Some Longwood residents oppose development at neglected Sabal Point Country Club

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LONGWOOD, Fla. - Some Seminole County residents are concerned about plans for a developer to build on an abandoned golf course right next to their homes.

Nancy Walker bought her house 20 years ago for the serenity of Sabal Point's golf course in Longwood.

She's worried about a Miami-based developer's plans to build on the 133 acres, which include sensitive wetlands.

"The otter, the wild turkey are here. There is not (a) way it could not be impacted," Walker said.

Documents show the developer wants to rezone the property and use "certain former golf course fairways to allow for the development of residential units."

Not all residents think it's a bad thing.

"It gives people jobs you know, and our economy needs jobs," resident Austin Smiley said.

Some also said it would be nice to finally clean up the course, which has been left wild and unkempt for years.

A marker is the best sign that it even was a golf course. People can't drive down the cart path and some residents have even started mowing the fairways themselves.

The developer could not be reached for comment but the president of the homeowners association said his team is willing to let them develop on holes 14 through 17 and where the old club house used to be.

Then the community would want to take control of the other holes to keep them natural.

Walker said building behind her single-family home is out of the question.

"We are going to fight it, we are going to legally fight it, as hard and as long as we can," Walker said.