‘This is not just another development:’ Apartments being eyed on portion of Orlando golf course

Developer hopes to build 225 multi-family units and 10 single-family homes at Eagle Creek Golf Club

ORLANDO, Fla. – Golfers have teed it up at Eagle Creek Golf Club for nearly 20 years, but folks who live in the sprawling golf community near Lake Nona say they’re worried about the future after learning a portion of the golf course could be reduced for hundreds of new apartments.

Residents reached out to the News 6 Results Desk after they received a community meeting notice, which laid out the developer’s plans to build 225 multi-family units and 10 single-family homes inside the gated community, leading to a reduction of 1.2 acres of the golf course.

News 6 met with Ric Castro, Bob Rice and Carlos Garcia at their roughly 2,600-home neighborhood — a neighborhood they moved to, in large part, because of the golf course. They said this proposal has fired up their entire community.

“They are beyond upset, they’re livid,” Castro said. “This is not just another development. This is going to hurt if it goes through.”

“To add agony to injury, they’re also looking for waivers from Orange County to increase the building height to five stories,” Rice added. “When the community was being designed in 2002 and 2003, we had meetings with commissioners and a huge concern in the surrounding area, including Tavistock, was light pollution with the airport being in close proximity to here.”

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The community meeting between the residents and the developer was set to be held next week, but News 6 learned shortly after our interview on Monday that it was postponed until sometime this summer. Neighbors said they still fear the proposal won’t change.

“Definitely home values will go down,” Garcia said. “If you have an appraiser appraising your property and you had a golf view, that’s a higher appraisal. If they take that away, the value goes down because of that.”

Because of the rapid growth in Lake Nona, Narcoossee Road is already a traffic nightmare, and neighbors said it even impacts their ability to get into the gated community.

They also have concerns about what hundreds of new apartments would mean for the nearby schools, which are already over capacity. There are 4,502 students currently enrolled at Lake Nona High School, which has a capacity of 2,807, according to enrollment numbers from Orange County Public Schools.

“The result from all this is going to be highly, highly detrimental to our community and to our residents,” Castro said.

The developer looking to potentially bring the apartments, Eagle Creek Development, is the same one who built the community. News 6 called the company for comment on the proposal but did not hear back.

“This is a very important milestone event,” Rice said. “You’re trying to chip away at a very active, thriving golf course. It just doesn’t make any sense to us.”

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