2018 renderings of Somerset Parkland Academy.

By: Sharon Aron Baron

After last year’s recommendation to deny their application by the Parkland planning and zoning board, a proposed charter school is now making another bid.

Last November, after the planning and zoning board recommended denying the application to the city commission for the site plan of Somerset Parkland Academy, the charter school pulled their application before the planned December commission meeting.

The charter school is back on the agenda, and on August 9, the applicant, Parkland School Property LLC, C/O Schmidt Nichols, will once again meet with the planning and zoning board to get three recommendations:  a special exception permit, a plat amendment and a site plan approval.

Last year, when asked why city staff did not recommend approval to the board, Planning and Zoning Director Michele Mellgren said that as she was preparing the staff report, she began to identify some issues, and after meeting with the traffic consultant said he wasn’t readily able to get the answers she needed in time.

“I didn’t get answers where I got a level of satisfaction where I could recommend for approval,” said Mellgren. 

According to the recent proposals, city staff has already recommended approval on all three recommendations – with conditions which must be met by the applicant.

Some of the changes the applicant has made to their site plan are: three different arrival and dismissal times to stagger the traffic, adding a westbound right-turn ingress lane on Hillsboro Boulevard, adding a traffic signal at the Hillsboro Boulevard entrance, adding a northbound left-turn lane at the University Drive and Hillsboro Boulevard intersection, adding a traffic signal at University Drive and Hillsboro Boulevard and adding a traffic signal system on Hillsboro Boulevard between the school entrance and University Drive to coordinate the two traffic signals.

The proposed Somerset Parkland Academy is part of the management company, Academica.  They have 10 campuses and 22 schools in Pompano Beach, North Lauderdale, Davie, Hollywood and Pembroke Pines. If passed, the K-8 will be located at the northwest side of University Drive and Hillsboro Blvd on 10.59 acres.

On Thursday, August 9, at 6:00 p.m., residents will be free to speak for up to three minutes during public comments.