Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Eagle Harbor Owners Face Golf Assessment; $124 Fee Proposed to Bolster Course

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Eagle Harbor Owners Face Golf Assessment; $124 Fee Proposed to Bolster Course

Article excerpt

Byline: R. Michael Anderson, County Line staff writer

A proposal to require all Eagle Harbor homeowners to pay $124 a year to support the upscale community's financially struggling public golf course will be the subject of a meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday at Fleming Island United Methodist Church, 7170 U.S. 17.

The meeting was scheduled by the Crossings at Fleming Island Community Development District Board of Supervisors, which has the authority to impose the controversial assessment, says the developer's attorney, John Kopelousos.

There is no legal document stating that homeowners are obligated to provide financial support for the golf course, Kopelousos said Wednesday, but "the five supervisors get to vote on it."

If most board members vote to levy the assessment to help boost revenue for operation and maintenance of the golf course, homeowners will be expected to pay it unless they go to court and get a judge to "set it aside," Kopelousos said.

The board of supervisors held a four-hour workshop on the issue Monday, during which "a lot of people got up and said they didn't want to save it [golf course] and some said they did want to save it," he said.

The board recently placed legal ads in newspapers announcing the plan to impose the $124 assessment, an amount that could be lowered Thursday but not increased, said Kopelousos, who has served for years as the chief legal counsel for the Eagle Harbor developers.

Eagle Harbor property owners currently pay about $300 a year in special assessments for the operation and maintenance of common amenities, such as the tennis complex, swim park and landscaping.

Kopelousos said he could understand why some homeowners, particularly those who do not play golf, might not want to pay the extra assessment, especially because the golf course was purchased by the Board of Supervisors in 1999 from East West Partners for $6.5 million and residents were told at that time that "the golf course would be self-sufficient."

"When we bought the golf course it was going in the right direction, but after we bought it all golf courses started going downhill," he said. …

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