Letter to the Editor: Selling Boca’s Municipal Golf Course

13

The Last Straw

I am a resident of Boca Raton for more than 40 years. I am also a golfer who enjoys the championship Boca Raton municipal golf course. It now appears that the Mayor and City Council are making every effort to sell the beautiful crown jewel Championship Boca Raton Municipal Golf Course to developers with the intent to make the residents believe that they are acting in their best intentions.  This is not true by any stretch of the imagination.

The Developers who are trying to buy the golf course property are not going to take over or maintain this golf course. They are going to destroy it to make apartments, condos and some single family homes out of the property. Developers will eliminate a prized diverse recreational facility that was built for our residents and guests. Our residents are being robbed by the developers with the assistance of the City Council.

These are the facts: The city council declares that to sell the Boca Municipal Golf Course and re-establish the Ocean Breeze Golf course is a win/ win, in that the city will end up with a great golf course within the city limits.  The Ocean Breeze Golf course is unquestionably a fifth rate, antiquated  golf course as opposed to the Boca Municipal Golf Course, which is first rate.

Ocean Breeze GC has limited total parking of 69 spaces that is not expandable whatsoever. I have had to wait many times for a parking place to become available so that I could play golf there. Boca Municipal has over 164 ready available spaces; quite adequate for the executive and main championship course, and it is expandable. It will cost millions to update the Ocean Breeze GC.  So who benefits?

Boca Teeca condo residents who reside along the golf course are going all out to have the Council approve the swap deal. They will be the beneficiaries in that the future selling price of their condos and homes will go up substantially.

The Ocean Breeze GC, formerly the Boca Teeca GC, was in its original conception an amenity for the residents of Boca Teeca, a semi-private community.   It is currently appraised by the county assessor for 3.6 million. The Boca Teeca residents are self-serving and fueling the City Council to sell the Boca Municipal Golf course. As far as financially, the Boca Raton City Council says they will get millions out of the deal selling the Boca Municipal Golf Course.  Boca Raton is financially a very wealthy city, and has almost 40 million in reserve cash in the bank.

So the question is why do we allow the Mayor and City Council to sell this property to developers who say they will put single family homes, and yes apartments, on the property. Boca Teeca residents have for years asked developers to build single family homes on the now closed Ocean Breeze GC property. The developers refuse this deal but instead want to build apartments. Boca Teeca residents totally reject this idea.

In terms of value, I am a property owner of residential homes, townhouses and commercial centers. The Boca Municipal GC land is worth more than 100 million in my opinion. Why the give-a-way to developers? This deal absolutely stinks. On the Boca Raton City web site, there are 10 un-solicited bids from developers to purchase the Municipal golf course. I question the word ‘unsolicited.’ We, the residents, need the real truth. The citizens of Boca Raton need to step up and stop this robbery of one of our most valuable assets. The City Council is supposed to be the guardians and leaders of our city, and not the ‘yes’ men/women who enrich developers at the resident’s expense.  I say shame on you if you deceive your residents that you are obligated to serve fairly and honestly.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Dick, you are obviously a west Boca elitist that wants to save your patch of grass. Sucks when someone wants to screw you and your friends over. Now you know how the east Boca folks feel. Have you ever been to a city council meeting when we were fighting for our grass? I doubt it. Now our grass is being paved over and 14 story buildings are showing up. Were you upset. I doubt it. Now we want to save a small chunk of grass at the old Wildflower site. I bet you don’t care. Maybe you will go there and eat twice a year… Here is what coming. The city council is going to steam roll over you and laugh while they do it. Sell Muni for $100 million ,put up 14 story buildings, 1000’s of new residents flooding traffic and making life miserable . Maybe than you will show up at the city council and/or get to know the fighters in the community. You support us and we will support you. Also, I agree with you. Jack
    mcwalter

  2. You are absolutely right. The Muni course is FAR superior to Ocean Breeze and Ocean Breeze can never be made into a first class golf course. It is a lousy deal for the citizens of Boca RAton and a “lose-lose” situation where we lose our best golf course and lose money. Whatever the city makes on the sale will be necessary to re-do the Ocean Breeze Golf Course, so I don’t see the reasoning? I play golf, my husband plays every day and our son and his son both play….we want a decent course that presents some challenge. The Muni course actually makes money and all the other golf courses around here lose money. Why bull doze a self sustaining golf course and create one that is going to always cost money to maintain. Dorothy M. Conde

    • Dear Dorothy, you sound like a west boca elitist that is pissed off that someone is stealing your patch of grass. How does it feel? The city council will steam roll you like you are nothing . Come on down from west boca and speak at the city council and look into their eyes as they say next speaker. Than you will know how east boca feels as we have been fighting for 8 years for our grass which is being paved over with 14 story buildings. You don’t care about downtown. We are fighting for a small patch of grass on the old Wildflower site. We want grass and they want pavement and a restaurant. Our fight is not your fight but it should be. We have a city council that is owned by the developers. Build everywhere and screw the little people. How does it feel being one of the little people? I know your type. Who cares? You will probably go to the new restaurant twice a year. Nice. But you lost the opportunity to take your grandchildren to go to a park and look at the fish. Your grass is more important than my grass. Right. Come talk to us. Get involved. You help us we will help you.

  3. Selling the golf course to developers will create a nightmare for Boca residents. Just in terms of traffic the location can not handle the present flow near to the turnpike entrance which is over loaded now and will be worse if the sale is enacted. Glades Road has an unusual amount of traffic now and is being considered to become a toll road with a toll lane .for the traffic. The access roads to the course are inadequate to handle the potential traffic and there have been many fatal accidents along Glades and near the corner of Golf Course Road. As a resident of West Boca I hope the council will not approve a rezoning of the property affected as they have in the past. With four communities facing the property and more than a few thousand residents interacted by the already busy traffic both on Glades and Lyons there should not be a sale. The property has an abundance of wildlife and birds and should be maintained instead of paving over every bit of grass in Boca

    • Dear Marc Dinner, your comment was pathetic . Let me understand this issue. You and your elitist west Boca golfers don’t want 1000’s of new neighbors in 14 story buildings since it would create more dangerous traffic. A 2 lane road will be too crowded . Give me a break. Try coming down to the corner of Federal and Palmato in 3 months after the hotel is done. Try driving down Palmato after the 500 units are complete. For the last 8 years east Boca residents have been trying to save 200 sq feet between these buildings and the city council has stuffed us just how they will to you. Now east Boca is trying to save a small patch of grass at the old Wildflower site and you people could give a damn . I had friends that giggled when I said that the city wants a restaurant there. They said I will go there a couple times a year and than laughed at me for wanting to preserve our last clump of grass. Save the birds story is pathetic. Grow a pair and come and help us slap this city council around. Get off your ass and get involved.

  4. Ocean Breeze is the only and largest green space left in the north end of town. It should be preserved for generations to come. Once its gone, we will never have the oppertunity again. Ocean Breeze is and was design as a championship golf course it was the envy of the state and fell into hard times. Many golf courses in the area are closing and being bought up by hungry developers, who will make a fast buck and then leave. They don’t care about the mess they leave behind; it’s all about the money. The municipal golf course west of the turnpike technically belongs to the county. It isn’t even in the city limits. It has been either braking even or losing money for years and brings no benefits to the City of Boca. Statistics show that more people, who don’t even live in the city, use it and we, tax payers, cover the cost . The competition where the municipal golf course is located is the main problem – too many golf courses there .Ospray is the best golf course in the area and is owned by the county. It brings in a revenue of over 1.5 million dollars annually to the county, while the city struggles to brake even. Just think of that golf course located in the city limits. It would be the Crown Jewel to the City of Boca and bring people to the area, who will spend their money in the city not to the store owners out west. Even with the Ocen Breeze golf course in the shape it was in, it still brought in 300 players a day . The City of Boca Raton deserve a first class golf course in city limits. Everything in Boca is first class and we deserve a first class golf course here. In response to a comment made Ocean Breeze golf course has ample parking. There are 145 parking spots on one side and 200 spots on the other side of 2nd Ave.But that’s not the issue. The site is over 200+ acres of valuable green space available. With all the construction going on at the north end of town off Clint Moore that is visible and more to come, we need to save as much green space now for the future that we can. Would you rather have developers like Lennar build 600 homes on Ocean Breeze and add to the congestion or build 500 home out past he turnpike which wont effect us you know my answer

  5. Dear Harry, what I find pathetic is how much golfers want to save their home courses. When they are effected by developers swooping in and paving all the grass they become activists. Above you said “we need to save as much green space now for the future that we can”. You are a liar. You should have said ” golf green space”. You don’t care about anyone elses green space. You don’t care about the Boca Muni residents. You are blind to what is going on in city council. Come talk and I want to see your face after you talk and they basically yawn and say next speaker. You will be squashed as a little person which you are. You don’t care about east people trying to save a small patch of grass at the old Wildflower site . We are trying to save all the grass . Boca Tecca, Muni, and a half acre on the inter coastal. Harry, you and friends ,get off your asses and come down to city hall and get involved. Get mad. I am.

  6. I play at the Executive and planned to join the Championship course. When I moved to Boca a couple decades ago it was SAID that no more land would be handed to developers but a change in REGIMES at the higher level of Govt SOLD THEIR SOULS to DEVELOPERS……Our GREEN areas have been disappearing as it is….This is just a travesty.

  7. Words matter but the tone of those words matter more. Before we start calling each other names and driving a wedge between groups, we had better find ways to come together and recognize that voting opportunities are coming up soon. How can you get the guy you have just slapped in the face to vote for your cause? If you scratch his back he just might scratch yours.

  8. Ocean Breeze has three championship quality design nines. Boca muni is a boring unexciting golf course with little to no character. The “update” Boca muni did about five years really took most of the intrigue out of that course. Ocean breeze certainly struggled over the past ten years and the conditions were terrible, leading to some of the negative perceptions of the course. There is parking on the east side of 2nd as well as the north side of Clint Moore which alleviate those concerns. Additionally the tennis courts could be cleared to make way for more parking. Boca muni is not within the city limits and most golfers I know greatly prefer to go Delray muni or Deer Creek. I think saving and preserving what could be a great golf course in the city limits is a tremendous win for city residents and all golfers in the area. The city of Boca should be known for having a great city golf course and that is far from the case now.

  9. I have lived for the past 29 years looking out at the Boca Municipal Golf Course. It is so horrible that developers want to come in and take away our Jewel. We DO NOT need more homes off of Glades Road. The traffic now is unbearable. Keep the green space and let us enjoy its beauty as well as its recreational value. The City Council does not care about its residents! We do not need another $100.00 per round city owned golf course. When will this madness end? Keep our Boca Municipal Golf Cousre!!!

  10. I live in the Boca Glades area in which I overlook the golf course. Very calming. Please keep as is…..Latest I’ve heard is they want to build apartments and Torah Academy with a campus… Oh God no!!

  11. I agree 100+%. I moved to Boca Raton and bought my home here to enjoy the Municiple GC. This is what makes Boca Raton stand out from other cities, these beautiful golf courses which are being destroyed. It’s awful! Eventually, Boca will lose her value due to developers wiping out our golf courses. I truly hope the city and council will take greater pride in Boca’s well known beauty and scenery rather than a bunch of appartments and more homes. If Boca continues to sell the golf courses, Boca will lose its beauty and be like the next ordinary town. It’s quite sad!

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