Myths & Facts
There has been a lot of talk about the Country Club proposal, especially when it comes to the luxury rentals. We did some research to separate the facts from the misinformation circulating on social media. The Lojeta Group along with Ghitis Property Company are proposing to buy and renovate the Weston Hills Country Club & Golf Course, in addition to building a five-story luxury community.
Myth: Apartments will hurt property values in and around the Weston Hills community.
Fact: The biggest threat to property values is NOT restoring the country club to its former prestige and instead allowing it to fall into disrepair or become a public golf facility. The luxury residences allow the developer to make a $10 million-plus capital investment into the Clubhouse facilities and golf courses. If we can modernize the facilities and boost membership, then property values will rise and everyone benefits. We have seen too many examples in South Florida of once-prominent golf clubs that have been neglected only to create eyesores for neighbors, or even closing altogether, lowering nearby home values. That is not what we want to happen in the City of Weston. According to the National Golf Foundation, 211 courses permanently closed in the U.S. in 2016. According to the Broward Property Appraiser’s office, there are about 45 golf courses in Broward County, and at least three closed in the past five years.
Myth: The new owner should be able to buy the club and make the necessary improvements without building luxury residences.
Fact: For the past five years, current club management has been unable to charge initiation fees because of the facility’s poor condition. This has led to the lack of funds available for capital improvements. Also, there is significant deferred maintenance needed for the clubhouse and golf courses which will soon reach a breaking point. It is not economically feasible to invest $10 million-plus of capital required without revenues from the apartment community. Given the amount of funds required both immediately, and on an on-going basis, it is simply not realistic to raise membership dues to a level needed to restore the club and put it back on a sustainable footing.
Myth: This luxury residential community will further burden already overcrowded schools.
Fact: Because of the size of our units and the level of services offered, this is not a property that will appeal to families with children. In fact, our strictly enforced rules will allow just two people to live in a one-bedroom unit and no more than 3 in a two-bedroom unit. The community will not feature any day-care services, jungle gyms, or other amenities designed to appeal to residents with school age children. A Harvard Study found when considering only new construction there is, on average, 64 children per 100 new single-family houses vs. 29 children per 100 new apartment units. Wealthier apartment dwellers have even fewer children: 12 children per 100 households for residents earning more than 120 percent of the area median income, AMI.
Myth: The luxury apartment component will make Weston Hills less secure.
Fact: As mentioned, the building will have professional management and onsite staff. Residents will be subject to strict background checks and minimum household income requirements. In contrast, there are no restrictions on who can own or rent the more than 2,000 homes that currently exist around the community.
Myth: Homes with water and golf course views will be blocked by the new residences.
Fact: We have prepared views from various areas around the apartments to show that most of the building is hidden by existing vegetation. With the existing trees and the amount of new landscaping we are adding, most of the building will be hidden from surrounding residences.
Myth: Developer is going to cut a road from apartments directly to Royal Palm Drive forcing reconfiguration of hole number 16 on the Players Course.
Fact: The proposed project does not require an additional roadway out to Royal Palm. The 16th hole on Player’s will not be altered.
Myth: The new residences will create a lot more traffic in and around Weston Hills.
Fact: The Club’s buyer did a traffic study to assess its impact on the surrounding road network and to evaluate the capacity available to support future traffic volume. The study was done in the middle of the week in February, during the busy winter season. Engineers concluded that the addition of new residents would not adversely affect existing traffic conditions that currently exist in and around the area.
Myth: The new residences will negatively impact already long lines at the WHCC east gate.
Fact: The developer is offering Weston Hills a high-tech solution to eliminate long guest lines that exist now. Residents can send their guests a bar code to their smart phone that gives them the ability to enter through “Residents Only” lanes for a pre-determined amount of time.
Myth: The luxury community will burden Weston’s sewer and water system?
Fact: Not at all, the City has excess capacity.