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Opinion
Ormond Beach Observer Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022 4 weeks ago

Letter: Advocating to 'Preserve The Green' in Tomoka Oaks

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What are your neighbors talking about this week?
by: Jarleene Almenas Senior Editor

“Preserve The Green” in Tomoka Oaks

Dear Editor:

Did you know the original developers of Tomoka Oaks incorporated a clause in the 1963 Golf Course Deed (Book 585 Page 157) that encumbers the golf course to be used perpetually as a golf and country club or related recreational uses?

Were you aware that during 1969-1971, Tomoka Oaks officers questionably recorded documents with Volusia County which systematically released the 1963 golf course Warranty Deed reverter clause that would have turned the property over to the HOA should the golf course be sold and not used perpetually as a golf course or recreational use? (None of these recorded instruments reversed or modified the encumbered, perpetual use.)

And did you know that Tomoka Oaks golf course has a rich, colorful legacy of “conflicts of interest in cross-ownership” that potentially clouds even the most diligent title search?

Now you know.

A meticulously researched and fully cited report detailing these issues and the original Tomoka Oaks master plan was provided to the Ormond Beach Planning Board in June 2022. All research documents provided can be downloaded at: TomokaOaksHistory.com

In a nutshell:

  • The golf course and residential estates were designed per a master plan to co-exist therefore protecting each other’s property values.
  • The Ormond City Commission signed off on the master plan in the early 1960s.
  • Golf Course Warranty Deed clauses were put in place to protect the encumbered, perpetual use of the property as a golf course or related uses.
  • Although recordings were filed by stockholders during 1969-1971 that released reverter rights, detailed research fully cites how conflicts of interest in cross-ownership clouds those recordings.

In addition to the original encumbered use of the golf course, other considerations the city should look into regarding the development of almost 300 new homes in the center of Tomoka Oaks include:

  • Increased traffic with just one ingress/egress
  • Resource and infrastructure limitations
  • Emergency access infringements
  • Soil contamination
  • Inconsistencies in Future Land Use Policies
  • Potential financial liability for devaluation of existing 540 homes

While our Tomoka Oaks HOA valiantly champions to secure the best outcome for homeowners if development occurs, a group of concerned Tomoka Oaks homeowners have united to retain the golf course property as it was originally intended, planned, marketed and restricted: as recreational green space.

Join us in our advocacy by reaching out to [email protected]. Also, if you know someone who wants to purchase the course, let us know.

Carolyn Davis

Ormond Beach

Editor's note: The current proposal to develop the Tomoka Oaks golf course is the first non-golf course related application, according to the city. In 2006, the property was rezoned from R-2 Single-Family low Density Residential to a Planned Residential Development for the construction of 119 multifamily units and three single family homes, as well as a reconfiguration of the golf course. This was never built and the order expired in 2014. No deed restrictions were found during the 2006 development process, but the city's Site Plan Review Committee requested a title opinion on any property restrictions for the current proposal.

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