Homeowners upset at plan to convert golf course into homes

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Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 9:16 pm | Updated: 4:06 pm, Thu Sep 5, 2013.

SARASOTA COUNTY - Realtors say it's another sign of the housing market making a comeback -- but not everyone is pleased about plans to close one of the oldest public golf courses in the area.

The Sarasota Golf Club on Palmer Road, east of Interstate 75 is shutting down next week, with plans to turn the golf course into new homes. Realtors are pleased, but others are concerned. And it's not just golfers who are teed off.

The course has been there 53 years, but realtors say projects like this are a positive sign about the direction of the area's economy. “The pendulum seems to have swung several months ago. All this year, we've been reporting sales higher than previous,” says Kathy Roberts of the Sarasota Association of Realtors.

The concept of closing a golf course to build houses isn't new in Sarasota; it happened at Forest Lakes along Beneva Road in Sarasota -- and those houses still haven't been built.

“That's why I bought this condo in the first place, it was next to a golf course,” says Forest Lakes resident Rick Cavanaugh. His place was next to a golf course, but now he lives next to a lot of high grass.

Back at the Sarasota Golf Club, neighbors are aware of what's happened to other golf courses that were closed to make way for houses several years ago; and they hope the same thing doesn't happen there.

“We don't want a Forest Lakes or Sunrise (Golf Club) debacle behind us. We would want a nice community if that's the way it's gonna go,” says Gloria Dehaven, who lives next to Sarasota Golf Club.

New numbers released Tuesday show the positive trend continues in local real estate. But all this comes as bad news for those looking for public golf in Sarasota.

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  • Kathy posted at 1:42 pm on Thu, May 23, 2013.

    Kathy Posts: 1

    I want to set the record straight on my quote in this article. The reporter, Ray Collins, came to my office to interview me and our discussion pertained to the state of the real estate market. When he asked me to comment on the issue of the closure of the golf course, I replied that I knew nothing about it, having been out of town the previous week. I also suggested that I was not a good source on such a topic and suggested others he might interview. For him to take a quote about the status of the real estate market and insert it in a story unrelated to my quote is deplorable and verges on being unethical, in my opinion. [sad]

  • SadForAZ posted at 11:43 am on Wed, May 22, 2013.

    SadForAZ Posts: 1

    It is a shame when public parks and spaces are turned in to private company profits. I see the same thing happening all ove the US. Look at the public airport in Chicago. The mayor came in destroyed it and gave it to a corporation to develop for free for 20 years. I feel bad for all the people who wanted to live by a nice golf course that anyone could play at.

  • mommadebi posted at 9:44 pm on Tue, May 21, 2013.

    mommadebi Posts: 2

    We fought this in the courts and were told about 4 years ago that the people who were given the rights to run the course had a 20 year contract! What happened to that?!

    Also a new home was just built on N Leewynn Dr, I wonder if these home builder were told what was happening to the course? I'd be upset if I was them!


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