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Posted on May 27, 2015
On Wednesday the City Commission voted to allow the owner of the Killearn Country Club to demolish the Inn, but not before some concessions and a warning from one City Commissioner.
The concessions came out of a meeting with the developer, the City and the representatives of the Killearn Homeowners Association.
The item had been delayed from a previous meeting after concern was raised over language in an agenda item that included references to a “development agreement” and the “comprehensive plan”.
Why such language just to demolish the Inn?
Suspect homeowners in the neighborhood felt that the developer was trying to clear the way for further development, not just razing the Inn. And emails obtained by TR, that were part of discovery in the ongoing court case, supported their concerns.
TR reviewed documents that indicate the developer is planning to build a 60 bed assisted living facility where the Inn is now located. In an email dated January 13, 2015, a real estate representative informed Barton Tuck, the golf course owner:
“Attached is the footprint for the memory care facility. They would have an interest in doing that and waiting out the deed restrictions to potentially do the apartments later.”
It is believed the “do the apartments later” refers to a proposed development on land where holes 7, 8 & 9 are now located.
Tallahassee Reports reached out to the Killearn Homeowners Association and a representative said he was not aware of the proposed development agreement.
After concerns were voiced, the City Commission delayed the item until after a meeting with interested parties.
In the end, the agenda item was cleared of the “development agreement” and “comprehensive plan” language and City Commissioners made it clear their vote only allowed the owner to demolish the Inn and did not afford him any new development rights.
In fact, the current zoning of the property would not allow the developer to build anything without the full approval of the City Commission after a number of public hearings.
However, Commissioner Gill Ziffer went one step further.
“I want everyone to know I will not vote for anything that changes the expectations that the current homeowners had when they bought a house on the golf course.”