This Is our Village

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Hi all,
The following article is extracted from the Palm Beach Post:
Dave Israel


Battle heats up over proposed project near Century Village

Alyssa Orr/The Palm Beach Post
County commissioners plan to vote Thursday on plans for homes and shops on the site of a failed golf course. The developers say Century Village would benefit, but many residents disagree.
By Jennifer Sorentrue

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Updated: 10:56 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012
Posted: 8:11 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012
WEST PALM BEACH — Andrew and Ana Waldman have big plans for the failed golf course they own near the corner of Okeechobee Boulevard and Haverhill Road.
They have spent months working on a plan to replace the overgrown links with a community of residences and shops on the 70-acre property in suburban West Palm Beach.
The development, to be called Reflection Bay, would have a civic center to host art fairs and farmers markets, and a "grand inn" to lodge visitors and relatives. And the Waldmans plan 689 houses, apartments and lofts.
But their plan is drawing fire from some residents living in nearby Century Village, many of whom say they were told the golf course would be there forever.
The development, they argue, threatens to destroy their quality of life, overload nearby roads and eliminate views of the former course.
Loretta Cuccurullo said her children purchased her home in Century Village because it overlooks the golf course. She worries construction of the development would be harmful to her husband, who suffers from asthma.
"This place is like heaven," Cuccurullo said. "I am fighting to protect it."
The Waldmans argue that their project would benefit Century Village - increasing property values and providing easy access to shops and cafes.
"Everything that we are doing is not an interruption to Century Village, but a complement," Andrew Waldman said.
Palm Beach County commissioners are scheduled to vote on the plan Thursday.
Century Village residents have been filling their mailboxes with letters opposing the development.
Opponents plan to protest Tuesday along Haverhill Road.
The county zoning board recommended approval of the development Dec. 2, despite pleas from many in the overflow crowd.
But not all Century Village residents oppose the project. Several supporters argue that many in the community are fearful to speak in favor of it.
Eunice White, who has lived in the village for 27 years, questioned what would happen to the land if the project isn't approved.
"The only thing this is going to do for Century Village is enhance it," White said.
The course was built as part of the more than three-decade-old Century Village community. When the area was mapped out in 1973, records show, a restriction was placed on the golf course property that required its owner to continue to use the land as a golf course "in perpetuity."
Century Village residents contend that restriction should not be lifted simply because the course is no longer profitable.
"To change this long-standing promise is just wrong," attorney Ralf Brookes, who represents a group of Century Village residents, told the county's zoning commission last month.
But the Waldmans argued that the restriction was never included as part of the deed.
Land planner Kerry Kilday, who represents the couple, said it is impossible to keep a golf course on the site. The fairways closed in 2008 after operating for years in the red, he said.
"I am totally unaware of a single golf course in Palm Beach County that has shut down, reopening," Kilday told the zoning board. "It just doesn't happen."
At least one member of the board said the project could help the area.
The board, which reviews projects before the county commission, voted 6-1 in favor of the development.
"I think this project will invigorate this area," board member Mark Beatty said. "It is going to give some development there, and some new life."

1 comment:

  1. Andre Veilleux
    10:18 AM (10 hours ago)

    to jennifer_soren.
    I am one of the 7000 + owners of a condominium in Century Village and like about 70% of the residents I am a snowbird and totally opposed to the zoning change proposed by the Waldman.

    Your first paragraph states that Ana and Andrew Waldman have big plans. You should have stated instead that THEY HAD big plans for their wallet when they purchased this golf course. History shows that they totally neglected the maintenance of the course and increase their rate so to make it almost unplayable and therefore had no other recourse but to close it. I witnessed that myself.

    Immediately after closing the course, the Waldman had an agreement for $17,000,000. million dollars with D.H. Horton Construction ( one of the biggest developer in Florida and United States ) to build on it.

    After strong objection by thousands of residents at Town Hall meetings held by D.H. Horton, the company pulled out its offer and wrote a nice letter saying that they do not want to go in an area where they are not welcome.

    What a disappointment for the Waldman. They paid the property $ 2,600.000 and lost an offer of $ 17,000.000.

    Now the Waldman are not welcome in Century Village but they still want to build. What a change in mentality from D.R. Horton days.
    Have you asked them these questions?
    Are they sincere?
    Have they ever developed a project like this somewhere else?
    What happened with the other two golf courses they bought before in the Delray, Boynton Beach area?

    Community drawings are easy to do with computers these days and inexpensive also.

    Is it not that the real reason for the zoning change is that once approved, the Waldman will find another Horton Construction and flip the land over to the highest bidder once the economy turns around.

    What will be left for us the neighbours? A housing project at our door, traffic, water, and security problems and our quiet days under the sun gone.

    As for playing golf with your long time friends and neighbours, you either abandon it to play some other society games that brings no added value to the economy of the state or you drive a fair distance to other courses risking your life on the busy roads of the County.

    Thank you


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