By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
The common theme in this months golf course news: a homeowner has little to no control over the future of the centerpiece of the community. And, if homeowners want to retain a playable course or pristine green views, they’d better be willing to pay for it.
Residents Upset Over “Barren” Legends Golf And Country Club
By Asher Wildman Lake County
PUBLISHED 8:54 AM EST Jan. 15, 2019
CLERMONT, Fla. —Thousands of homeowners in Central Florida live on golf courses; it is an investment they hope holds their property values high.
- Legends Golf and Country Club has been closed for about a year
- Residents near the club have seen their property values drop
- They say golf course looks dead or barren
However, as more courses struggle financially, homeowners’ investments are backfiring.
The Legends Golf and Country Club closed nearly a year ago and current residents fear for the future of their property values and homes.
Many parts of the Legends Golf and Country Club golf course look dead or barren. Residents are not happy about it either.
“Now where other homes are going up in value in a steady rate, we have seen ours flat line or decrease,” Bob Yarnall said. So the value and equity of these homes that should be there are not, solely due to the owners of this course.”
A common trend with golf courses: a buyer purchases the course with no viable business plan to re-open the course. Then the new golf course owner tries to convince the homeowners in the golf community to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars per year to make the business profitable for the business owner.
When that doesn’t work — and it usually doesn’t — the golf course owner gives up on the golf business and asks for a zoning change to redevelop the land.
Pristine Long Island Golf Club’s Future In Doubt Following Judge’s Ruling On Development
January 10, 2019 at 5:43 pm Filed Under:Hempstead, Jennifer McLogan, Local TV, Woodmere Club
WOODMERE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A court decision to finally resolve what will happen to a South Shore country club that has polarized a Long Island community was rendered Thursday.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the ruling should jump-start a stalled solution.
Homeowners in the hamlet of Woodmere passionate about preserving their century-old golf course were dismayed to learn of a judge’s ruling that lifted the moratorium on developing its 120 pristine acres.
“We’re all really stunned because, as you can see, it’s beautiful, and it’s just amazing to look at. It’s one of the reasons why we all moved out here,” resident Eitan Libin told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.
A developer continues to fight for the right to build homes on a Long Island golf course. A judge recently ruled that the new owner of Woodmere Club can build 121 homes when land use restrictions expire in 2021.
But a Hempstead Supervisor is appealing the judge’s decision, and working with the Army Corp of Engineers to see if the marshy land is suitable for residential use. Residents of adjacent neighborhoods will have an opportunity to voice their concerns at town hall meetings in the next few months.
Home buyers beware: no “pristine view” is ever guaranteed forever. The fact is, no business owner will continue to operate a golf course unless there are enough golf players to keep the club profitable.
If these homeowners are lucky, the privately owned golf course will become a public golf course or park. The civic association could exert enough political pressure to limit development of new housing on the site.
Stoneybrook West Golf Community Blindsided by Golf Course Closure
By Asher Wildman Orange County (Spectrum News 13)
PUBLISHED January 7, 2019 @10:24 PM
WINTER GARDEN, Fla. — Residents of the Stoneybrook West Golf Community are upset after seeing their golf course close its doors.
The Home Owners Association says the course didn’t even tell them what its plans were or that they were closing.
Stoneybrook West Golf Club Closes Abruptly
The public 18-hole Winter Garden course opened in 2000.
By Michael Eng,Executive Editor, WEST ORANGE TIMES & OBSERVER Jan. 16, 2019
Following the abrupt closing of the Stoneybrook West Golf Club located at 15501 Towne Commons Blvd. in December, the Winter Garden community’s homeowners association is attempting to purchase the club and golf course from owners Stoneybrook West Golf Club LLC.
According to an update sent from the Stoneybrook West HOA to community residents Monday, Jan. 14, the HOA hosted an emergency meeting in December and sent a letter of intent to the golf-course owners expressing interest in exploring the possibility of purchasing the club.
However, the owners declined the letter because of interest in the property from professional golf course companies, the update stated.
Stoneybrook began life as a public golf course in 2000, surrounded by 1,450 homes, many with direct views of the course. The course was sold to private owners in 2007, resold in 2010 to current owners, and then closed without notice in December of 2018.
The Stoneybrook West HOA is considering buying the golf course, but current owners, Stoneybrook West Golf Club LLC, say they are entertaining other offers. So, if the HOA intends to purchase the course and country club business, there’s no telling how much they’ll have to pay. Current value estimates range between $2.3 and $2.7 million.
In the rough: Golf legend Jack Nicklaus accused of ousting homeowners board in power move
Suit also alleges he transferred the cost of maintaining the golf course to homeowners
Famed golfer Jack Nicklaus is facing allegations that he improperly fired board members of the homeowners association and excessively hiked up fees at his Bear’s Club golf resort in Jupiter.
Nicklaus, who won more majors than any other golfer in history, is being sued by some of the residents at the Bear’s Club, which he developed, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Bear’s Club homeowner sues HOA, accuses Jack Nicklaus of being heavy-handed
By Alexandra Clough, Palm Beach Post
Posted Jan 3, 2019 at 1:41 PM
Updated Jan 4, 2019 at 10:31 AM
A lawsuit claims Jack Nicklaus improperly fired members of a property association board and saddled residents of his Jupiter golf community with extra maintenance costs.
It’s a fact that many homebuyers don’t consider when purchasing property in a golf course community. Unless the country club is fully owned by the HOA, the developer and/or owner of the golf course often retains perpetual control of the association and its finances.
Jack Nicklaus says he and his golf partnership have the power to take over the homeowners association board, according to the Declarations for Bear’s Club HOA. But a derivative lawsuit alleges that those Declarations (CC&Rs) violate Florida state law by denying homeowners the right to control their HOA.
The lawsuit also alleges that Nicklaus is using the HOA to charge homeowners for maintenance of the golf course.
Perhaps this high-profile story, involving very wealthy celebrities, will increase awareness of Declarant/developer-controlled HOAs in the U.S.
Golf course near sinkhole-ravaged homes closed for ongoing retention pond repairs
By Staff Report – December 13, 2018
The Torri Pines Nine on the Nancy Lopez Legacy Golf Course in The Villages is closed indefinitely.
That’s because work crews are continuing to make repairs to troublesome retention pond located on the course behind two homes in the Village of Calumet Grove that were ravaged by sinkholes in February and again in May.
The crews, with several trucks parked behind the two condemned homes, are pouring grout into the retention pond that has been under repair since the spring, when it drained out around the same time the second round of sinkholes plagued the neighborhood.
Here’s yet another threat to the future of golf: sinkholes! And it shouldn’t be surprising. After all, golf courses tend to suck high volumes of water out of the ground for irrigation. And in Florida, they tend to be constructed on land that’s moist, marshy, and on top of limestone-rich soil. With thousands of homes competing for the same groundwater supply in the middle of Sinkhole Alley, something’s got to give. Playing golf in The Villages just got a lot more expensive.