Parkland approves school site dedication agreements

Parkland city officials are doing all they can to ensure that new schools are built in the Wedge area.

The City Commission has approved agreements for dedication of two school sites in the Wedge. The side-by-side sites for an elementary and middle school are in the Triple H Ranch Property site that is located at the northwest corner of County Line Road and the proposed extension of Nob Hill Road.

Although the sites have been dedicated, there is no guarantee that new schools will open in the city within the next few years. However, the fact that the School Board has agreed to take over the site and is one of the parties signing the site dedication agreement gives the city hope.

“We have teed this up perfectly,” Mayor Michael Udine said. “We can’t force anybody to build anything. But we can never be accused of not setting aside land for schools.”

“This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by the City Commission,” City Attorney Andy Maurodis said. “The agreement will go to the School Board and then to Broward County. The agreement indicates that the sites will be used for school purposes but there is no deed restriction.”

“The school board is willing to take the sites but they have not promised to build a school,” Commissioner John Willis, who was chairman of the city’s education advisory board before he became a city official, said. “But they could have chosen to reject the site. This is good for Parkland.”

According to the agreement reached between the developer and the city, the city would have received the land for seven years if the School Board did not have plans to build the schools. The land would have gone back to the developer if the city obtained the land but did not build a charter school within seven years. There will also be land available in the city for a high school; the Hendrix family has promised to set aside 40 acres for the purpose.

The city’s population is expected to grow from about 23,000 to more than 40,000 once the 1,900-acre Wedge, which belonged to Palm Beach County before a boundary change made it part of Parkland, is fully developed. According to the city’s master plan for the area prepared by Keith and Associates, the city’s consultant, there will be an additional 3,200 homes. The entire area will also have about 77 acres of public parks.

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