Monday, October 16, 2006

Cape Council to discuss buying golf course

By Don Ruane
Originally posted on October 16, 2006

About 150 people concerned about the future of The Golf Club are waiting in the Cape Coral City Council chamber to find out if the city will make an effort to buy the property.

City Councilman Tom Hair put the subject on tonight’s agenda for discussion.

The Golf Club’s 175 acres could become a jewel of the city’s park system, according to Hair. The course is located at 4003 Palm Tree Blvd.

The Golf Club closed Aug. 1 after losing $3 million over the past five years. The property is zoned for single-family homes but appears on the city’s land-use map as land for parks and recreation uses.

Residents who live near the course fear they will lose their golf course views and suffer a reduction in property values.

While some residents who live near the course want the city to buy it, the city has not made any moves to purchase the private business.

The Lee County School District tried in 2005 to buy the course for use as a five-school campus. But public outrage over the potential loss of the green space forced the district to withdraw its proposal.

Residents concerned about the future of the club after the school district tried to buy the land formed a nonprofit called Save Our Recreation. The leaders e-mailed members over the weekend and urged them to attend the meeting.

The Golf Club reorganized earlier this year to financially restructure the private business. Managing partner Scott Siler retained a 50 percent interest in the new company, Florida Gulf Venture LLC.