Rotonda golf director talks about former course

ENGLEWOOD — Bill Stine, director of operations at Rotonda Golf and Country Club, and the Rotonda West Association board of directors all are at the center of controversy over the former Pinemoor East golf course.

Much of the ire comes from Rally for Rotonda, a group of concerned homeowners who say they bought property because it was on a golf course, and their property now is devalued because the land is no longer a golf course.

Stine says it is not feasible to make Pinemoor East a golf course again. The cost of rebuilding and irrigating the land, as well as equipment costs, would be around $1.5 million. He says he hopes the land would be developed into a park and recreational area.

‘Living next to a preserve area increases the value of your house,’ Stine said. ‘If you back up to a preserve, a state preserve or a recreational preserve, your property value will go up. I think there’s value in that, plus, if it’s a nicely kept park for the homeowners association, I think that adds value as well.’

Stine says he has explored options with developers but insists on keeping the land for use for the homeowners.

‘I am not entertaining conversations of developers or anyone who’s not going to be in the best interest of the homeowners and the Rotonda community,’ Stine said. ‘I’m a big part of the Rotonda community, and we’re not in the business of selling our golf courses. My sons are involved. David Kelly, who grew up there, is involved. We plan on being there for a long time.’

When Rotonda Golf and Country Club acquired the property in the Broadmoor section from the FDIC at a bid auction, Stine found some unpleasant surprises.

‘When we bought it, the 18 holes of Pinemoor West was open,’ Stine said. ‘It was in real bad condition. The pump station wasn’t quite working very well, things like that, but the nine holes of Pinemoor East, they were not open. They haven’t been open for a couple of years. They had to shut it down.’

The FDIC previously seized the property in a foreclosure from a local Florida Community Bank — the very same bank that foreclosed on the property from local developer Dennis Fullenkamp.

‘It was more difficult to get (Fullenkamp) to do anything with that property, and more difficult with the FDIC, than it has been with Rotonda Golf Partners,’ said Jay Lyons, manager of the Rotonda West Association in a previous Sun story. ‘Rotonda Golf Partners has maintained that course over the last year significantly more than the other two parties maintained it over the past three years.’

Fullenkamp could not be reached for comment.

The previous owners ran Pinemoor East for one season before shutting down.

‘In the meantime, between both foreclosures, the pumps in the pump station were taken out by somebody,’ Stine said. ‘We don’t know by (whom). When we took possession of the property, most of the irrigation heads were missing and some of the piping was missing from the irrigation system itself.’

With the golf course dormant and irrigation stripped, much work would need to be done to make it operational again.

‘For a golf course, that means it went to seed, which means you have to start all over again,’ Stine said. ‘It was completely dismantled, as well as equipment-wise.’

‘The east course gets bush-hogged (maintained with a mower designed for rough terrain) anywhere from four to six times a summer,’ David Kelly, general manager of Rotonda Golf & Country Club, said in a previous Sun story.

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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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