The workshop aims to bring clarity to RSR and Harmon Road issues

by | Nov 2, 2021 | Golf Courses

By Reggie Connell, Managing Editor

After months of unanswered questions, developing conditions, rising bids, and moving towers, it looks like there may be some clarity on the three-way swap proposal between the Rock Springs Ridge Homeowners Association, the Golf Group, and the town of Apopka.

The city council released its agenda for the workshop on Tuesday night, which includes topics related to the properties on Harmon Road, the communications / security tower, the golf course lands at Rock Springs Ridge, and the gopher turtle sanctuary.

The workshop is planned for Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Apopka Amphitheater.

The agenda items in the discussion section include:

  • An overview of the workshop by Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson
  • RSR Homeowners Association attorney Kurt Ardaman talks about RSR land swaps
  • Comprehensive Land Plan and Land Development Act issues in connection with private land swaps – Michael Rodriguez
  • David Evans, speaking on behalf of the Golf Group (owner of the golf course property), will respond to the land swap proposal.
  • A discussion in the city council

Esler Golf Designs is also on the agenda under the discussion section, but no further details are given.

Esler Golf Designs (EGD) was founded in 1989 and is based in Illinois. According to its website, the specialty of the EGD is “the environmentally friendly and economically viable creation of exemplary new golf courses”. Much of EGD’s work involves restoring and remodeling classic designs. Clifton, Ezell & Clifton designed the RSR layout. The vast majority of the golf courses that EGD has built are in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Apopka Voice was unable to contact EGD at the time of publication despite leaving messages on two of their corporate phone numbers.

There are also five exhibits that can be used during the workshop:

  • Information on Harmon public safety towers
  • RSR development documents
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission guidelines for accepting or releasing perpetual conservation easements
  • Letter of Intent regarding Harmon Road from Benge Development Corporation
  • Phase I Environmental site assessment RSR development

Benge Development Corporation recently submitted an offer for the Harmon properties for $ 6.5 million. Nick Nesta, an Apopka broker and candidate for the seat of the Apopka City Commission # 4, also brokered four offers for Harmon, including a $ 6.55 million offer from Phillips Development & Realty. He hopes the workshop can bring the subject to a close.

“I am looking forward to this workshop as it is intended to close this circle of Harmon Road that has been open for many months,” said Nesta. “It will benefit the entire community not only to express their opinions and concerns, but also to hear from the council on how best to advance this country for the benefit of all the citizens of Apopka. These workshops are extremely important for promoting transparency and open communication between our city council and the residents of Apopka. ”

There are many questions to be answered in this two-hour workshop. Including:

  • Should the city of Apopka sell the properties on Harmon Road to the RSR HOA, the highest bidder, or not sell at all?
  • How much will it cost to relocate the communications / security tower or upgrade it in its current location?
  • Should the RSR HOA sell the gopher turtle sanctuary or create a recreation area to raise funds to purchase the golf course property?
  • How difficult will it be to free yourself from the many easements on this 51 hectare property?

According to the announcement posted on the city’s website, no action will be taken at this workshop, however the city council will meet on the following day, Wednesday, November 3, at 1:30 p.m. And although there is nothing on the agenda on the workshop topics, the discussion could continue there, as is so often the case, in public comments, the report of the commissioner or the mayor.