Despite impassioned pleas from residents of Quail Hollow, it appears that the Quail Hollow Golf Course & Country Club soon could give way to residential and retail development.
Property owner Andre Carollo, of Pasco Office Park LLC, is proposing to build a maximum of 400 single family homes, 30,000 square feet of office/retail and 10,000 square feet of day care.
The golf course is located on Old Pasco Road in Wesley Chapel.
More than 20 residents attended a public hearing of Pasco County’s Development Review Committee on March 9 in Dade City.
Committee members agreed to recommend approval of the project to the Pasco County Commission.
County commissioners will have another public hearing, where they will make the final decision.
Many residents speaking in opposition to the proposal said they bought their homes decades ago when it was marketed to them as a golf course community, with large lots, ranging from 1 acre to 3 acres.
Land use attorney Barbara Wilhite said the golf course – built in the 1960s – pre-dated the home sales.
There never was a master-planned golf course community, said Wilhite, who represents Pasco Office Park LLC.
The golf course shut down in 2008 and reopened in 2011.
Its website touts Quail Hollow as “more than just a golf course” with a restaurant and banquet facilities for weddings, parties and special events.
Residents are worried about losing their rural enclave.
But, they also raised issues about ongoing flooding in the neighborhood and concerns about increased traffic.
Boom Boom Drive currently is the only access road off Old Pasco Road into the golf course.
A traffic engineer for Pasco Office Park described intersection improvements that would add right- and left-hand turns on Old Pasco to improve traffic flow. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2019, about the time new residents would be moving into their homes.
Flooding already is a chronic problem for homeowners, said Edward Glime, who lives in the area.
“We can’t stop them from building on the golf course,” he said. But, he asked: “Is it (water) going to be running like a river? “What kind of erosion is going to be happening to my property?”
Engineer Greg Singleton said a drainage system would be designed to “provide more area for floodwaters to spread out.”
Resident Jeanne Luczynski was skeptical.
“The flooding is tremendous in the rainy season,” she said. “We need more assurances that this is not going to be worse.”
Pasco County Administrator Michele Baker expressed sympathy for the residents’ plight.
But, the reality she said is that “golf courses are a dying breed.”
At least three in Pasco County have shut down, including the now-closed Magnolia Valley Golf Course in New Port Richey.
Residents either face redevelopment or finding a way to buy the land to stave off new housing construction.
Plantation Palms Golf Course, in Land O’ Lakes, is one community that opted to hold onto its golf course, but Baker said it was at a “premium.”
She did make a promise to residents about flooding when the final plan came to the county commissioners.
Baker came to Pasco County initially as its emergency management director. She also has dealt with flooding problems countywide in recent years from heavy summer rains and tropical storms.
“I hear you,” she said. “We will be reviewing it with a very jaundiced eye and make sure there is no negative impact.”
Published March 15, 2017