Developers who have land in the Wedge, the 1,900-acres of land that was once in Palm Beach County before a boundary change made it part of Parkland, are now busy either annexing into the city or moving forward with their plans for construction.
At a City Commission meeting, officials approved, on first reading, the master plan for Debuys Property Investment Group’s project in the wedge. The project envisages 526 single family homes, 250 multi-family homes, park space and 110,000 square feet of commercial space. Officials also approved rezoning of the property from Palm Beach County Special Agricultural Residential to planned commercial development.
The property, which was annexed into Parkland in September 2009, is spread throughout 368,999 acres and is located at the northwest corner of County Line Road and the proposed extension of University Drive. Triple H Ranch Property is the other parcel that is now officially part of Parkland; the other property owners in the wedge are waiting for annexation proposals to be approved.
The city had to intervene to thwart the department of community affairs’ plan for the project, Mayor Michael Udine said. “They wanted this whole thing to be multi-family units. They were talking about 2000 to 3000 units. They were also talking about turning this into a high density transportation hub.”
“The DCA was trying to master-plan the area for us because they knew best,” Commissioner Jared Moskowitz said, in a sarcastic tone. “It was after the mayor went to Tallahassee that things changed.”
Debuys will dedicate 8.68 acres of park space for single family units and 3.13 acres for the multi-family unit part of the project. Commissioner Dave Rosenof said he liked the idea of the property owner donating land for parks but wanted the commission to discuss the commercial part of the project.
“I don’t want to see another commercial center starve,” Rosenof said. “At some point, I would like us to discuss what we want in there. I’d also like an agreement that the site for commercial use will be maintained. If we end up with a vacant lot, I don’t want it looking bad.”
The entire wedge will have about 77 acres of public parks, according to the master plan prepared by Keith and Associates, the city’s consultant. The city also got the property owners to commit to setting aside land for schools. Triple H has set aside side-by-side sites for an elementary and middle school while the Hendrix family, which owns the largest property in the area, has promised to donate 40 acres for a high school.
The city’s population, which is currently 23,795, is likely to go up to about 42,000 once development in the Wedge is complete. The number of homes is expected to increase from 7,000 to about 10,200. Construction in the area is expected to begin only by 2013.