By: Sharon Aron Baron
A parcel of land once slated to become a fire station may now become a storage facility if the commission votes to move forward on it.
Located on the northeast corner of W. Commercial Boulevard and Rock Island Road, a 1.75 acre property was given to the city by the Chaits of Prestige Homes after they purchased the Sabal Palm and Monterrey Golf courses back when they were building homes. The city accepted the property and were planning to build a fire station on the lot, but then decided to renovate and improve the station located further east.
The Chaits sued the city for the land, and a compromise was made to sell the land and split the proceeds.
“I was very surprised to hear this”, said former Broward County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman who lives near the site. “When Prestige Homes, which was owned by the Chaits, appeared in front of the County Commission for their land use plan amendments to build homes on the Sabal Palm and Monterray Golf courses, one of the many conditions of approval for those land use plan amendments was that Prestige Homes donate to the City the land at the northeast corner of Rock Island Road and Commercial Boulevard. I don’t believe that Prestige Homes has any right to get that land back now”.
Lieberman said that giving it back appeared to violate the land-use plan approval because the land rightfully belongs to the City of Tamarac.
According to Bolton, it seems like the consensus of the Commission will be 4-1 with Bolton voting no, but the final vote will be final soon.
“I proposed that the city purchase the land for a passive park, but Commissioner Michelle Gomez contended that the city was in litigation for too long and it was time to let it go,” said Bolton.
He said that the commission could have rejected the deal and find a better use for the property.
“My proposal to the city would be to buy the land and give 50 percent of the proceeds to Prestige Homes and the Chaits, but that would be out of the question for the rest of them.”
He said there are already too many storage facilities in Tamarac and the use compromises his goal for eastern Tamarac, which are to: improve the corridors, beautify depressed neighborhoods, bring smart mixed-use development, attract national businesses and restaurants and improve green space.
On Tuesday, August 28 at 7:00 p.m., the developer will hold a neighborhood meeting to learn more about the proposed project at the Tamarac Community Center.
The land will go through two visits to the planning and zoning board. After that time, the city commission will vote on it.
“I will not be supporting this project,” said Bolton. “I will do everything in my power to prevent the development, but with Harry Dressler retiring as one of the only smart ones who saw my vision for the east side, I have little hope for a short-term victory for this site. Unless someone other than Michelle Gomez secures the mayoral seat.”
Residents in the Woodlands County Club, who are adjacent to the land, will be holding a private Neighborhood Alliance Meeting of all eight of their sections on Monday, August 27, at 7:00 p.m. at the section six clubhouse for residents only.
Bolton said, “I am urging all residents to come out and let their voices be heard and help me in the fights against this development.”