Villages of West End residents went door-to-door on Saturday (July12th) to hand out notices of a community meeting on Monday.
"STOP West End Golf Course Rezoning," the flyer reads and lists the details about a proposed development that could occupy 75 acres of green space, located at 12830 West Newberry Road across from the Tioga Town Center.
A development called "Tara Club West End" is in the plans for potential property owner and developer Sayed Moukhtara. The proposal includes 487 residential units, an 80-room hotel, and a mixed use commercial business space.
To the residents of the Villages of West End, that means their backyard of fairways and greens will disappear and be replaced with buildings and more residents that they say will increase traffic on Newberry Road, increase pollution and eliminate recreational green space.
The flyer urges citizens to reach out to Alachua County Commissioners. "YOU can make a difference," it reads and gives the email address and phone number of the BOCC.
The JBrown Professional Group of Gainesville gave public notice for a Neighborhood Workshop on July 23 at 6 p.m. via Zoom and, according to the notice, the meeting will be recorded and available to view on YouTube.
The workshop was scheduled to discuss an application for a Comprehensive Plan Amendment/Land Use Change and a Rezoning of Alachua County Tax Parcel numbers 04314-000-000 and 04333-001-000 both owned by West End Golf Club, Inc.
The Alachua County Planning staff first met with JBrown Professional Group on June 16th to discuss the development plans.
At one time, West End Golf Club was a thriving course hosting more than 50,000 rounds a year, but it came under financial hardship, and closed in December 2019. The course sits dormant and mostly unkempt, save for a few West End residents mowing areas at their expense.
More than 30 residents gathered three weeks ago to discuss a strategy to be heard and hopefully stop the development of the green space.
A neighborhood workshop is the first step in the rezoning process and the residents of West End have started a petition and letter writing campaign hoping that BOCC members will support their cause.
One resident shared a letter she addressed to County Commissioner Mike Byerly.
"I am writing to voice my opposition to any planned rezoning of the properties at 12830 W. Newberry Rd.," she wrote.
"This property is zoned recreational and needs to stay recreational. With all the development that has and is going on around us we need to preserve what open spaces we have left. Please don't take this away from the residents of Alachua County now and in the future."