Friday, October 19, 2007

Golf Club owners face fine over grass

By Terry Brady
Originally posted on October 19, 2007

Grass that was once finely manicured is now growing out of control in Cape Coral.

Florida Gulf Venture, the owners of The Golf Club — which shut down in July 2006 — was found guilty of the city’s overgrowth ordinance at a city hearing Thursday.

“I’ve been getting very upset over the condition of The Golf Club,” said Cape Council member Dolores Bertolini. “They keep saying they’re going to mow, they’re going to mow, but they haven’t.

“I told staff to come down hard.”

The property owners face a fine of $75 a day if they do not cut the grass on the property at 4003 Palm Tree Blvd.

“The special magistrate ordered compliance by Nov. 5,” said Mike Van Deutekom, Cape Coral code enforcement section manager.

Representatives of Florida Gulf Venture could not be reached for comment.
Van Deutekom said the judge ruled that the majority of The Golf Club property was in compliance with the ordinance that requires grass to be no taller than 12 inches. But Van Deutekom said the judge also ruled that a lot of the fringe areas needed to be cut.

The grass in the fringe areas is well over 12 inches, Van Deutekom said.

“It’s a mess over there,” said Zunirka Boucher, who lives across from the old golf course at 4018 Palm Tree Blvd. “It’s unbelievable. It’s disgusting. It brings the look of the area down.”

Boucher said she was thrilled about the ruling.

“They should fine them,” she said. “They just let (the property) go. It used to be beautiful. What a shame.”

Boucher’s neighbor, Joe Faulkner, 63, who lives next door, said the ruling didn’t really affect him.

“It doesn’t bother me,” he said. “But that’s just me. If my neighbor’s grass was high, it wouldn’t bother me either.”

A hearing to check on the property owners’ compliance is scheduled for Nov. 15. A lien could be placed on the property if Florida Gulf Venture is not in compliance at that time.

“I gave them enough time to take care of this,” Bertolini said. “For eight months I’ve been telling them. It’s overgrown and it looks terrible.”