By Patti Fox
As a 17 year resident of the Woodlands, I have the benefit of having seen the community at its prime.
The Woodlands was a wonderful, prestigious place where people were once proud to live. Unfortunately, we are now sliding further away from that prime the community once had as each day passes, and no physical effort is taken to revitalize this once great community.
One thing we can all agree on is the reality that the Woodlands golf course is closed, and something must now be done to avoid the further decline of our community. Moving forward and supporting a viable solution is the challenging task our community now has before them. Accepting this change is tough, but we must come together as neighbors and be a meaningful part of the change. Saying “no” is easy, but it also secures our fate for years more of decline and despair. We would like to avoid that.
Over the course of several years, I’ve watched and listened as 13th Floor Homes has presented a variety of plan iterations to our community. Skeptical at first, I’ve grown to appreciate the open process they’ve run and their willingness to make changes that benefit our existing residents.
I’ve seen their plan shift drastically from a developer-friendly plan to one that provides substantial benefits to our community. 13th Floor has incorporated a variety of new amenities, a clubhouse, a much-needed trail system, community gates, nice landscaping, better curb appeal, and more. They’ve done this while preserving over 50% of the property as open space. And yes, there will be new homes, but these new luxury homes will undoubtedly help bring back the perception of our community as a premier place to call home.
I look forward to the day we can put this closed course behind us and enjoy a great community again.
The Woodlands isn’t the first golf course to fail and be redeveloped. This gives us the good fortune of being able to see, experience, and study the changes that come from the redevelopment. In all circumstances, those communities that have experienced a closure now look far better than they did when their course was closed and overgrown, much like the Woodlands is today. The data is clear, and even those opposed agree, a closed golf course is bad for values and what, for many, is their most important life investment.
The revitalization plan’s objectors have been noisy and even threatening at times. Take a spin through the community’s NextDoor or Facebook page, and you’ll see exactly what I mean. The objectors dispute data, studies, and analyses from professional engineers and planners without any sound logic.
They chastise our own city’s staff when they agree with the science. They’ve even sent around misleading mailings throughout our community. Most of these objectors don’t have the relevant professional experience, yet they’d have you believe that somehow their reasoning is better than science, engineering, and math.
The opposition leads you to believe that redevelopment of the golf course is dangerous to your health and well-being and continues with scare tactics of how the redevelopment will “poison” our residents.
What they fail to disclose is that redevelopment addresses the issue by remediating the site. Their argument is to do what? Leave contamination there? Or somehow, in their suggestion that the course will reopen, do so without disturbing the soils? That is impossible.
Clearly, if their concerns about arsenic were valid, they would welcome the remediation and of the old courses for the health and welfare of the community.
The opposition also leads you to believe that the revitalization plan will increase traffic on the already congested roadways. This is also false and misleading.
The revitalization plan includes millions of dollars in improvements to the major roadways in Tamarac. In fact, the improvements — which won’t happen without the development — will, as multiple traffic engineers have stated, improve traffic conditions, despite the addition of the new single-family homes. Notably, the traffic delays at Commercial and Rock Island will improve by over 40 seconds during the morning traffic hours and by over 30 seconds during the evening traffic hours.
When asked about alternatives to the current plan, the objectors have –and for years. — failed to offer a single viable option.
Lately, their running line has been to suggest that they have a company waiting in the wings that want to open the golf course back up and operate it. They won’t reveal any details, including how they intend to force a private property owner into selling the property to their “buyer” Their inability to offer up any form of reasonable alternative demonstrates that they are just grabbing at straws and will say anything to interfere.
I encourage all residents to understand the true facts of the revitalization plan that is being presented by 13th Floor and to please stop listening to the intentionally misleading information being presented by the vocal group of opposers, who may not have your best interest in mind. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised, given some of them are career politicians.
Tamarac has an ugly history of bad politics and corruption. We’re seeing many of those same names in the press again and interfering in the Woodlands matter.
Are we to assume these people have changed their ways and are now out for the genuine good of the community? Or is this just the same troubled past and disingenuous people coming back to haunt our city once again? We simply can’t allow this to happen to our great city again!
Mayor and commissioners – your residents, are counting on you to do the right thing and vote YES on the development. The proposed development has been approved at every level of government to date, technically reviewed and supported by professional planners and engineers, and has the support of the Woodlands neighborhood association.
Please, vote YES so our community can get back to what it once was and become a great place to live again.
Patti Fox is a 17-year Woodlands Resident and spokesperson for the Woodlands Homeowner’s Association.
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