In the wake of Century Village residents mobbing city hall to protest yet another plan to develop the gated community’s defunct golf course last year, city officials moved February 11 to insure that the space remains, if not a golf course, at least undeveloped.
They passed on first reading an ordinance defining how open space may be used, and the words “cemetery” and “residential development” appear nowhere in the document. If it passes after a second public hearing on March 4, the so-called open space ordinance could achieve an improbable balance: preserving green area inside Century Village walls while keeping the public out with laws so restrictive, few alternative uses would be tenable.
“At this point, Century Village is trying to buy the golf course from the owner…they have been in negotiations for a year now,” said Richard Rosenzweig, the Deerfield Beach commissioner representing the village’s 17,000 residents.
Open space is a possible solution for this particular failed golf course. Like golf courses nationwide, Hillsboro Pines Golf Club has seen its clientele moving from golf carts to wheel chairs with no replacements in sight. Tam O’Shanter and Crystal Lake suffered a similar fate. The owner there tried to win approval of plans for multi-family housing, then of a 98-acre water theme park. Rejected on both fronts, the company finally offered 44.8 acres and $250,000 in a trust fund so the city could build a park. In exchange, the city granted permission to convert the rest to a cemetery.
With the Century Village golf course, owner Fairway Investors LLC, and principle Randy Bast struggled for two years to keep Hillsboro Pines solvent. Finally, Bast said, he was left with no alternative but to put up the “For Sale” sign.
Rebecca Medina, the city’s public information officer, said last February that two buyers had inquired about converting the property to a cemetery. The proposed ordinance, however, makes no mention of cemeteries.
And other uses seem so restricted as to be improbable, allowing, for example: Cabana Clubs exclusively serving a condominium or hotel located with 500 feet of (same) and owned by the same association…” and it would restrict structures within 30 feet of a residential lot and ban parking within 25 feet of any contiguous residentially zoned lot in separate ownership.”
A public hearing on the ordinance is slated for 6:45 p..m. March 4, at city hall, 150 N.E. Second Ave. For information, call 954-480-4200.
> Discuss this entry