By: Sharon Aron Baron
The lagging interest in golf and country club memberships in Broward County had turned golf courses into new home developments, and the Woodlands Country Club in Tamarac is longer the exception.
The Woodlands Country Club, is a community of over 900 single family homes located off of Commercial Boulevard with a clubhouse and two 18-hole golf courses. Residents were informed that a meeting was held with just a few people selected by Tamarac City Commissioner Michelle Gomez to hear about a development proposal from 13th Floor Developers – developers of homes that are on the former Monterrey and Sabal Palm golf courses in Tamarac. According to sources, Commissioner Gomez has scheduled a second meeting on November 13 with the developer and has again invited residents selected by her. Developer 13th Floor Homes presentation will be to gauge the interest of homeowners in having their company build approximately 575 homes on the golf course property owned by ClubLink.
ClubLink Director of Operations, Jim Greene with ClubLink confirmed this: “It was recently brought to my attention that during our corporate efforts to finance the property we received some interest in developing parts of the property.”
He said that before the developer does anything, their intention is to engage the local community to help better understand the needs/wants, and from that, they hope to present a plan that would be deemed beneficial for all parties concerned.
Rabbi Kurt Stone, a resident of the Woodlands since 1983 said that reading about the possibility that ClubLink Corp. will be holding a ‘by invitation only’ meeting for the purpose of chatting up the dismemberment of the Woodlands golf course sent an icy chill up his spine and brought back memories of the Chait imbroglio and the long-lasting legal battles which ensued.
“Most of the great things going on in both Tamarac and the North Broward area were because of the people who lived on all the streets named after tropical trees,” said Stone. “The idea of turning that golf course into hundreds of homes was as inconceivable then as it is today. Nationally, we are going through a rough political storm. The one saving grace is that “we the people” are learning just how much power we possess when we band together and make our voices heard.”
Back in 2011, ClubLink Corp, owner of Heron Bay Golf and Eagle Trace purchased the Woodlands Country Club from the equitable members. At that time, ClubLink told the members that they were going to turn around the finances of the Club. For many years, the managers of the club said the club was profitable and they were not interested in having the golf course re-developed as homes. As recently as last month, ClubLink stated they were having the golf courses surveyed as a part of a refinancing effort.
Other Tamarac communities that lost their golf courses include the homes bordering the Monterrey and Sabal Palm Golf Course. Woodmont Country Club is the most recent community losing their 36-hole golf course when nine of the holes were sold to a developer. With that sale, residents lost their golf course views. However, the Woodmont project has taken 10 years to bring to fruition.
“If the Woodlands is to maintain its nearly half-century charm and uniqueness, it will be only because we the residents – both new and old – and our non-Woodlands friends – rise up and make voices heard, our disgust palpable,” said Stone.