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Wednesday, Jun 20, 2018
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Plant City putting Walden Lake golf course development proposal online

PLANT CITY The rezoning file for proposed development of a closed Walden Lake golf course will soon be available at a click of a computer mouse.

City Manager David Sollenberger has instructed city planners to put the rezoning application and all other documents online on the city’s website, www.plantcitygov.com. He expects the file to be available within a few days.

“There’s so much interest that I think we need to make it as accessible to the public as we can,” Sollenberger said.

Walden Lake, with more than 2,000 homes, is the city’s largest subdivision and the rezoning proposal has generated a lot of attention, he said.

Everything in the file, from the owner’s rezoning application to the city’s responses, will be placed online, he said. The link to the file will be accessible from the city’s home page.

Visions Golf LLC wants rezoning for 187 single-family lots, up to 581 multi-family residences and a 90- to 120-unit assisted living facility. In all, Visions Golf proposes building on 131 of its 304 acres.

Most of the development would be placed on the 18-hole golf course that was closed last summer. An adjacent 18-acre course remains open.

The city continues to study the rezoning request, Principal Planner Phillip Scearce said. Officials have asked Visions Golf for more information about how it expects to handle traffic and drainage if the plans are approved.

Sollenberger said he has found that many people don’t understand the rezoning process and he hopes to shed light on it by placing the file online.

“We need to get the information out there,” he said. “We want to make this as transparent as we possibly can.”

Sollenberger expects in the future, other major rezoning files will also be placed online.

Steve Mercer, managing partner for Visions Golf, has said the company needs to sell off property so it can afford to refurbish the remaining golf operation.

Visions Golf hopes the city commission will consider the rezoning this summer, Visions Golf attorney Ron Weaver has said. If the commissioners approve the application, development would start in six to 12 months, he said.

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