New construction proposals may be on the horizon as a need for more homes spreads across golf courses west of Boca Raton. Some speculate that fairways and putting greens will be repurposed for these neighborhoods. The latest clubs to experience a housing shortage are Boca Dunes Golf and Country Club and Boca Greens Country Club.
In talks with a preliminary plan for the addition of 245 townhomes on 31 acres of the golf course, the Boca Dunes facility is considering expansion at the community south of Palmetto Park Road and west of Lyons Road.
About 70 townhomes planned across 11 acres is a consideration at the Boca Greens. Expansion into the golf course clubhouse area. An additional 10 acres of open space is another site with potential, at the community near Kimberly Boulevard, west of State Road 7.
A change is taking place here. Once the land and space was among the amenities for home buyers. Now these spaces are attractive to developers.
Rebecca Caldwell is the executive director for the Palm Beach County Planning, Zoning and Building Department. Caldwell said "A lot of golf course conversions are taking place, not just in Palm Beach County … The desirability of the land for residential [development] is a driving force." Caldwell stated that these talks were only preliminary and no plans have been committed to.
This is a controversial issue among Palm Beach County residents. Those who bought homes here a decade or more before did not expect parks and golf course views obstructed.
Precedent for this was set in 2013: county commissioners approved blueprints to erect 689 homes plus an assisted-living facility. To do so they used land from a closed golf course, near Century Village, west of West Palm Beach. The commissioners took it upon themselves to build on the closed, overgrown golf course that had been deemed an eyesore.
In a similar move, builders have lobbied for over a decade to build on Mizner Trail golf course in the Boca Del Mar neighborhood. Located west of Boca Raton, Mizner Trail has been closed for some time. The organization of Compson Mizner Trail Inc. proposed a plan for 288 homes on the 130-acre golf course that occupies Boca Del Mar.
Residents are in conflict with Compson Mizner Trail Inc. Neighbors are worried about an increased traffic and noise presence. Plus they do not want to lose their golf course views. The community has been able to influence the County Commission to reject the building plans.
On June 26 Mizner Trail golf course will present building plans to the County Commission for consideration. According to Caldwell, new construction may take place despite community opinion, as is the trend taking over the area.
The County Commission will have the final say on the development approval. The Boca Greens and Boca Dunes building plans may move forward in the end.
"[We] understand the dilemma" said County Commissioner Mary Lou Berger. The dilemma between development versus preservation. "It depends on how they are going about it," Berger goes on to say. It depends on whether the district includes the two new potential golf course conversions. The impact on the community is important to study.
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