A property that a South American Drug Cartel intended to use it as a compound for their top lieutenants that was seized by the Federal Government is at the center of a new development fight in Plantation Acres, and their plan to launder money into the United States is still causing headaches for our city today.
You may have seen the billboards, yard signs and mailers about a new single-family home project in Plantation Acres peddled by a group known as “Reflections in Plantation Acres.” One group which has named itself “Save Our Acres” is opposing the proposed development. Obviously, city leaders and most residents want to be smart about any new development that comes into our community. Plantation must focus on the realities of today while keeping an eye on the Plantation our children will inherit.
So, the city and our elected officials find themselves having to sort out another misinformation campaign. Let’s be clear what all the Hubbub is about.


REVOLUTIONARY ARMED FORCES OF COLOMBIA

First, we are talking about one of the most interesting parcels in all of Plantation, a unique parcel off NW 4th Street, behind the multifamily developments and churches near the corner of Broward Blvd. and Old Hiatus Road. This property has remained undeveloped and consolidated for over 40 years for various reasons.
Prior to this, the property was owned by the South American Drug Cartel and Terrorist group known as the FARC or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia, who intended to use it to launder money and as a compound for their top lieutenants. The property was seized by the Federal Government and given as compensation to the victims of torture by the cartel. The plan platted by the cartel is not a real plan that would benefit our community.
TDON, owned by 17-year Plantation Acres resident and President of the Vintage Creek HOA Rob Stiegele, purchased the property from the victims of the Cartel.


Will this “Change the Acres Way of Life?”


Many have confused this property for the old school board property that borders Hawks Landing, but that is not this development. The property is presently surrounded by the highest intensity zoning allowed within Plantation Acres including Community Facilities (two churches, one synagogue and one preschool); and PRD-10Q (two condominium developments and one single family development).
Some out there say that this development will “change their way of life,” because Reflections is not a “rural” development and will allow more than one home per acre.
But contrary to Save Our Acres social media campaign, Plantation Acres is not all 1 home per acre. In fact, any resident looking at a map can see two multi-family condo developments directly adjacent to this property. There are also 1/3 acre lots in the North and South Acres, as well as several various types of properties and developments. This is the perfect area for transitional zoning of 2.9 units per acre, which is far from the highest density in Plantation Acres.
Still, some residents have the impression that Reflections in the Acres would be a high-density development including multifamily dwellings, but this is not the case.

Quality of Life Issues


The plan for Reflections in the Acres incorporates a new lake and the widening of an existing drainage canal, as well as expanded buffering over the current minimum code. There is no question that we need additional drainage and flood protection facilities in Plantation Acres. While the Reflections in the Acres project won’t solve all the drainage issues within the Acres, the interior water features and new drainage structures on the 4th Street and neighboring church to the south will provide significantly improved drainage within the area.
Reflections in the Acres will not allow additional septic systems for each of the new, proposed homes. The developer will run a new sewer main from Broward Blvd. into Reflections so these homes will be on the city’s sanitary sewer system.
It is also apparent to me that the traffic impacts of this project will be much less than what has been alleged on social media, and really of no significant concern to anybody who was here before “New” Hiatus was built.
The best choice for Plantation’s future?
We need to embrace a forward-thinking vision for our community that matches our city’s priorities in the future land use plan, while managing growth in a way that improves life for us all. Luckily there is a new group of residents who share this vision to keep our city vibrant called the Friends of Plantation Acres. All Plantation residents with a view toward smart growth that works toward solving community problems instead of putting it on the backs of all the current homeowners can join this group at http://www.friendsofplantationacres.com
It is this vision that will maintain the character of our existing neighborhoods while providing benefits to all residents.

Stay tuned for more….

***This is a sponsored post prepared by our staff writers with the assistance of our valued partners.***

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