RIVIERA BEACH FLA. – Riviera Beach’s par 62 Lone Pine Golf Club has moved one step closer in ending its 40-year-old reign as an affordable alternative for beginners and duffers — and as a tranquil vista for homeowners nearby.
Riviera Beach’s City Council rejected the recommendation of its Planning and Zoning Board and voted 3-2 in favor to amend its comprehensive plan for rezoneing the golf course from recreational to single-family residence. This was in an often volatile meeting on Wednesday night.
Residents of 354 homes in Lone Pine Estates still hope that the fairways and greens will not be transformed into living rooms, kitchens, and swimming pools on the almost 64-acre property.
Douglas Lawson, City Councilman, said that the next step is to have the state review the matter before it goes back to the City Council for another reading and a final vote. He stated that the next step is for the state to review the matter before the City Council votes on the matter.
Lawson, Tradwick Mcoy, and Julia Botel were all members of the Council who voted in favor of the zoning changes. Shirley Lanier, KaShamba Miller–Anderson voted against.
Voting is a source of discontent for residents
Riviera Beach isn’t the only place that has converted its golf course to a development. Boca Raton, Florida sold its course for $66million and shut it down last year. To replace it, the city took over a private golf course.
A total of 60 residents from Lone Pine Estates attended the Riviera Beach council meeting. They expressed their disgust at being led to believe that some council members would stand against the development 124 single-family houses and 162 townhomes.
At least one owner of Lone Pine was present, along with representatives from D.R., the builder. Horton.
“We are the Riviera Beach stepchildren with red hair. Rochelle Baker Hughes, secretary of the homeowners association, said that she doesn’t know why they are here.
Steve Daniels, the lawyer for the HOA, stated at the meeting that 7 out of 10 votes cast by the Planning & Zoning Board against rezoning this property. A final vote will be taken by the council before the end the year. This gives homeowners living near the course the chance to voice their grievances.
Daniels stated, “You are taking one of the crown jewels in your city away from citizens.” “People living in Riviera Beach cannot go to BallenIsles or Admirals Cove, Mirasol, or Mirasol,” Daniels said. He also mentioned some private clubs nearby. He also added that the nearest public course charges twice as much.
The cost to walk at Lone Pine is $35 and the cost to rent a golf cart for 18 holes is $50
Ronnie Felder, Mayor of New York, took offense at Daniels’ assertion that the city was responsible for private property owners wanting to do what they wanted with their property.
“We don’t intend to manage a golf course. We are a municipality. We are not in this business. It is not the city. Felder stated that it is the owner and operator of the golf course.
Owner: The golf course will be closing regardless of any zoning changes
Chuck Gerlach, one brother of five who owns the golf course, informed the City Council that the course would be closed regardless of zoning changes.
He stated, “How you vote tonight doesn’t change the fact that we will close it.” “We cannot afford to keep it open any longer.”
William Burrs stated at the meeting that Lone Pine was the city’s golf course, and its conversion would only be the latest blow to residents who support development. He said that City Council members should keep their word, meet with citizens, and negotiate.
“We don’t have movie theatres. He said that he recalled a time when there were five banks and major grocery stores in the area. “That is why we don’t have these things now.”
Marvelous Washington is a Lone Pine Estates resident. Her parents were also Lone Pine Estates residents. Lone Pine is where she learned to play golf. The Post was informed by the former City Council candidate that there are already problems with congested traffic, drainage, and low water pressure.
She stated that “Additional developments will make these issues worse.”
Is affordable housing possible on the property?
Washington laughed at the suggestion by council members that this new development would provide housing for workers.
She stated that it seems like developers in Riviera Beach are getting a fair amount of land on the basis that they plan to build affordable housing.
However, Lawson told The Post that the cost of building housing will be around $300,000. This is affordable for city employees, firefighters, and police officers. Lawson also stated that he learned how to play golf at Lone Pine, and that it was difficult to vote for the zoning changes.
He said that the development would reduce the cost of big-ticket items like a new water treatment facility. If the subdivision is approved, councilman says long-standing complaints will be addressed.
“Water pressure will be addressed. He stated that we will demand it be done.
Baker Hughes wonders about her view at the 17th green, which she purchased in 2002 for an extra cost.
“The city should have found a solution to our drainage problems and low water pressure. She said that it shouldn’t depend on whether a developer will come in and build.
Baker Hughes stated that she hopes there will not be enough votes for the second reading of the plan after Tallahassee reviews it. That was her same hope as when she campaigned for City Council in her neighborhood. She promised to support the residents when it came time to develop the golf course.
They did not keep their word. She said it was very disappointing.