Grove XXIII Developer Fined for Polluting St. Lucie River

By | February 19th, 2018

The Club, which is developing the Hobe Sound, Fla., golf course that is partially owned by basketball legend Michael Jordan, will be ordered to pay $5,512.50 in civil penalties and $2,500 for the cost of investigating how runoff from the construction site sent a plume of dirty water into the river in early February.

The developer of Grove XXIII in Hobe Sound, Fla., which is partially owned by basketball legend Michael Jordan, will be fined more than $8,000 for polluting the South Fork of the St. Lucie River, the Stuart, Fla.-based TC Palm reported.

C&RB has reported on the issues the development has run into throughout its development.

The South Florida Water Management District will order Vero Beach, Fla.-based The Club to pay $5,512.50 in civil penalties and $2,500 for the cost of investigating how runoff from the golf course construction site sent a plume of dirty water into the river in early February, TC Palm reported.

The district will send a consent order with settlement terms, including the total $8,012.50 fine, to the developer within 21 days, said spokesman Randy Smith.

The 226-acre property is bordered by agricultural land to the east, south and west and by Atlantic Ridge State Park to the north. District staffers in a helicopter February 2 confirmed work along a canal on the property was sending dirty water through a series of canals and into the South Fork, Smith said.

Chocolate-brown water from the runoff extended downstream “at least three or four miles” from near the construction site in the uppermost South Fork, said Ed Stout, owner of South River Outfitters, a kayak shop on the river. A photo from the helicopter showed a plume of dirty water approaching the bridge, TC Palm reported.

In a letter emailed February 2, the district ordered Rick Melchiori of The Club to “take immediate actions” to stop sediment from running off the construction site and into the river. Construction crews stopped the runoff soon after the order, Smith said, and district staffers visited the site while “corrective actions” were taken, including additional turbidity barriers, sod on ditch banks and plugs in canals and ditches, TC Palm reported.

After a meeting with the developer and district staffers at the site February 13, Smith reported efforts to “control turbidity are working properly. Field readings show turbidity levels are below state triggers.”

The district staff “will keep a close eye on construction until the project is completed,” Smith said, and will “reopen the enforcement case should any violation of permit conditions reoccur.”

Melchiori declined to comment to the TC Palm.

Melchiori also is general manager of Becker Holding Corp., owner of the 189-acre site in western St. Lucie County where the company proposed to build a composting facility to be run by CompostUSA. The application for the facility, which would have taken in human waste from sewage treatment plants, was withdrawn after a study by an independent engineering firm said the site likely would pollute the North Fork of the St. Lucie River, TC Palm reported.

Becker Holding and Melchiori have several permitted projects with the district, Smith said, but the golf course “is the only enforcement action for the company and individual.”

TCPalm in October 2016 reported Jordan would be principal owner of the private club to be known as Grove XXIII. Regarded by most authorities as the greatest basketball player of all time, Jordan’s jersey number was 23 during most his career, TC Palm reported.

Grove XXIII will include an 18-hole golf course, driving range, 9,800-sq. ft. clubhouse and maintenance facilities, TC Palm reported.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *