Photo: Robby Robertson

 

Bird Bay residents and the golf course owner sound off about the planned 70 villa home development in Venice

Francesco Abbruzzino, The Uncensored Report, LLC

 

 

I have received communications from a few residents in Bird Bay and Robby Robertson who is selling a portion of his property to a developer.  This morning the communications intensified from both parties, after the Herald ran a front-page story about 70 new homes being built.  So, I thought I would just give each a platform, so that they could communicate their point of view.  The readers can decide who to believe and if it is right for the city.

 

I do want to note that in the Herald article, they cover that Jeff Boone (attorney for the developer) held a zoom call that was capped at 100 participants.  So, some residents felt left out of the conversation.  During that call, he noted that the PUD allowed for homes to be build on this piece of property.   If this is accurate, the city may be hesitant to resist it because some laws like the Bert Harris Act have restricted local government and their ability to control the over development that is taking place throughout Florida.

 

 

The 70 villa homes in Hawks Run will sell for over $300.  As Robby will state below, he only sold a portion of the property and plans on renovating the golf course into an executive golf course with about 12 holes.  There are plans for a miniature golf course and a club house with a restaurant.

 

First will be from Robby Robertson, who owns the land that was sold to the developer.  After that I took some concerns that were emailed me by individuals that are against this development and embeded them into this article.

 

 

Robby Robertson

 

Here is the story behind yesterday’s front-page article in the Herald

 

So, for anyone who has been too distracted with life, there has been a undeclared and unnecessary war between two parties within the Bird Bay Community. The HOA leadership and the long-time owner of the executive golf course that BB surrounds, but, has never owned. In this age of dis/mis-information abounds, the simplest rumor becomes the truth, especially when repeated by anyone not qualified to share. Let me set the record straight and tell “the rest of the story”, as Paul Harvey famously used to say…

 

After trying for over 2 1/2 years to work with the BB village HOA management and basically ignored, it was clear the Community leaders didn’t want to engage in finding a win-win solution. So, late last year, in the middle of Covid, the owner of the Hawks Run Golf Course chose a different direction.

 

He wanted to not only dramatically improve and continue to operate the golf course, he wanted to do so for generations to come. Time had come to recreate golf for 21st century. The BIG question: How does Hawks Run accommodate both the current and seasonal residents along with the increasing younger population of Venice. The impact of Covid was significant to the kids of Venice with the YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, and local gyms being closed for extended periods of time. The new facility needed to provide activities for all generations.

 

Such new facilities take a lot of capital investment. So, after some research, the owner offered a portion of the golf course to a local developer/builder to partner in this adventurous undertaking. To set the record straight – the owner could have sold the entire tract of land to a national homebuilder and been done with it.

 

However, instead of selling out, which was his right, he chose another way. Let’s figure out an alternative path, and, make a lasting difference in the community. Together with the developer, they have devised a plan of action that not only brings needed affordable housing, but, also new facilities, restaurant, amenities, and a professional putting surface game that rivals Tiger Woods’ putt-putt operations.

 

The undertaking is very adventurous, a true commitment to making Venice better for all residents, especially set in the backdrop of these unsettling times and chaotic supply chain challenges. The creatively designed houses, or, “Villas”, are mostly one-story approximately 1250sqft homes that appeal to both the current demographic that resides in BB and those relocating to our area. Apparently, they must be, since 22 current residents have requested to be on the prospective Villa buyers list.

 

Without further ado, the owner and Development group are extremely excited and proud to present to the city of Venice – Hawks Run Village and Golf Community – with an innovative new golf course design, new clubhouse with restaurant, new professional “putt-putt” golf course, and amenities that include a pool and multiple pickle courts. It’s not only needed, its practical and addresses the challenges and trends we face as we enter into the 3rd decade of the 21st century.

 

I wanted everyone to know it’s not greed. I have a letter of intent from a national developer for 1.3 that I turned down because I want to continue our family legacy. Also, I offered the VILLAGE to turn the course into a private country club for $300 or $400 a year per condo. That included a new irrigation system, new golf course, restaurant and mini golf course while their ENTIRE family were members. The board never presented to the owners properly. When people read golf course sells out to developer they think GREED, this deal is about legacy and bettering the village and the community

 

 

Now the concerns that the residents of Bird Bay have with this development.

 

  1. Boone’s zoom meeting was comparable to the gong show, with 1000 people trying to log on to 100 zoom lines, possibly all taken by Boone and now Paradise Realty. Names change but Boone’s game is all the same. They can’t handle 12 parking spots but want to make 35 parking spots. 47 units to 70.

 

  1. It’s going to be a nightmare as the entrance area for the majority of units the latest developer proposes is extremely limited. Maps are great, but the people approving this need to physically see the spacing to get a better idea on what they’re approving. GC has about 18 parking spots that a nightmare to park at, but they want to increase to 35.

 

  1. The BLUF is owner of BB Golf Course (Robinson) has let it run down and could care less about it. This developer Pamco purchasing the GC to build villa/condos on the front 9 holes (located behind the community facilities and then a restaurant/club house/9 hole putting green on back 9) behind where the current GC check in to play is). Space is super tight and people will now be butted up to new homes that has limited entrance/exit road as only space between current space is between club house and first row of condos. About 100 feet.

 

  1. County required open green space of 10% coming into play as well as condos crammed into small area and backing next to existing homes.

 

  1. Other big issue is facilities that existing 1062 for BB units (pool, tennis, community center, gym, sports room, basketball, etc) are for BB not potential new units. And no amenities planned for these new homes. So, BB residents will become “guards” to keep out people from already overcrowded facilities by BB1026 units. Loosing required open space is a huge issue as it’s part of the reason folks purchased there.

 

  1. They held an open meeting with Jason of Pamco last April in front of GC that had hundreds attending, Jason said it’s a done deal and his company building. No permits have been issued by City of Venice.

 

  1. Notice on the Bird Bay site: This month two members of the Community Association’s Golf Course Committee met with Robby Robertson, the golf course owner’s son, and Jason Picciano of Hawk’s Run Development concerning Bird Bay’s Open Space. They learned that the survey work on the golf course property is being completed in preparation for them to move forward with a plan to develop portions of the golf course property. They shared that their plan is to develop on both the front and back nine holes of the property, create an 11-hole golf course, a clubhouse/restaurant and a putt-putt golf course. They did not present any drawings, elevations or specifics. They are hopeful to gain approval from the City of Venice to do so. As of November 1, 2021 no application had been filed with the city. Should we become aware of any application, we will communicate with the membership via

 

 

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