Can we keep the current owner of the Country Club at Deer Run from closing the golf course and/or selling the property?
Answer: No. It is private property. The owner can close the golf course if he wishes, which he did in May 2019. He could sell it to another buyer if he wishes.
But developing the land the golf course sits upon is another matter entirely.
Can the owner of the golf course build residential dwellings on it without county and/or public approval?
No. He must apply to rezone the land or apply for a variance (major land use amendment to the Planned Development) with Seminole County.
The owner of the land upon which the former golf course sits filed a pre-application with Seminole County on February 28, 2020 which asked for a Major Land Use Amendment to the Deer Run PD zoning.
What law governs what the golf course owner can and can't do if he wants to develop the land upon which the golf course sits?
The Seminole County Land Development Code which can be found here.
What politicians are responsible for making decisions about development, zoning, etc.?
The Seminole County Board of Commissioners is the ultimate and final governing authority in Seminole County. It is a five-member board whose members are elected to 4-year terms. The commissioners must live in the districts from which they are elected, but they serve at large (meaning they are answerable to the voters of the entire county).
For more information about the Seminole County Commission, please visit:
Which HOAs are formally involved with the Save Deer Run C.A.G.?
There are 22 homeowner's associations in the Deer Run Planned Development.
Currently, the Save Deer Run Citizen's Action Group has been formally joined by the Sterling Park Housing Association. (the largest in Deer Run), King's Point HOA, Fairway Oaks H.O.A., the Villas at Deer Run, and the Terraces.
The following HOA's have sent representatives to Save Deer Run planning meetings: Deer Pointe HOA, Deer Run Court HOA, Deer Run Cove HOA, Eagle's Nest HOA, Fox Hollow HOA, Mystic Woods HOA, Pinesong Cove HOA, and the Villas at Deer Run HOA.
If you do not see your HOA listed, they have either been invited to attend the meetings and declined, (yes, for whatever their reasons at least three HOAs have declined to have anything to do with the Save Deer Run Group) or we have not been able to reach them. As a resident, if you feel your HOA should be involved with Save Deer Run, we strongly encourage you to speak with your HOA officers and make your opinions known.
My home and/or neighborhood isn't directly fronting the golf course. Why should I care about them developing that land?
Click here to read about how the school zoning will change because of capacity issues at all nearby elementary schools.
If/when the golf course closes, who is responsible for its upkeep/maintenance?
Answer: The golf course owner remains responsible for upkeep/maintenance of the land the golf course sit upon even if it closes.
Seminole County changed the law in 2014 in so far as what responsibilities the owner has have regarding property upkeep. This was spurred, in part, but the closing of the Rolling Hills Golf Course. County statute now state all grass must be kept 8 inches or shorter. Failure to do so can result in up to $250 a dollar per violation in fines.
This story at the Orlando Sentinel does a pretty good job of summarizing the county's change regarding upkeep.
Of course, it is possible the owner could choose to disregard the law. However, Code Enforcement would then become involved so it would become quite an expensive decision for him to make.
Can't the City of Casselberry just buy the golf course?
Deer Run lies in unincorporated Seminole County. While the majority of the PD has a Casselberry mailing address, it is NOT a part of the city. The City of Casselberry will not buy the golf course while it is in unincorporated territory. It would only purchase the course if the entire PD voluntarily annexed into the city.
The City of Casselberry has long wanted to re-annex Deer Run. They actually annexed a portion of the PD from 1978 to 1982. However, Seminole County went to court to challenge the legality of the annexation in 1982, and it was de-annexed. About every ten years the city has come back and tried to get Deer Run re-annexed to Casselberry. The last attempt was in 2007. You can read about that attempt at the following article on the Orlando Sentinel.
There is little doubt that Casselberry wants to annex Deer Run. They have wanted to annex it for 40+ years. However, a majority of residents have proven resistant to this idea over the years. A majority of people do still feel that way.
Additionally, the following would have to happen before annexation could happen:
As you can see, the idea of voluntarily annexing into the city is very controversial for some homeowners and neighborhoods. Thus, at the current time, the answer to the question is NO.
Can't the HOA(s) in Deer Run buy the golf course themselves? How much would my HOA fees have to go up to make something like this happen?
As is stated elsewhere on this website, there is not a single HOA in Deer Run that oversees all 3000 homes in the subdivision.
To make something like this suggestion a reality, approximately TWO DOZEN individual HOAs would have to legally join a single new entity that would then have to levy expensive HOA fees to make something like this happen. From a logistical standpoint, this is not a feasible choice at this time.
Additionally, although it has not been confirmed, rumors have stated the current owner of the golf course is not willing to sell it for anything less than $6 million. In addition to the purchase price, additional funds would have to be raised for remodeling the course, staff, and maintenance. So HOA fees to cover something like this would possible be several thousand dollars.
There is a rumor going around that the County has, in secret, approved the owner request to negate the PUD and move forward with development. Is this true?
Why was there no public hearing?
No, this is not true. It's not true at all. It is a 100% utter and blatant lie.
This is a rumor that has been going on and around for a very long time...almost since before the creation of Save Deer Run in February 2019. Aside from the fact that what is described above is illegal, it is also against the ethics regulations of the state of Florida. There is a very clear and predetermined process that any land owner to follow when they wish to build in Seminole County. If you are curious, it is described here:
Save Deer Run volunteers are frequently in contact with county staff and personally have confirmed to date that no paperwork has been started on the golf course project. The owner has done nothing. We continue to monitor this situation very closely, and we can assure you as soon as anything happens, we will know about it and spread the word.
Our advice would be, to anyone who has told anyone such things, they are either A) clearly uninformed, in which case we would be happy to help them learn about the process or B) blatantly lying.
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