Casselberry considers buying struggling golf course; Residents fear new subdivision

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CASSELBERRY, Fla. —

The city of Casselberry is considering whether to buy a struggling golf course.

The Casselberry golf club has been losing money for years and now says it plans to sell.

WFTV's Bianca Castro spoke with some homeowners who say they will pay higher taxes to keep from having new homes built there.

Tony Faria's Casselberry home is nearly surrounded by golf course views.

"For 20 years, luckily, it's been that way, but now ... I'm afraid it's going to go to commercial," he said.

It's a fear he shares with his neighbors after they learned the owners of the struggling golf course could sell the property to a home builder.

"A lot of these people bought this property because of the golf course," said Faria.

The problem is there are too few golfers. The owners have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last several years. They've had to pump extra money into the course, just to make par.

"Does it surprise you that it's not making money?" asked Castro.

"No, not really," said one golfer.

"Leave it as a golf course. What else can they do with it?" said golfer Buddy Patterson.

One idea on the table is a development like Baldwin Park, minus the shops and restaurants. It would add a nice tax base to the city, but the city is also considering buying the course outright.

There's no dollar figure yet on what it would cost, but it would likely require a bond referendum and a tax increase.

"If they build a nice park here and playground, I would be willing to pay," said Faria.

Before any decision is made, the city wants to hear from all Casselberry residents at a public meeting next Thursday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m. It will be inside Casselberry Elementary School.

"I'm afraid they're going to turn this into a subdivision," said Faria.