Safety Harbor resident George Weiss recently offered to donate the majority of his 10-acre horse farm to the city.
A longtime Safety Harbor resident recently made a generous contribution to the community, offering to donate a large portion of his property to the City in exchange for preserving the land in his family’s legacy.
According to city officials, George Weiss, owner of the 10-acre horse farm on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street North known as Folly Farm, approached them in October and said he wanted to give the majority of his land, estimated at eight acres, to the city.
All Weiss requests in return was that the City agree to keep the property in a natural, passive, park-like state, maintain it, and dedicate the preserve in his family’s name.
“A few weeks ago Mr. Weiss approached the mayor and I about a proposal he has for nearly all of his 10-acre horse farm on MLK just east of McMullen Booth Road,” City Manager Matt Spoor explained when the item came up at the November 3 City Commission meeting.
“He would like to donate the majority of the 10-acres to the city to be kept in a natural, passive park-like preservation state, with the only exception being the two homes…located in the northeast and northwest corners of the 10-acre parcel.”
George Weiss has agrred to donate nearly all 10 acres of his Folly Farm property to the City of Safety Harbor.
“There are three main requests that go along with the donation by Mr. Weiss,” Spoor continued.
“One, that the property is dedicated in honor of his family, two that the property is rezoned accordingly…and three that we develop a five-year plan to clean up and maintain the property in its natural, passive, park-like preservation state.”
Spoor went on to explain that the property needs some work, including basic clean up such removal of invasive potato vines, and Mr. Weiss understands the City has no money allocated in next year’s budget for such work.
He also said due to the low-lying nature of the property, some stormwater runoff management work will need to be done as well.
The estimated cost of such work would be under $10,000, according to Spoor, which would come from either Capitol Improvement or Parkland funds.
The opportunity to obtain eight acres of parkland in the heart of the city for basically nothing was met with approval from all five members of the commission.
“I think it’s a fantastic idea,” Vice Mayor Cliff Merz said. “Many thanks to Mr. Weiss and his family for this very generous offer.”
“I think it’s a great thing,” Commissioner Andy Zodrow added. “I think we should move forward as quickly as possible.”
The commission then gave a consensus to move forward with the agreement.