By: Brad West
We built our home in Matanzas Woods 15 years ago, and we chose to build on a property that backs up to the former Matanzas Golf Course property. We paid more for the open space behind our property that has been protected from being built on. It’s the privacy we get from that quality of our property and the unrestricted view which drove the value then and continues to today.
We have also lived through the closure of the course some 10 years ago and all of the uncertainty and angst of not only what will come of the former golf course property but the impact it will have on our investment. The one thing that has kept us somewhat at ease has been the city’s promise to protect the open space through the former golf course property’s current zoning of Multi-Planned Development and the “Greenbelt” designation on the Future Land Use Map which restricts building on the former fairways. It’s my opinion that the city foresaw times where these courses may cease to operate as golf courses and intended through the Land Development Code to protect the homeowners.
So it was confusing and appalling to me when the new owner Alexander Ustilovsky presented his plan to the neighborhood recently; he’s asking the city to rezone the property, allowing him to build a large number of homes behind properties that line the former golf course. It’s a plan that would reduce values of existing properties and reduce the quality of life of residents by over-building in an area never planned for the level of dwellings. I was also taken back by the implication by not only Mr. Ustilovsky but also his attorney, Michael Chiumento III, that the land “can and will be developed,” which is only true if the rezoning application were to be approved. Their spectacle of a performance, the plan itself, and their justifications showed little respect for our rights as property owners.
Myself and many other residents of Matanzas Woods are not in agreement with Mr. Ustilovsky’s plans for his property.
It is the city’s responsibility to uphold the promises it made to protect property owners of Matanzas Woods and reject any rezoning plan that includes building behind properties that currently line former fairways.
We are all investors too in our properties, in our neighborhood, and in Palm Coast. We are entitled to the protections we trusted in when making our investments and we deserve to have our rights respected by the city as well as our neighbors whether they be residential or commercial owners.