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Officials agree to revisit Bonita golf course design

By By Buddy Bynum/editor
Jan. 22, 2002
In a spirit of compromise with Bonita user groups, city officials will revisit the design of a proposed new municipal golf course to minimize its impact on pristine parklands.
Collier Holmes, spokesman for the Friends of Bonita organization that had voiced concern over design of a new golf course at Bonita Lakes associated with the Cooper Communities project, said Monday the revised design would be reviewed by members of his group with Mayor John Robert Smith and a variety of others Bonita users, including horseback riders, hikers, walkers and joggers, boaters and bikers.
The compromise effort came as a follow up to a Jan. 16 meeting among Friends of Bonita, other groups and the mayor, Holmes said. While the proposed design of a new municipal golf course would use only a fraction of the acreage at Bonita Lakes, many users had voiced concerns over the loss of natural lands.
As a result, Holmes said, Smith has agreed to ask the golf course architectural firm, Ault, Clark &Associates, to revisit their original design.
Holmes said his group supports the announced plan of Cooper Land Development Inc. to build a multi-million-dollar residential community along Long Creek Reservoir and the current site of city-owned Lakeview Golf Course.
A letter of intent called for Cooper to build an 18-hole championship golf course at its new development and a new municipal course at Bonita Lakes.
After speaking up at a city council meeting on Jan. 8 and, later, taking the mayor up on his offer to meet with them, Holmes said, "Mayor Smith has shown a willingness to receive input and advice from all segments of the population as to how that progress will shape the lives of today's a tomorrow's citizens."
Holmes said Smith also expressed a desire to form a committee composed of interested user groups to provide input into the future development of the Bonita Lakes Master Plan.