Florida City Council ignores zoning plan and votes to rezone golf course

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. – Riviera Beach’s par-62 Lone Pine Golf Club is one step closer to the end of its 40-year reign as an affordable alternative for dummies and beginners alike, while also providing a point quiet view for nearby homeowners.

Ignoring the recommendation of its own Zoning and Planning Board, the Riviera Beach City Council voted 3-2 to change its sweeping plan to repurpose the golf course from recreational use to a single-family residence in a sometimes fickle Wednesday night session. .

Still, residents of 354 homes in Lone Pine Estates hope the fairways, greens and bunkers don’t become living rooms, kitchens and pools on the nearly 64 acres.

The next step, according to Councilman Douglas Lawson, is a review by the state before the matter returns to City Council for a second reading and final vote. He said it should be in about two months when decisions are made about the future of the golf course, which the brothers who own it have long been scheduled to close.

Councilmembers Lawson, Tradwick McCoy, and Julia Botel voted to rezone. Shirley Lanier and KaShamba Miller-Anderson voted no.

Neighbors express their discontent with the vote

Riviera Beach isn’t the only community turning its golf course into a development. Boca Raton, Florida, sold his beloved course for $66 million and closed it last year. But the city later took over a private course to replace it.

About 60 Lone Pine Estates residents attended the Riviera Beach City Council meeting and expressed outrage believing some council members would be a bulwark against the development of 124 single-family homes and 162 townhomes.

The meeting was attended by at least one of Lone Pine’s owners, as well as a representative from the developer, DR Horton.

“We are the redheaded stepchildren of Riviera Beach. I don’t even know why we’re in Riviera Beach because we’re forgotten here,” said Rochelle Baker Hughes, who lives on the 17th hole and is secretary of the HOA.

HOA attorney Steve Daniels noted at the meeting that the city’s Zoning and Planning Board voted 7-0 against rezoning the property. The council will hold a final vote sometime before the end of the year, giving homeowners near the golf course one last chance to air their grievances.

“You are taking away from the citizens one of the crown jewels of your city,” Daniels said. “Riviera Beach people can’t go to BallenIsles, Admirals Cove or Mirasol,” she says of some nearby private clubs. He added that the nearest public course costs double the green fee.

It currently costs $35 on foot and $50 in a golf cart to play 18 holes at Lone Pine.

Mayor Ronnie Felder took issue with Daniel’s assertion that the city was to blame for what private property owners wanted to do with their property.

“We will not operate a golf course. We are a city. We are not in this business. So it’s not the city. He owns the golf course,” Felder said.

Property: Golf course will remain closed regardless of zoning change

Chuck Gerlach, one of five brothers who own the golf course, told the city council that the golf course would be closed regardless of the zoning change.

“The way you vote tonight will not change that we will shut it down,” he said. “We can no longer afford to keep it open.”

William Burrs told the meeting that Lone Pine is the city’s golf course and its conversion would be just the latest blow to residents in the name of development. He said that the members of the City Council must keep their word and meet and negotiate with the citizens.

“We don’t have movie theaters. I remember a time when we had big grocery stores full in this community, five banks… We sold out to the big developers, so now we don’t have those things,” he said.

Marvelous Washington is a resident of Lone Pine Estates. His parents too. He learned to play golf at Lone Pine. The former councilman candidate said The charge There are already issues with congested traffic and drainage, as well as poor water pressure.

“Further development will only make these problems worse,” he said.

Will there be affordable housing on the property?

Washington scoffed at the idea put forth by council members that the new development would create housing for workers.

“It appears that developers in our community are getting a fair share of the land in Riviera Beach on the basis that they will build, quote unquote, affordable housing,” he said.

Lawson, however, said The charge The homes to be built will cost around $300,000 and will be affordable for city employees, firefighters and law enforcement officers. He also said that he learned to play golf at Lone Pine and said that voting to change the zone was a difficult decision.

But he said the development will help reduce the cost of big items for the city, such as a new water treatment plant. The city council said long-standing complaints will eventually be resolved as the subdivision proceeds.

“Water pressure is being addressed. We are going to demand that it be done,” she said.

Baker Hughes wonders what will happen to his view of the 17th hole, the one he paid the most for when he bought his house in 2002.

“The city should have found a way to help with our drainage and lack of water pressure. It shouldn’t be dependent on a developer coming in and building,” she said.

Baker Hughes said he’s holding on to the hope that there won’t be enough votes at second reading after Tallahassee reviews the plan. She had the same hope when city council members campaigned in her neighborhood and promised to support local residents when it came to developing the golf course.

“They did not keep their promises. It’s very discouraging,” she said.

Source: golfweek.usatoday.com

Author: Mustkim Ali

With over 2 years of experience in the field of journalism, Mustkim Ali heads the editorial operations of the Elite News as the Executive News Writer.

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