For several years, many Rock Springs Ridge (RSR) residents have continued to rail against the possibility of more homes being developed on a section in their subdivision that was once a golf course.
That level of passion did not change on Monday, May 15, at a meeting.
Hundreds of RSR residents packed the Apopka Community Center on that day to vocalize their concerns at a community meeting, where city attorney Cliff Shepard explained the governmental process of reviewing development plans and amendments.
Shepard said he did this to educate residents on how to properly communicate with government officials about their concerns as The Golf Group, which owns the former golf course through Rock Springs Ridge Golf Club, is in the preliminary stages of filing a development application with the city of Apopka.
Rock Springs Ridge is bordered by Rock Springs Road on the east side and Jason Dwelley Parkway on the west side. According to a Re/Max website, the subdivision has 1,050 homes that were built beginning in 1998. Some construction is still ongoing in the development.
Shepard explained that a development plan undergoes an extensive governmental process involving a committee of city staff members who review and comment on each application, and the seven-member Planning Commission, which also recommends changes on the plan before it goes before the City Council for consideration and possible adoption.
The City Council usually conducts two readings of an ordinance on each development plan and amendment. A possible adoption comes at the second reading.
“But for all those things and others, opinions do not matter; evidence matters. Please take that away if you don’t take anything else away from tonight,” Shepard said.
At the May 15 meeting, RSR residents were signing a petition to put a halt to any housing proposals at the golf course.
During the question-and-answer segment, resident David Hoffman said at previous forums he attended, residents were repeatedly told the golf course developer did not submit a petition to change the planned unit development (PUD).
“We’re hearing tonight that was not correct, so that’s what’s alarming” Hoffman said. “Overall, if I’m listening to what you’re saying, I hear a freight train going down the tracks, and eventually this is going to be a fulfillment of the golfers’ (Golf Group) wishes. We’re talking about over 200 homes here, and it sounds more and more, as I work around your rapid-fire presentation, that it’s not going to be delayed or held up. It’s going to happen.”
An extended version of this story will appear in the Friday, May 19, issue of The Apopka Chief.