When developers first looked into buying a parcel of land on the southeast corner of Mansfield Blvd. and County Line Rd. with the thought of getting it rezoned and putting a 7-Eleven gas station and convenience store on the site, they probably didn’t expect the uproar that purchase would create.
An effort to rezone the parcel was scuttled. A year later, the developers have moved on.
And, the Meadow Pointe II Community Development District (CDD) has made sure there will be no repeat — the CDD has purchased that piece of land.
According to treasurer John Picarelli, the CDD closed on a deal on Nov. 15 to purchase the 2.05-acre parcel for $850,000. The asking price was $960,000, and while the CDD was able to negotiate a lower purchase price, the cost was still more than the property’s appraised value of $641,806.
But, it’s well worth the price, says Picarelli, because it will allow for additional amenities for Meadow Pointe II residents, which he says are lagging behind some of the other communities known as Meadow Pointe.
“We were very limited,” Picarelli said. “Of all the Meadow Pointe communities, we have the smallest amount of land for expansion.”
The availability of the land coincided with a bond purchase by Meadow Pointe II for some other capital improvements, including $3.5 million for improving some of the roads and replacing the gates leading into many of the communities.
The bond also will allow for the purchase of the land and includes a line item for the development of new amenities on the property.
The CDD approved the purchase after resident Chris Dillinger surveyed other Meadow Pointe II residents and asked if they were willing to buy the land even if it meant paying more in fees. Dillinger says of the 150 or so respondents, “an overwhelming amount of them” were in favor of buying and maintaining the land.”
And, more great news — Picarelli says that CDD dues might not even need to be raised, due to the retirement of some of the CDD’s other debt and costs. Meadow Pointe II already has paid off its original CDD bond.
It was Dillinger who initially started the petition — which garnered more than 1,000 signatures from those opposed to the 7-Eleven development — that led to the original project stalling.
“I thought 7-Eleven was a worst-case scenario, building a gas station right next to (Kids R Kids Learning Academy), so it was a huge sense of relief to stop that,” Dillinger says.
Picarelli, who has been on the CDD Board of Supervisors for two years, says the idea of buying the parcel of land catty corner from the Meadow Pointe II clubhouse area — which has a covered playground, swimming pool, three tennis courts, two basketball courts and two shuffleboard courts — has long been bandied about by previous CDD boards.
Now that the land is in the CDD’s hands, the community will have to decide what to do with it. Picarelli says a number of possibilities have been suggested, from creating a community or athletic center to building a dog park.
Most likely, he thinks, something from the clubhouse area will be relocated to the new land, allowing the clubhouse to expand and add something like a lap pool, or even a splash pad, which he says is probably the most popular request so far.
“As demographics change, the community is becoming younger and younger, and you have to keep property values up by offering things that can compete with the other communities around here,” Picarelli says, pointing out that Meadow Pointe I is currently building a water slide at its pool. “Whatever we do, we’re going to have to be strategic.”