Golf course closure concerns residents

ENGLEWOOD — The fervor from some Rotonda residents in the Broadmoor area over the Pinemoor golf course stems from claims of loss of property value with homes not currently on active golf course property.

A number of Rotonda residents are concerned over how the Rotonda West Association has handled the approximately 166-acre, abandoned nine-hole golf course property in Pinemoor East.

In a report from the Charlotte County Property Appraiser’s office, a sample of golf course lots from surrounding areas showed them valued at about $8,000 more than lots not on the golf course. The golf course lots at Broadmoor are valued at about $3,700.

Rally for Rotonda is a 700-member group consisting of residents from the Rotonda West Association.

Rally for Rotonda member Bruce Pattona said he initially got his property for $30,000 seven years ago.

Now Pattona claims he can only get $10,000 to $12,000 on the property.

‘Forget about the recession,’ Pattona said. ‘I’m just talking straight property value, because when I built, there was an existing golf course. You know yourself that anybody living on a golf course, their property is worth more. Mine isn’t anymore.’

Another issue with the land is claims of unmonitored activity at the area.

‘I’ve seen kids at night with dirt bikes and ATVs running on this property,’ Pattona said. ‘It’s (Rotonda Golf and Country Club Director of Operations) Bill Stine’s responsibility if someone gets hurt. Fine it’s on him, but if we take it over (the former golf property), then the responsibility is going to be on us. So there’s a long way to go. It’s not going to be settled tomorrow night, not by a long shot.’

Rally for Rotonda member Gil Guy says he doubts there will be any resolution in the near future about the property.

‘It’s highly unlikely because there are too many golf courses,’ Guy said. ‘Also, he chose not to keep that running as a golf course when he was required to buy Pinemoor West and East as a package. Therefore, he stripped it of irrigation not knowing that much about golf and golf courses with the money to reconstruct that back in.’

Guy said doesn’t know what the solution might be and he understands what Stine’s dilemma could be in the situation.

‘So who’s going to come along and spend millions of dollars to maintain a golf course that’s in competition with five others around the corner?’ Guy said. ‘I respect his motivation as a business person. I understand his dilemma, but not at my expense.’

Guy said Rally for Rotonda is just trying to keep its members informed.

‘I think there’s an expectation of the people who live around the golf course,’ said Jay Lyons, manager of the Rotonda West Association. ‘First of all, there’s an angst or anger over the fact that the golf courses are no longer there.’

Lyons says the anger is justified.

‘Some people bought land there a long time ago and didn’t build on it until the golf course was completed,’ Lyons said. ‘Some people bought land there when the golf course was operational and they thought it was going to be operational forever. They’re buying a house. They’re buying a location, but if the buyer isn’t happy with the location, it has nothing to do with the seller.’

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About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News, Examiner.com, and Tampa Tribune.
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