Thursday, September 24, 2009

Reflections on Meeting with Developer of Former Golf Course

I too attended one of the recent small group presentations by Drew Waldman, the developer of the former Turtle Bay Golf Course. It was an enlightening and helpful time, because until then, despite the fact I had been to many delegates meetings, I really didn’t understand what was going on relative to the old golf course. Others who attended felt the same.

Mr. Waldman’s plans are to have moderately-priced housing, varied in style, a maximum of 550 units in all, in a village-type setting—that is, with some small shops and stores for use by the residents. These shops would not be there for use by the general public, but Mr. Waldman would welcome an arrangement whereby people in Century Village could patronize them. In fact, Mr. Waldman made it clear several times that he looked forward to doing almost anything cooperatively with the Village.

I was puzzled when I first saw the large map showing his development and the edge of our Century Village property. There were two large lakes—were they ours? No, they explained, these were lakes on their property that they would build, which would not only provide some pleasant scenery, but also form a kind of buffer zone between their housing and our Village. In other words, their lakes, not their housing would abut our property.

What I learned at this informal meeting was heartening. It seemed from the plans that those Villagers who live with a nice view of the golf course would now perhaps have an even nicer view with the lakes and surrounding grass areas. It seemed too that with this buffer zone, we might not have to be as concerned as we were with Village break-ins. The plans, we were told, are not for this to be low-income housing, which might bring in a bad element. It occurred to me that not only the lakes, but their village as well might provide our Village with a buffer zone from crime.

I know nothing about the zoning or legal aspects of this, but I believe Mr. Waldman seemed amenable to our putting up a fence if we wanted to have one. Perhaps in whatever agreements, if any, are involved, this could be written in as okay to do if we felt in the future we wanted it. There is no fence now, as has been noted in this blog. I understand that many Golf’s Edge residents like their view without a fence being interposed. Plus, a fence would be expensive, as Dave Israel pointed out at this meeting, costing maybe well over $100,000.

Something is bound to be done in time about the former golf course land. Turtle Bay was a losing proposition; I think it is dreaming to expect another golf course to take its place. It seems to me that what Mr. Waldman plans could very well be a plus for the Village and the general area in which we live. As one person at the meeting pointed out, the best overall solution for high-crime areas in decline is to step-by-step improve them with good neighbors. This person described how this was done in Hoboken, NJ, a successful effort which then spread to some surrounding towns.

The one thing I am uneasy about is the added traffic. Mr. Waldman did not have an answer for this, saying this would be a matter for the county or town to work out. I would guess at the least it would mean another traffic light on Haverhill between our entrance and Okeechobee.

I would like to see Mr. Waldman be able to present his plans to the officials of the Village and enter into discussions with them. I understand there has been an ad hoc “golf course committee” in the Village for some time. This is fine, and it is quite natural given that these people abut the golf course. But neither they nor groups like the one I attended represent the Village as a whole, and the whole Village has a concern about what replaces the golf course. After Mr. Waldman and his assistants have met as many times as they need to with a legally representative committee of Village officials, then there could be a presentation at a delegates meeting.

Lanny Howe


elaineb said...

UCO Reporter October 09
“Motion by Honey Sager to ask WPRF to hold a Town Hall Meeting re golf course. Seconded. Discussion, voted unanimously accepted”.
I think this needs to be amended per Lanny’s common sense, that CV officials should receive a Waldman presentation, and then set up the Waldmans and their info for a full village meeting. The way the motion reads now it could be a non-Waldman, non-plan meeting! Shapkin would love that.

Anonymous said...

There is an unconfirmed rumor that the President of UCO is reverting to type.

To wit, he has scheduled a SECRET meeting with Mr. Waldman (The Golf Course owner), and the Chair Persons of the UCO Safety and Security Committees.

Other Officers of UCO and Unit Owners of CV deliberately excluded!

This rumored meeting to take place on Friday, 25 September, 2009 in the UCO Office.

Can anyone confirm or deny the fact of this meeting?

If true, this meeting should be crashed with great prejudice!!!


Anonymous said...

Last week Drew Waldman said that although he had seen the UCO letter in the UCO Reporter he had not received any such letter. Did you send it certified mail George?

nike said...

Note how much more positive everyone is who has been to a Waldman presentation and actually seen the plans, as opposed to those who thrive on scary rumors and drama.

Anonymous said...

No scary rumors or drama, just realistic facts of life being ignored by the supporters of the golf course development.
Waldman is a businessman, who's business is purchasing property for one reason and one reason only, to then convert it for residential or commercial use. He is a salesman, who will do and say anything to turn a PROFIT. That's all he is interested in. He will tell us anything to keep us from resisting his greedy, self-serving motives.
Unfortunately, he has been encouraged by UCO's inaction and all the in fighting among the residents.
If this development is built, we will have to live with years of construction with the obvious noise, filth and traffic that goes with it.
Waldman will stress the few positives, but after he's gone and this moderately priced/workforce housing project,
will become a low income/renters paradise due to current and future economic and social conditions.
Among other reasons, most senior citizens move to Century Village for "peace & quiet". No children, pets, a minimum of traffic and most important the security that a gated community offers.
It is this sense of security that is threatened. Our neighborhood has unfortunately become more dangerous for senior citizens in recent years. Why would we invite all these obvious dangers into our backyard?
Waldman still refuses to separate his development from ours with a fence or wall, and he won't be around when security issues become
Will the Waldman supporters then admit, they were wrong? No!, some people never learn, especially those who know nothing about everything.
This is not the time or place for any housing within our village!

Sy said...

A senior gated development would make me feel better. However, has anyone tried to drive south on Haverhill or west on Okeechobee during any weekday rush-hour? Just add 550 more condo's and traffic would become even more impossible. Carbon monoxide is not a pleasant thing to inhale, even as a secondary effect. The Waldmans presentation reminds me of a time-share show. It looks and sounds wonderful until you get home, and reality sets in. I am still inclined to oppose the project.

Mike said...

The way the RE Market is going, half the people in CV will be dead before new developments will be feasible. No jobs, millions of foreclosed homes yet to come on the market and by the time excess capacity is bought up ,inflation will raise it's ugly head. Between lack of jobs and higher interest rates you can forget housing expansion for years to come. Just one mans opinion.

Anonymous said...

To Anon Sep 24, 2009 11:40:00 PM:
After reading your long rant, the only item that isn't just your opinion is the fence situation. If Waldman won't build a fence (he said he would consider one), CV can build the fence.

Anonymous said...

To Mike,

You are absolutely right. Half of us will be dead and who cares what they build. The economy is in the tank, people are leaving Florida by the droves.

So let them build or not. Why waste our precious time worrying over what will be. Get a life!

Mike said...

Either CV goes all out and fights rezoning or it doesn't. Waldman got caught in the market downturn and has no way of ever getting his investment back for a long time, even with rezoning. He gambled and lost,thats his problem. CV must decide what it wants. Thats all I saying.

marc v said...

As the old saying goes money talks BS walks.

Lindy said...

The free-market fact remains that Mr. Waldman bought the property and he owns it. He therefore has the right to do with it what he wants, irrespective of what the CV residents want.

I have been appalled at the lack of understanding of this basic principle of our republic, the right to property.

It's my understanding that CV had the opportunity to buy the property and declined to do so. So why are those non-owners now demanding that they have the right to determine what Mr. Waldman can do with his own property that he purchased with his own money?? If we want him to show respect for our property, are we then not obligated to show respect for his?

If you want to control the property, then pony up for the purchase price. This is the way we do it America, we are not the United Socialist States of America with communal ownership of property... At least not yet.

Lindy said...

PS.... Yes, Waldman is in it "for profit", as is every other business entity in this country. Without profit, businesses don't employ people, can't give them health and retirement benefits, can't expand, can't do ANYTHING that keeps our economy strong.

The profit motive doesn't necessarily presuppose lying, although they aren't mutually exclusive in all cases.

BUT... If "profit" is such a reprehensible motive, there are a number of non-profit-oriented economies which may welcomes those who despise "profit". Cuba, Russia, Angola, and other countries come to mind. And they have such a high standard of living and so much personal freedom, too.