Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Are Whispering Pines Residents Willing to Finish the Game?

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Are Whispering Pines Residents Willing to Finish the Game?

Article excerpt

Byline: kevin clark

Golf enthusiasts live by an old saying: "You drive for show and putt for dough."

In other words it ain't how you start something, it's how you finish it that counts.

A small but enthusiastic group of Julington Creek Plantation residents will discover much about this bit of wisdom as they take on a big-money developer and elected officials in the coming months.

Folks from the Whispering Pines neighborhood took turns teeing off on representatives from D.R. Horton, which owns much of the land in Julington Creek, during a public meeting Aug. 31. D.R. Horton's plan to build condos near some Pines homes had stirred quite a controversy.

The developer has a 3-acre plot off Durbin Creek Boulevard known as Parcel 52. The swath of trees and shrubs behind several expensive Whispering Pines homes has had so much local attention in the past month you'd think it was named Area 51.

D.R. Horton was keen on making a profit by building up to 60 townhouses on Parcel 52.

Neighbors in the Pines linked arms and balked at the idea publicly, fearing such structures will destroy the peaceful wooded area near them and cause their property values to tumble. Hoping to avoid the image of an uncaring money-grubber, Horton brass and County Commissioner Cyndi Stevenson set up the meeting at Julington Creek Elementary to ease everyone's concerns.

D.R. Horton Senior Vice President Bob Porter fired his first shot of the evening and it appeared to be headed down the middle of the fairway -- the developer would not build the condos. But as he continued, the mood of the 125 or so people in the room began to slice sharply toward the rough.

"D.R. Horton's intent is to do something to generate a profit and we hope we can come up with a compromise," he said according to the Sun's Sept. 2 story.

In other words, if D.R. Horton doesn't build something, it's listening to whoever wants to pay market value to take Parcel 52 off its hands. Other builders will certainly be the first in line.

The majority of residents at the meeting had a simple response to this: "No." Unless the words "passive park" are in the plans, they said, forget about it. …

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