Villagers are reacting to the idea of apartment buildings being constructed at the former site of the now-demolished Hacienda Hills Country Club.
The Amenity Authority Committee is being propositioned by the Developer of The Villages who is seeking amenity privileges for “residential units” that would appear to be a multi-story apartment building. The AAC will meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday at Savannah Center to discuss the proposition. The meeting is open to the public.
Many Villagers are sounding the alarm, contending this is not part of their retirement dream.
“The apartment building is nothing more than high density housing. I don’t believe that this is what Mr. Schwartz intended and what the current homeowners bought into,” said Keith Coe of the Village of De La Mesa North.
Carol Nagel of the Village of Hacienda East, who noted she is still mourning the loss of Katie Belle’s at Spanish Springs, is also wary of the Morse family’s commitment to the residents.
“How could The Villages care so little about the residents around this area by putting up an apartment building? How could they take away our beautiful restaurant, pool and tennis courts only to put this in? How greedy and uncaring are they?” she asked.
Daniel Newton of the Village of Country Club Hills is also sensing greed.
“Apartment buildings are totally out of the question. It will be a nightmare from every aspect. This wonderful place is slowly being ruined by the greed of money,” he said.
Other see the loss of the country club as a broken promise.
“When we purchased our home in 2018, it was, in part, because of the promise of becoming automatic members of the various ‘country clubs’ in The Villages. I am not in favor of the Developer’s building anything at the Hacienda Hills Country Club site other than upgrading what was already there,” said Rhonda House of the Village of Piedmont.
Broken promises are a familiar refrain among those floored, first, by the demolition of the once-beloved country club and then, secondly, by the news of the possibility of renters suddenly being plopped down in the neighborhood.
“Definitely opposed to multi-family residential units on the Hacienda Hills site. Totally out of character with the existing single-family development in the area. Traffic volume is an additional concern. Do what you will in the Brownwood (Southern) portion of The Villages, but do not tarnish the lifestyle we paid for and cherish in the Hacienda Hills submarket,” said Walter Yesberg of the Village of Rio Ranchero.
Another Village of Rio Ranchero resident said the idea is fraught with problems.
“I’m deeply concerned about the proposal as stated for the following reasons: adding residents to this area will increase traffic to an already heavily traveled Morse Boulevard. Adding residents will increase the use of the pool, restaurant, sporting activities in turn decreasing availability for the residents already living in this area. It is a championship golf course. There should be a restaurant that is readily available to golfers with the true country club atmosphere. I would like to see the restaurant be also available to accommodate night time dinner shows similar to Katie Belle’s,” said Debbie Edson.
Last year, the Amenity Authority Committee, under heavy pressure from residents, declined the Developer’s offer to sell the country club to the AAC at full-market value.