A land skirmish may be brewing between Davie and the Seminole Tribe of Florida over property once home to a mobile home park.
The Seminoles put in a request last year with the Bureau of Indian Affairs asking that 10.6 acres bordering the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino be placed into a federally protected trust.
Davie officials say they don't want the land near Stirling Road and State Road 7 coming off the tax rolls. And they don't trust the tribe's claim it will be used for housing.
"The town doesn't want casino operations expanded," Town Attorney John Rayson said. "We are concerned. We don't know what their plans are."
The property brings in $97,000 a year in property taxes – with $26,251 going to the town.
In a May 2013 letter to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Mayor Judy Paul urged federal officials to deny the tribe's request. She noted the Hard Rock requires assistance from the town's police and fire departments 24 hours a day throughout the year and generates excessive noise complaints.
Placing the land into trust would "bring forth new tensions and negatively impact the town and its residents," she wrote.
The land, once home to the Stirling Road Mobile Home Park, sits vacant. The property closed in 2006 after being purchased by the tribe.
Under Davie's rules, the land is zoned for 10 units per acre. But if the property becomes sovereign, the tribe could build multi-family housing.
This week, Davie's leaders discussed strategy.
Councilman Bryan Caletka urged the town to "object the whole way, kicking and screaming" while Paul said she did not "want to give up any land."
Jim Shore, legal counsel for the tribe, could not be reached for comment Friday despite a call and email to his law office.
"Cities are always worried about land coming off the tax rolls," said Bob Jarvis, a constitutional law professor with Nova Southeastern University. "Tribes can build the casino, but the cities have to build the roads and handle the traffic and deal with fallout with respect to crime."
By contrast, Coconut Creek officials have endorsed the tribe's bid to have more than 40 acres in that city designated as sovereign land, even sending a letter of support to the Department of the Interior last year.
The land borders the tribe's casino in Coconut Creek.
"People have said we were going to get crime and prostitution -- and that hasn't happened," Coconut Creek Mayor Becky Tooley said.
Her city collects $2.3 million a year from the tribe for public safety and utility services.
If federal officials put more Coconut Creek land in trust, the city would simply collect more from the tribe to make up for the loss in taxes, Tooley said.
That was no surprise to Jarvis.
"At the end of the day, it's very simple," he said. "It's about money."
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