ROTONDA WEST — Dean Ziegler and his wife were out on their driveway one day asking, “Wouldn’t it be great if (the former Pinemoor golf course) were a park and that people can walk in it?’
Ziegler, a land developer for over 10 years, and 52 other Rotonda West residents voiced their opinions at a Rotonda West Association meeting Wednesday to a committee created to decide the future of the property.
“I think it’s commendable that (Rotonda West Association) was able to acquire the ground,” Ziegler said. “I think the approach they’re taking is very good. It’s a very logical approach to put together a park.”
Ziegler said the planning committee needs to factor in a number of things before proceeding.
“They need to inventory a lot of things,” he said. “You need to inventory the property, inventory where it stands permitting-wise, get plans of the golf course. You need input from people on what they want to do and don’t want to do.” Ziegler said research and organization are crucial to proper development of the park.
“We need to determine what initial uses people can enjoy on the property right now, whether it’s walking, riding bikes, passive activities and stuff like that,” he said.
Ziegler said it shouldn’t take long for the property to be rebranded as a park.
“When you divide it up, it’s like any other project,” he said. “You take a land development. You start off with feasibility work. You have to do zoning. You do due diligence and so forth. It’s the same kind of approach. With that, you chart out, put a schedule there and say ‘These are going to be our priorities.’ That’s the approach I take, just like a regular land development.”
Jay Lyons, RWA manager, said everything is set in motion.
“This was the purpose of this meeting, to bring all the members of the committee who could make it here, so the chair of the different committees and the board of directors can talk to them about their ideas and their concepts,” he said. “The contracts were signed. We have a deed. It’s been recorded. Charlotte County Property Appraiser shows that Rotonda West is the owner. I’ve been out there looking at the maintenance issues, working with John Farrell (a Rotonda West resident and RWA canal maintenance contractor who donated the $50,000 to purchase the property) from Florida Aquatics, working with the different contractors that we’re talking to about maintaining the area, talking to other vendors about making changes to the metal buildings out there, so in the future we can store our mowing equipment out there. As far as we’re concerned, we’re moving ahead, fullspeed ahead.”
Lyons said he believes the park could be finished in the next year. The RWA will maintain the property in the meantime.