Golf Course Fight
8:30 am
Fri January 25, 2013

West Palm Seniors Teed Off Over Plans For Golf Course

Residents from the Century Village in West Palm Beach during Thursday's County Commission meeting.
Residents from the Century Village in West Palm Beach during Thursday's County Commission meeting.
Credit Christine DiMattei

Thousands of West Palm Beach senior citizens will have to wait another month for a decision on a controversial development planned near their retirement community.

After hours of public comment on Thursday, a Palm Beach County Commission meeting ended in a tied vote on the future of the project, named "Reflection Bay."

Developers want to turn an unused golf course next to the West Palm Beach Century Village into a neighborhood of homes and retail stores.

Century Village resident Jean Dowling, who supports the development, says the project will create about 400 jobs in the construction phase alone.

“And we desperately need that in our economy right now," says Dowling.

But many other residents, including 69-year-old Michael Vierno, fear the development will only lead to traffic, noise and crime. 

“There’s plenty of empty land,” says Vierno.  “I believe in creating jobs.  But not here.”

One county commissioner had to serve jury duty during much of the public hearing and was not permitted to vote when she returned after a break.  That led to the tied vote.

The Palm Beach County Commission will revisit the issue in late February.