioner Cerra voting no.
The lot, intended for 144 townhomes, was scaled back from the original plan to build 147 units and was initially slated for commercial use and a proposed Home Depot; however, that plan did not come to pass.
Vice Mayor Joshua Simmons said the notion of building homes makes him optimistic about the future of Coral Springs families.
Commissioner Joy Carter, a Realtor, echoed his sentiments. Neither of the two commissioners shared Cerra’s concern about Coral Ridge Drive being one of only two ways to access Sunset Trails.
The other entrance is NW 120th Way, which forces motorists to make a U-turn.
Dozens of Coral Springs residents called in to voice their support, except for a caller, John Biggie, a manager of J B Management & Maintenance. Having always done business in Coral Springs, Biggie threatened to move his business elsewhere if the rezoning went through.
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- Jen Russon has been a staff writer for Talk Media since 2018. She is also a novelist, copywriter and editor at the imprint www.swallowpublishing.com. She lives in Coral Springs with her family.
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