Golden Gate Country Club closes amid condo issue

Posted at 6:49 PM, Jun 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-27 18:49:40-04

The Golden Gate Country Club, one of Collier County's oldest golf courses, is now closed - just months after the owner asked the county to rezone the land for a residential development.

In May, county commissioners voted to send the matter to court to let a judge decide, after nearby homeowners expressed concerns over their property values.

Employees of the Quality Inn at the golf course told Fox 4 that the course is closed for the summer, and are unsure if or when the course would reopen. Some nearby residents are concerned the closure could be permanent, and that construction could soon replace their view of the course's greenery.

"That's one of our fears, is that we're going to be staring at the back of condos instead of trees and nice grass," said Sean Alger.

He said his home's location right by the 18th hole of the Golden Gate Country Club was a major selling point when he bought it over 3 years ago. The owner of the course's attempts to rezone it for hundreds of residential and assisted living units now have him concerned about privacy.

"If it's multi-storied facilities, or condos...or assisted living, they're going to be staring down in my backyard," Alger said.

In April, Collier county commissioners passed a six-month moratorium on applications to rezone any other golf courses in the county. Fox 4 reached out to Commissioner Tom Henning, whose district includes Golden Gate, about what the closure could mean for the Golden Gate Country Club's rezoning application, but did not hear back Monday. 

Attempts to reach country club owner Robert Vocisano were also unsuccessful.

A golfer himself, Alger hopes the county can swing a deal to keep the course public, if the current owner doesn't reopen it.

"This would be a prime opportunity for them to take over this golf course and make it a municipal course," Alger said.

He said that crews have been maintaining the course, and is hopeful that the closure is only temporary.