The Walden Lake Resident Advisory Council sought input from local Walden Lake residents regarding hopes for upcoming development. The results from that initial survey are now in.
In June, a survey went live online for Walden Lake residents to weigh in on their hopes and desires for the upcoming development of the approximately 425 acres of the Walden Lake Golf Course.
The land recently was purchased by Walden Lake, LLC, which announced in a residents-only meeting that they wished to place the fate of the direction of the development in the hands of the local residents. Referencing their vast combined experience working in “sensitive communities,” they said they learned the best way to move forward on developments of this size was to enter a partnership with the neighbors.
They’ll give them what they want and, in return, they’re asking for the community to give them what they desire, as well. A successful exchange would require each resident to have the opportunity to weigh in on the proposals and honestly share where their priorities were firmly lodged and where they were willing to open their arms to change.
The survey went live on waldenlake.org and had fairly in-depth descriptions of each proposal. On Aug. 4, residents received word the results had been tallied. While the developers have in no way confirmed they will follow the wishes to a T, it is a good start to see the focus of the community.
More than 50 percent of the 618 respondents were age 63 or older, though 96 additional respondents skipped the age question. Nearly 60 percent have lived in the community for more than 10 years.
Option A referenced a plan the developer had floated in a town meeting in April. It consisted of having three-story mixed-use dwellings with retail on the first level along Clubhouse Drive. Single-family homes would be erected on portions of the existing Lakes Course property and there was a possibility of reconditioning the Hills course. If chosen, all new traffic would be funneled to Clubhouse Drive and Timberlane Road. Only 5.71 percent, or 33 responders of the total 578, chose this as a high level of interest.
Option B was also imagined by the developer and focused on more compressed development, according to the survey. The development would be centered around Clubhouse Drive by the current clubhouse, driving range, Eagle Green, Clubhouse Woods, Tanglewood and Wedgewood. This one also featured a three-story development with retail on the bottom. Once again, all traffic would be funneled onto Clubhouse Drive and Timberlane Road. Of the 579 responders, 66 — 11.4 percent — said this was a high level of interest.
Option C was created to address the issue of having a massive traffic impact on Clubhouse and Timberlane. This option shifts some of that burden to Griffin Boulevard. However, this plan was not discussed in any detail with the developer prior to going live on the survey. The only way this could occur is if the developers swapped some of their buildable land with the polo field. More land would thus be available for use for walking trails or biking trails and would set the stage for a golf course. Of the 579 total responders, 258 — 44.56 percent — said this was a high level of interest for them.
Responders were also asked to discuss their level of interest in the return of a golf course, which the developer said it was open to building but made clear it would not operate. The burden of keeping it up and running would fall on Walden Lake. Of the 561 total responders, 351 — 62.57 percent — said it was a high priority.
For more information, visit plantcityobserver.com to read the entire results of the survey.