By Jill Fox
The future of the Heron Bay Golf Course has been a hot-button issue in Parkland since it closed in 2018. Potential buyers of the course face several challenges since anyone who develops the land has to follow specific criteria stemming from city ordinances and land-use restrictions.
Purchased in 2010 for $4.75 million by ClubLink, the Canadian corporation owns several other South Florida clubs, including the Woodlands Country Club, Palm Aire, and Eagle Trace Golf Club.
Rumors about the next steps have circulated from commercial development to green space and include North Springs Improvement District (NSID) purchasing the land.
NSID provides water for nearly 40,000 residents in Parkland and Coral Springs, and at their November 4, workshop there was a preliminary discussion of a possible land recreation area acquisition.
“We had a public workshop about it, but there is no contract yet,” said Rod Colon, NSID District Manager.
According to Colon, NSID is interested in buying the land for three reasons: stormwater retention, conservation, and recreation. NSID is currently in negotiations with ClubLink and has plans to move forward if they can agree on a fair price.
“We are 100 percent interested, but we have to see if the deal is reasonable,” said Colon.
Most recently, on November 9, when Tropical Storm Eta caused flooding in South Florida, the North Springs system was at capacity. If growth is anticipated in the area, this acquisition will help prepare for the future. If and when the parties come to terms, the project will be presented to the governing board.
Currently, NSID is trying to obtain grant funding from the state with a maximum of $5 million.
Colon said they have been working day and night and think they have a good opportunity through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
“I didn’t see any other project in Broward County that has this type of potential,” he said.
Stormwater retention would benefit the entire district, but Colon said residents would be more inclined to notice the walking trails that they can actually see.
“It’s very exciting — hopefully, the numbers make sense,” he said.
Colon said they have already approached the city to get their thoughts, but NSID plans to do a heavy public outreach program if a deal occurs. They are hoping ClubLink gets back to them within the month.
“We’ve been talking to them [ClubLink] for over a year. The longer they go on, the more capital they have to put into it,” he said.
Mayor Rich Walker sees this as a good investment for NSID and a win-win for Parkland.
“It’s good for the residents because it gives those who own homes some security, with no additional traffic and no more homes, and it’s good for Parkland schools, population, and density.
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