- November 10, 2010
Jan Lane, chairwoman for the Stoneybrook Homeowners Association’s activities committee, was driving along River Heritage Boulevard with her husband, Rick, in May when they saw a man throwing discs on a soccer field to practice his disc golf game.
The moment reignited Lane’s resolve to bring a disc golf course to the Heritage Harbour community. She had toyed with the idea about a year earlier by talking with representatives of the Stoneybrook Homeowners Association, but the idea lost traction because there was no appropriate site.
On Aug. 4, she presented a conceptual course design by Florida-based disc golf course designer Gene Varano to members of the Heritage Harbour South Community Development District for a course at Central Park at Heritage Harbour. The nine-hole course would wind its way around the park and baseball fields and likely use an existing sidewalk for tees to minimize cost and maximize accessibility.
Lane said disc golf is growing in popularity and is a sport individuals of all ages can enjoy. She said it is a fun family activity.
Varano has guaranteed a not-to-exceed cost of $7,400 for course installation.
The CDD owns Central Park at Heritage Harbour, though the Heritage Harbour Master Association, which represents all the neighborhoods within Heritage Harbour, maintains it. Any such park improvements must be approved by the CDD.
CDD Supervisor Rick Lane, Jan Lane’s husband, said he thought the disc golf course was a good idea.
District Supervisor Larry Lovell said he did not support the concept. He worried discs could fly into roads, baseball fields or ponds and become a nuisance. Normally, such courses are reserved for more isolated areas.
“I don’t think the area’s big enough to support this,” he said. “I don’t see why the residents of Stoneybrook and Lighthouse Cove would want to pay for it. I think it should be supported by the master [association]. This would be open to everyone.”
CDD Chairman Tad Park said he supported the concept and thought it would be well received. Trees or other obstacles that could snag discs are simply considered part of the sport.
“Because there aren’t many around is a fantastic reason to put one here,” he said.
Supervisor Larry Eichert said he supported exploring the concept further, as well.
Gene Zeiner, president of the Heritage Harbour Master Association, said he liked the idea of giving residents more things to do but did not want to create maintenance issues at the park by adding the course. If those concerns could be addressed, he would support it.
John Overstreet, the Stoneybrook resident Lane saw playing in May, said he is thrilled with the idea of having a course nearby and hopes the concept will be approved. He plays whenever he can and frequently uses the course at Bob Gardner Park in Lakewood Ranch.
“It’s exercise, fresh air and sunshine,” Overstreet said. “I’m almost 70. I hope I can play until I’m 80 at least.”
Lane said Varano tentatively is scheduled to walk the park site and finalize a potential course design Aug. 14. CDD supervisors would be able to vote on the proposal at their September meeting.