A new community in the works in Oakland Park. At the site of the former 139-acre golf course, the Pulte Homes development boasts consumer-friendly homes. Aimed at attracting modern families with active lifestyles, the development will have 273 single-family homes and 132 townhomes. It also has many asking: how will this affect residents in Oakland Park?
Traffic is on the top of most South Florida resident’s minds. How will the new Oak Tree development affect local traffic? Most of us have already seen the construction on 21st Avenue. The plan was to widen the street to allow smoother traffic flow to and from the development. Initially, Pulte Homes wanted to build 832 homes on the site. This plan was not approved by the City and so they scaled back the plan to 405 homes. This number brings the possibility of at least 1000 new residents to the areas.
With at least 1,000 new residents, it is still hard to state whether this will cause a major backup of traffic. Prospect Road and Oakland Park Boulevard will likely see more traffic as these would the main routes to enter and exit. Let’s face it, there’s just no getting around the added traffic. But how much it will impact the current traffic patters has yet to be determined.
The City of Oakland Park has been hard at work on a Downtown revival. Having a community full of families would surely attract many more to our Downtown shops, events, and restaurants. This opens the door for our small businesses to grow and for new ones to open. This is also an opportunity for the City of Oakland Park to expand its already growing family-friendly events such as Taste of Oakland Park, Oktoberfest, and the various Holiday events.
According to the Pulte Homes website, children at the Oak Tree Community are zoned for Oriole Elementary School, Lauderdale Lakes Middle, and Boyd Anderson High School. That means those children attending public schools would attend Fort Lauderdale and Lauderdale Lakes schools, not Oakland Park’s local schools. On the other hand, children wanting to participate in City sports and youth camps will likely choose their hometown of Oakland Park’s facilities. As well as our Library and community centers and our parks for recreation.
With more residents, comes more need for police and fire rescue services. The City is already working on modernizing its pubic facilities through the City bond project. With that the City will have newer, larger, and more state-of-the-art Fire Stations. It is unknown at this time whether more police and fire rescue personnel will be needed to cover the area. But with the additional tax revenue brought in by the new residents the City should be able to expand those services as needed.
Let’s welcome our neighbors with open arms because it is the Oakland Park way.
Time will tell how the new Oak Tree community will affect the daily lives of current Oakland Park residents. With any new development, there is good and bad. We do know that Oakland Park has always had a small-town feel. Let’s welcome our new neighbors to our “small town” with open arms into our community because that’s the Oakland Park way.
Rhiannon Samoyedny was born and raised in South Florida. She has lived in Oakland Park for over 25 years and purchased her home in Garden Acres in 2012 where she resides with her husband, two teenaged boys, a few rescue cats, and her dog.
Her professional career began as a project manager and estimator for a small Oakland Park construction company and she later went on to earn her degree in Court Reporting, where she later incorporated her own small business RS Reporting, Inc.
She has a passion for gardening and attends many horticulture classes and workshops. She is also an LGA (Local Government Academy) graduate, class of 2019, and an active community volunteer and activist. You can usually find her around town at various Oakland Park meetings and events with her notebook, so be sure to say hello.