Sarasota government votes to permanently preserve Bobby Jones Golf Course – FOX13

Francesco Abbruzzino, The Uncensored Report, LLC

 

 

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City of Sarasota
 
The City Commission unanimously approved placing a conservation easement on Bobby Jones Golf Club, restoring the historic 18-hole Donald Ross golf course, and constructing a new 9-hole adjustable course and clubhouse. The Commission took the action Monday during an all-day special meeting.
 
The conservation easement will limit the use to recreation, parkland and green space in perpetuity.
 
“Securing a conservation easement on 261 acres of urban green space is a historic legacy action,” said Mayor Erik Arroyo. “Future generations are guaranteed this beautiful natural area, that eventually will connect to the Legacy Trail, will permanently exist as parkland for residents and visitors to enjoy.”
 
The reconstructed Bobby Jones municipal golf course will be downsized from 45 holes to 27 holes and will now include the infrastructure for a 150-acre nature park while improving water quality. Wetlands will be created to filter stormwater as it flows through the Bobby Jones property, which is located within a significant regional watershed, and ultimately ends in Sarasota Bay. The Southwest Florida Water Management District approved a $1.5 million grant for a wetlands and water quality improvement project on the site.
 
“The permanent conservation of Bobby Jones Golf Club is a huge win for both people and nature,” said Christine P. Johnson, president of Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. “We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of community support and to the army of people who engaged their policymakers in favor of this vote. We are excited to work with the City to create this legacy for our region and thank both the City Commissioners and staff for their commitment to conservation.”
 
During its meeting, the Commission approved multiple items related to preserving the historic municipal golf course and enhancing the quality of life for Sarasota residents with a commitment to conserving open, green space:
 
Approved an agreement with Q.G.S Development, Inc. for the construction of 18 regulation golf holes (restoring the historic Donald Ross course), 9 adjustable holes and driving range
 
Approved an agreement with Jon F. Swift Construction to design and build a new clubhouse that will include a restaurant
 
Authorized staff to negotiate a proposed term sheet with Indigo Golf Partners to manage golf course operations
 
Authorized the issuance of a capital improvement revenue bond not to exceed $20 million
 
Approved conveying 12.07 acres located at Bobby Jones Golf Club to Sarasota County for the development of a regional playground
 
Approved a conservation easement with the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast over the 261-acre Bobby Jones Golf Club property
 
Approved a fundraising partnership agreement term sheet between the City of Sarasota and the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast to fund maintenance and amenities at the nature park.
“Bobby Jones is the City’s largest green space, and conserving it in perpetuity and reconstructing the golf course has been a long time in the making,” said City Manager Marlon Brown. “Thank you to our amazing team and community partners who remained committed over the years to seeing this through. The City Commission’s bold, visionary steps to conserve this important green space and historic municipal golf course will be a lasting legacy.”
 
The golf course renovation is expected to begin next month, with the Donald Ross course restoration completed as early as November 2022 and the 9-hole adjustable course finished in January 2023.
 


 

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