HOA, condo & co-op Golf community updates (June 2019)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

As this month’s update proves, some people are willing to pay extra to maintain a golf course, but most homeowners are unwilling.

Even in sunny Florida.

Owner of run down golf course hit with hefty fines

The new owner of Stoneybrook West Golf Course, Winter Garden, FL, stopped maintaining the property 5 months ago. Miguel Vidal tried to convince the HOA’s members to kick in $50 per month for the next two years, to rehabilitate the course. But the HOA didn’t go for it.

Now the course is overgrown with weeds and debris, and Winter Garden Community Development District (CDD) is fining Vidal $2,000 per day, until he cleans up the mess.

The City Manager calls the neglect of the golf course “commonplace” in Central Florida, referring to it as a tactic to pressure adjacent homeowners into allowing redevelopment.

One local real estate agent says, despite the golf course problems at Stoneybrook West, property values have increased year over year, claiming home buyers are more interested in the school district and the community’s convenient location.

There’s plenty of evidence that few home buyers are interested in playing golf, much less paying to maintain a course for the benefit of a small number of avid golfers in their community.

And, I have a hunch that many buyers realize that, sooner or later, the overgrown golf course will be transformed by new development.


Stoneybrook West Golf Club owner faces fines WEST ORANGE TIMES & OBSERVER | WEDNESDAY, JUN. 19, 2019 by: Tim Freed Managing Editor


No public support for apartments on site of old golf course

Tampa’s oldest golf course is back on the market, after a pending sale to developer, 13th Floor Homes, fell through.

Any future interested developers will be told that rental housing and multifamily housing won’t be acceptable to the seller or the two adjacent HOAs, even though the 149-acre golf course is zoned for up to 600 homes.

Something tells me those restrictions will decrease interest from developers.

Fewer housing units will mostly likely translate to a lower sale price for the land. But the current owner of the golf course seems to be OK with that.


On To The Next Buyer For Pebble Creek Golf Club Owner
May 28, 2019 by John Cotey, Neighborhood News


Homeowner sues County for creating tax district to buy defunct golf course

Following a vote of property owners, in Gulf Harbors subdivision, the owners of the defunct Gulf Harbors golf course, New Port Ritchie, sold their land to Pasco County for $1.2 million in 2016.

The County covered half of the purchase, but 1,791 homeowners in the Gulf Harbors community will be paying the other half through an annual tax assessment of $100 for the next 5 years.

Going forward, homeowners will pay a small annual fee to a Municipal Service Benefit Unit (MSBU) — essentially a tax district — to maintain the former golf course as a park.

The County says a majority of property owners voted in favor of the acquisition of the golf course and the formation of the MSBU. But the vote was close: 51% in favor vs. 49% opposed.

Homeowner Diane Kobernick sued Pasco County in 2016, alleging an inflated purchase price for the golf course, and miscounting the ballots in favor of or against the purchase.

Kobernick and other homeowners are also concerned that the County will try to saddle homeowners with the cost of environmental clean up of the site. ♦


For this round of golf in Pasco, skip the scorecard and bring legal briefs By C.T. Bowen, Tampa Bay Times | Published May 28 Updated May 28


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