Residents came away disappointed when Pasco County commissioners approved a plan to replace Quail Hollow Golf Course with houses, offices, retail and a day care center.
Nearby homeowners had argued for months that the project would devalue their property and harm the neighborhood’s residential character.
They also expressed concerns about flooding and increased traffic on inadequate roads.
Despite those concerns, commissioners voted 5-1 for the redevelopment project on July 11.
The matter first came before commissioners in March, but a final vote was postponed several times.
Commission Chairman Mike Moore cast the dissenting vote.
“We know we can’t keep the golf course open. I get it,” Moore said. “I was hoping we could stay more consistent with what the neighborhood is. That’s what (residents) were expecting for a long time to come. It sounds like they are losing that today.”
Andre Carollo, of Pasco Office Park LLC, plans to close the unprofitable golf course.
In its place, there would be up to 400 single-family houses, 30,000 square feet of office/retail and 10,000 square feet of day care.
The approval includes a long list of conditions — stemming from objections raised by residents.
There was little common ground between residents and the golf course’s owner.
When the matter came before the county’s Development Review Committee in March, it received a favorable vote.
Throughout the process, Pasco County planners also have stuck by their recommendation for approval.
“I understand. It comes down to a land rights thing,” said Pasco County Commissioner Mike Wells Jr. “We can’t tell him what he can and can’t do with his golf course.”
But, residents also claimed they have property rights. They hired Maureen Jones, a Sarasota-based attorney, to represent the Quail Hollow Neighborhood Citizens Group Inc.
Homeowners who bought their properties years ago cited a marketing campaign that convinced them that they were buying into a golf course community.
Attorney Barbara Wilhite, who represents Carollo, countered that the golf course was built prior to the subdivision. She also said the existing zoning of the golf course would allow residential development, likely at a greater density than the proposed project.
Jones said no decision had been made on whether to pursue legal action to challenge the project.
Published July 19, 2017