Plans to bring homes to abandoned golf course gets pushback

Posted at 10:42 PM, Aug 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-18 07:27:14-04

A plan to develop an abandoned Cape Coral golf course could be moving closer to reality, despite opposition from residents.

The Golf Club of Cape Coral is located between Palm Tree Boulevard and Country Club Boulevard. The 175-acre site hasn't been used as a golf course for over a decade, but now the nation's largest residential construction company is hoping to put it into use as a residential community.

D.R. Horton Inc. would like to construct 600 single family homes on the site. The company is slated to present their development plan to Cape Coral's city council on Monday.

Council members will be asked to vote on D.R. Horton's request for a land use permit change from recreational to residential.

As you approach the abandoned golf course, there are small signs in several lawns expressing opposition to D.R. Horton's development plan.

"We rather not see houses back there,' said Pamela Engstrom. "We have our lanai in the back and it's a nice private view," she added.

The 175-acre lot is right behind her backyard.

"We see coyotes, we have raccoons," said Engstrom. Some residents believe wildlife encounters could increase if the lot is developed. The main concern; however, is traffic.  

"If you have 600 homes go in there you're going to multiple the traffic by 60 times," said Engstrom.

D.R. Horton is still negotiating a deal to purchase the land, however they plan to donate 11.5 acres to the city to be used as a public park if the deal is finalized.

Save Our Recreation, a group created to protest to development plan, doesn't believe the donation is generous enough.

"[Residents] want to protect this as an open space amenity; as a green space;  as a natural area. There's also some very interesting wildlife on the site," said Max Forgey, Save our Recreation member.

In a phone call, Southwest Florida Division President Jonathon Pentecoast told Four In Your Corner the company has worked with city officials to meet their requirements for the site.

"Whatever they do back there I hope they do something like, into a park, or something that would keep it serene," said Engstrom.