Land to be dedicated for new schools in Parkland

Parkland city officials, who have made developers set aside land for schools in the newly acquired wedge, is now trying to get the School Board to commit to building schools in the parcels.

Triple H Ranch Property, one of the land owners, has set aside side-by-side sites for an elementary and middle school while the Hendrix family has promised to donate 40 acres for a high school. At a recent City Commission meeting, Dennis Mele, who represents Standard Pacific, Triple H and Debuys properties, said the dedication of the elementary and middle schools sites in the Triple H property will be on the School Board agenda in April.

“We have drafted the school dedication agreement and the School Board’s special counsel is now taking a look at it,” Mele said. “The School Board would like the city to be a party to the agreement. We will be fencing the sites soon. We are making progress.”

“The city does not build schools,” Mayor Michael Udine said. “It is the School Board that does that. We didn’t have to do this, but we wanted to make sure that there was land set aside for schools in the Wedge. Other cities don’t go out of the way like this. “

Commissioner Jared Moskowitz said he wanted a commitment from the school board that the land would be used only for a school. “What happens if the School Board does not build a school and wants the sell the land for profit? We have a tussle with the School Board over one site already.”

The land has to be zoned for a school, Vice Mayor Mark Weissman said. “We cannot have a bus depot or anything; it has to be a school. The city should ensure that nothing else is built there.”

According to the agreement reached between the developer and the city, the city will get the land for seven years if the School Board has no plans to build the proposed elementary and middle school. If the School Board says it does intend to use the parcels, the land will remain its property. If the city gets the land but does not build a charter school within seven years, the land will go back to the developer.

The Triple H property is at the northwest corner of County Line Road and the proposed extension of Nob Hill Road. The Hendrix parcel, the largest in the Wedge, has 40 acres set aside for a high school.

Triple H Ranch Property and Debuys Property Investment Group were the first parcels in the Wedge to acquire a Parkland address. According to the city’s masterplan for the area, there will be about 3,200 new homes one the area is fully developed. The city’s population is expected to grow from about 23,000 to 40,000.

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