Heron Bay
Heron Bay Golf Course {Google Images}

By Bryan Boggiano

At Wednesday’s Board of Supervisors Meeting, North Springs Improvement District gave the city of Parkland an ultimatum: Either approve your contract to purchase part of the former Heron Bay Golf Course, or we will select East Coast Developers to purchase the property.

The development comes as both East Coast and Toll Brothers submitted preliminary site plans and negotiated their own contracts with NSID.

It also comes as Parkland continues negotiations surrounding the purchase of 65 acres of land that NSID currently owns.

At the meeting, multiple residents spoke out against both developers’ plans.

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Mark Bosua, Heron Bay Community Association president, said NSID should have waited to discuss awarding the contract until after the city commission discussed the matter.

“I think this is, in a way, interfering with their decisions,” he said.

NSID Board Member Robert Payton echoed those sentiments, stating that the district needed to review the developers’ plans further before deciding on whom to sell the property to.

“This is a big decision,” said Payton. “I think it’s [going to] impact Parkland and Coral Springs, and it can change the area substantially.”

Board Member Grace Solomon reiterated that NSID invested a lot of time and money into making sure that the district made the right decision on the land acquisition, stating that as a Parkland resident, she also cares deeply about the fate of the land.

Other issues the board discussed include the financial consequences of delaying a decision. NSID District Manager Rod Colon stated that just by selling the land, They would recoup almost 70 percent of the $32 million they spent to purchase it.

The board also expressed that constructing the luxury homes could increase the values of the surrounding homes, even though a portion of the proposed houses would be on an access road to the commercial site.

In response to this claim and other comments that the board made, Bosua interrupted the board during deliberations.

Colon warned him, but Bosua continued airing his grievances and used profanity. Colon demanded that a police officer escort him out of the meeting.

In an email after the meeting, Bosua said that NSID has been pushing East Coast as their partner for Heron Bay because they have a relationship with NSID. Currently, East Coast is working on The Preserve.

“There has been a cloud since day one over NSID and their relationship with East Coast Developers,” he said. “Fair or not, NSID has never addressed this.”

Bosua evaluated both plans, and while the Heron Bay Community Association favored the Toll Brothers proposal over East Coast, he still had criticisms.

He believes that the Toll Brothers plan was only a study that showed maximum possible commercial uses, but he does not think the plan would come to fruition.

For East Coast, he stated that the developer took a low-budget approach and posted land uses that would not fit onto a Google Maps image.

He cited that the plans call for 40 to 45 homes, but on the Google Maps image, there are only 35. In a space that calls for 100,000 feet of medical office space, there are homes in the image.

“I know when I am looking at BS and being played,” he said. “Garbage in, garbage out.”

East Coast’s preliminary plans are part of a three-pronged project called The Medallion Town Center at Heron Bay.

The first part of the project includes 100,000 square feet devoted to medical office space that would be immediately west of The Marriott and the Coral Springs Chamber of Commerce Building.

The second part is a small-retailer project that has a town center concept. It would include 200,000 square feet of retail space arranged circularly around an area of green space.

That retail space would include small stores, restaurants, a medical and beauty center, a coffee shop, and a bank.

The third portion of the project includes constructing roughly 40 to 45 luxury homes immediately north of the retail space. According to preliminary site plans, there would be an access point at Trails End.

Under the Toll Brothers proposal, roughly 384,000 square feet of land would be commercial property, while office space would occupy 18,000 feet.

Heron Bay golf cub
Heron Bay Golf Club {Sharon Aron Baron}

The commercial space would include multiple big-box retailers and a grocer, according to site plans.

There would be two access points alongside Nob Hill Road and one along Heron Bay Boulevard, according to site plans.

Bosua also claimed that, ultimately, NSID has no say about what will be built on that site. That is up to Parkland, Coral Springs, Heron Bay, and residents.

While he gives East Coast credit for pointing out that rezoning, residential input, and a new restrictive covenant would be necessary, he still criticized the board’s handling of the situation.

“For a board that is not elected by the public, and has absolutely no stand in saying what goes on this property if they sell it, and to sit there tonight and act like they do, and say they are only acting in the interest of the community was an abomination,” Bosua said.

Jared Latz, another Heron Bay resident, echoed some of Bosua’s points, saying that bringing in large facilities and not considering infrastructural needs would be a grave error.

Ultimately, the board approved a motion that would give Parkland until September 24 to ratify their contract approving the purchase of part of the former Heron Bay Golf Course.

If the commission fails to approve the contract, NSID will sell the land to East Coast.

The city commission will discuss the land purchase next at their September 21 meeting at 6 p.m.

At the meeting, the contract will go toward a second reading, where four commissioners must vote in favor of it for the contract to pass.

The city commission approved the contract to purchase land by 3-2 at their August 31 meeting.

While Mayor Rich Walker believes that NSID has worked well with Parkland and allowed the city to be part of the land purchasing process, he hopes the commission ultimately approves the opportunity that NSID presented to the city.

“Hopefully, our entire commission sees the importance of our city owning this property and controlling our own destiny,” he said in a text after the meeting.

Solomon, on behalf of the NSID Board of Directors, refused to answer questions following the meeting.

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Tensions Rise, Police Escort Resident Out at NSID Meeting Following Comments on Heron Bay Land Purchase 1
Bryan Boggiano
A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan plans to pursue geosciences at Florida International University for his master's. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.