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Neighbors protest country club entrance proposed for their street

Posted at 10:50 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-15 22:50:26-05

LEE COUNTY — People living on Briarcliff Rd. in Lee County said Tuesday morning’s protest was just the beginning of their efforts to keep traffic out of their neighborhood.

They’re fighting a proposal from Fiddlesticks Country Club to add a gatehouse that would connect with Briarcliff, potentially bringing a lot more traffic.

“Briarcliff Road won’t support what fiddlesticks is proposing," said Richard Hayman, who lives on Briarcliff Rd.

What Fiddlesticks is proposing is to link Queensferry Dr. with the culdesac at the end of Briarcliff, allowing access to that road for the hundreds who live there.

“That’s going to be 1,500, 2,000 cars a day, plus all the other vehicles that come in to service," said Jerry Smith, the Blackhawk Homeowners Association President.

Several people came up to speak before the Commission Tuesday, even though the gate proposal wasn’t on the agenda, but the county said it just received the proposal last week, and it’s too early for this kind of response.

“We’ll be examining the condition of the road and the impacts of the connection as part of that process, but we have quite a ways to go. This is not something that would come back to the board for a public hearing," said David Loveland with Lee County Community Development.

That lack of a scheduled public hearing struck some as short-sighted.

“Here’s something that’s affecting thousands of people, and we think that there’s no reason to have public come out," said Robert Monetti, who lives in the Briarcliff neighborhood.

Ultimately, neighbors said they’ll keep fighting against the proposal, because they don’t want their road that they walk and bike on to become a highway.

“Fiddlesticks has a problem. Let them take care of their problem, don’t put it on us," said Hayman.

The county said it has 30 days to review the initial application from Fiddlesticks before responding, so this fight is going to stretch on into the new year.