In a new proposal for the shuttered Boca Raton, Fla., club, 202 homes could be built on the golf course, but developers would leave the fairways untouched, keeping the door open for the creation of a park to appease residents. Since the golf course closed in 2005, developer Compson Mizner Trail Inc. and residents have been at odds over how to handle the property’s 130 acres.
Under a compromise proposal for the closed Mizner Trail Golf Course near Boca Raton, Fla., hundreds of homes could be built and neighbors could still get land for a new park, the Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Sun Sentinel reported.
Since the golf course in the Boca Del Mar neighborhood closed in 2005, developers and residents opposed to development have been at odds over what to do with the 130 acres of fairways, tees and putting greens that meander among homes. A new compromise proposal from the Boca Del Mar Improvement Association, which represents residents, calls for allowing 202 homes on the golf course instead of the 288 developers have proposed, the Sentinel reported.
The deal would also require the developers, Compson Mizner Trail Inc., to give much of the old golf course, mainly the fairways, to the neighborhood, with the hopes of turning that land into a park, the Sentinel reported.
The residents are awaiting a response from the developers, said Peter Sachs, attorney for the neighborhood group. The two sides are trying to work out a deal before a March 27 County Commission vote on the development proposal, the Sentinel reported.
“We are kind of like looking across the trenches here seeing if someone will put up the white flag,” Sachs said.
In 2006, residents and county officials objected to a proposal to build 202 homes on the closed golf course. This would be different, Sachs said, because the new homes could be concentrated near the shuttered golf course clubhouse and away from most existing homes. Limiting the area to build would make condominiums, instead of houses and townhomes, more likely, the Sentinel reported.
Also, the portions of the golf course property closest to most homes could be used to create a park that would preserve the open spaces many homeowners expected to be there forever, Sachs said.
The neighborhood group would prefer to buy the entire golf course and turn it all into a park, Sachs said, but so far hasn’t been able to agree on a price with the developers. If developers did agree to sell the entire property or go with the 202-home proposal, a deal would still be contingent on a neighborhood vote, Sachs told the Sentinel.
The Sentinel could not reach representatives of Compson Mizner Trail Inc. for comment.
Several development plans proposed through the years for the Mizner Trail property have been beaten back by opposition from Boca Del Mar residents who object to new homes and roads replacing open spaces and golf course views. Much of that neighborhood opposition remains to developers’ latest 288-home proposal, which would include a mix of houses and town homes, the Sentinel reported.
After years of stalemate over the future of the property, the County Commission in January delayed a decision on the developers’ latest 288-home proposal to allow more talks aimed at compromise, the Sentinel reported.
The neighborhood group and developers have had one meeting following the County Commission delay. It was “cordial,” but produced no deal, Sachs said. “We will keep trying.”
To try to improve relations with Boca Del Mar residents, the developers in January agreed to start mowing the entire golf course property to the same vegetation heights as required of lawns of surrounding homeowners. County rules only require a 25-foot buffer around the edge of the property to be mowed to that standard, the Sentinel reported.
The increased mowing is an improvement, but “there needs to be a long-term solution” to dealing with the overgrown golf course, County Commissioner Steven Abrams said.