Mayor Rich Walker
Mayor Rich Walker

A Message from Mayor Rich Walker

In the City of Parkland,  the city commission spends a lot of time mulling over various issues, policies, and points of concern as they pertain to residents. Florida’s government, in the Sunshine law, rightly dictates that this mulling take place in a public space so residents can see their government in action. In short, the people’s work should be done in front of the people (in the sunshine, not the shade).

Over the last few months, this has been on display in our city in a big way. We have spent a lot of that time researching, debating, and meeting with residents, homeowners’ associations,  various other entities, and even with the City of Coral Springs city commission. Our city commission and our city staff have worked incredibly hard to ensure we had the most accurate information to ensure we could make the most educated decision regarding the purchase of 65 acres of land that was part of the old Heron Bay golf course, the portion that fronts Nob Hill Road north of Holmberg Road and south of Trails End.

Historically we know, whether in our city or any other, with votes this important, there are those who agree and those who disagree. Having a cordial debate is an important part of the process. Make no mistake, the thought process behind our decision to buy the property took everything into consideration to make sure we were doing what is in the best interest of all of Parkland, not just one group or one neighborhood. We now have much greater control in determining what will ultimately be built on this highly visible property, and we will truly drive our future.  

Our efforts to engage with our residents and learn their perspective to find the right balance that Parkland needs and wants was priority number one. Our vote in the City Commission meeting on September 21, 2022, in favor of buying the property started the process of fine-tuning our City codes and finalizing a plan to ensure Parkland’s financial future continues to be strong for years to come.    

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Currently, we are in the 90-day due diligence period, which includes a property survey, an environmental study to determine the quality of the soil on the property, and working with the Heron Bay HOA to release a restrictive covenant on the property. The release of that covenant, part of the lengthy and ongoing conversations we have had with the Heron Bay HOA, further ensures the city’s control over the future of this property.

The city has created a web page that will be updated as our work continues so all residents can be in the know throughout the process. Cityofparkland.org/ParklandTogether is the place to go for up-to-date information on this project. Our endgame in this is to partner with a developer, one with a track record of success and a penchant for building quality properties that stand the test of time, to ensure that together we produce the desired outcome that will best serve all of our residents. Not only is that the intention of this project—it is also a microcosm of city government.     

If you would like to share your thoughts about any part of this process or you have questions or comments you’d like to share with me, I would love to hear from you. I can be reached via e-mail at rwalker@cityofparkland.org or via cell phone at (973) 390-1453. Of course, I am frequently available monthly at Parkland businesses and love to talk with residents there. I encourage you to visit the city’s website cityofparkland.org and click on the social media icon that you prefer, to ensure that you stay informed on events and helpful information. 

Rich Walker
City of Parkland, Florida

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