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Fresh start for old golf course

A new agreement with the city on what to do with the 212-acre, former golf course in Boca Teeca is landing back in council’s lap.

That’s the next step to redeveloping the former Ocean Breeze, no longer needed for public golf since the city was gifted with nearby Boca Country Club that’s due to open in October. Council never approved the original plan for a new public golf course on both sides of 5800 NW Second Ave.

Ocean Breeze owners just approved a revised city agreement with three central changes necessary to proceed. “Then we can go forward with the bidding process,” for design and construction, executive director Briann Harms told Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District commissioners. “This has to go to them. Right now, that’s what staff recommends, a high-level approval of what we’re putting out there.”

The changes will allow the district to develop the acreage as recreation facilities that may include golf or not. The old agreement only approved the green space for a new public golf course with amenities like a short course and practice green.

The new agreement also defines the west side with a timeline and allows access. That means the district can finally have irrigation turned on to maintain and develop the east side. It will also allow for a pest control contract as part of a cleanup. Residents publicly complained the unattended course was attracting rodents.

“This part of Boca has been overlooked by the city. The property needs help and attention. Anything would be better than what already exists,” a resident emailed for public comment at the district’s Monday meeting.

But city council approval is not a slam dunk. Council can put the new agreement on their agenda or add it to an upcoming joint meeting with the district. They could decide they want more changes, even though city staff worked out the details with district staff.

Meanwhile, the district put a Request for Information on their website that’s open for public comment until April 9. https://www.mybocaparks.org/boca-teeca-property

And local residents are already weighing in on what they want to see. Some residents still want part of the property to be a nine-hole executive course or other golf amenity. There’s also suggestions of a park with walking trails and pickleball courts where the old tennis courts are now.

“Some ideas are really creative,” said chair Susan Vogelgesang.

By Marci Shatzman

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