Proposal to develop on an abandoned golf course in suburban Palm Beach County stalls

Opponents packed commission chambers to speak out

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - To build or not to build. That's the challenge Palm Beach County commissioners are facing. A proposal could transform an abandoned golf course into new housing and retail.

Getting inside the Palm Beach County commission chambers this morning was near impossible.
By 9 a.m. a line of people weaved around the building. On the inside, chairs were setup last minute to accommodate the overflow.

The controversy? A proposed development mixed with homes, restaurants and shops at Haverhill and Okeechobee Boulevard. It would replace what is now an abandoned golf course.

Opponents who live in nearby Century Village armed themselves with signs and speeches hoping to stop the project.

"I don't want this project here, I don't want the crowd with the people and the cars," says Myron Solomon.

"I do not think it would be an amenity, I don't think we'll benefit by any sort of construction," says Gerry Weiss.

They want what once was - a golf course within walking distance. But plenty of supporters showed up as well, arguing the development would increase plummeting property values.

"Economically it will help our area, our area is going downhill rapidly," says Jean Dowling.

Fearing any decision could lead to a lawsuit, the commission retreated, and voted to postpone the proposal until October. That move didn't create any immediate winners or losers, but it did receive sneers from the crowd.

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