The Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Commission voted 3-2 on Wednesday to deny the rezoning application submitted by Barton Tuck, the owner of the Killearn Golf and Country Club.
The rezoning proposal has been a source of controversy and has faced several court challenges, some of which remain unresolved.
Tuck had asked the Planning Commission to rezone approximately 4o acres of the “North Nine” golf course. The “North Nine” has been closed for over a year.
The most controversial aspect of the application was the request to allow high density development (10 units per acre) on the 35 acres known as “North Nine” holes 7 through 9. This part of the course is bordered on one side by rather expensive single family homes, while the other side contains zero-lot line and condo style homes.
The Planning Commission is made up of seven commissioners. However, Commissioners Stewart Proctor and Keith Dantin abstained from voting due to potential conflicts of interest.
Commissioners Robert Deyle, Barbara J. Walker, and Diane Williams-Cox voted against the application while Commissioner Timothy D. Edmond and Patrick R. Madden supported the rezoning.
Planning Commissioner Deyle was highly critical of the plan and called the proposal “spot zoning.” Spot zoning is where a zoning change to a single parcel benefits the landowner to the detriment of surrounding property owners.
Deyle also made it clear that he felt no responsibility to increase the value of the land so the applicant could refurbish the golf club.
Commissioner Williams-Cox denied the application because the high-density proposal would adversely impact owners who purchased single family homes on a golf course.
The Planning Commission vote is only a recommendation to the City Commission. The City Commission will have the final say in the matter.
After the vote of the Planning Commission, homeowners from the “North Nine”, who thought their chances to stop the proposed developed were slim, clearly had renewed hope.
However, others fear this could all end with a closed golf course, which they say would be bad for all 3,700 homes in the neighborhood.
Both sides agree the City Commission, who have voted against Planning Commission recommendations before, are about to get lobbied by both sides.