The Village Green golf course, which has been sitting fallow for more than six years, is about to get a transformation.
The City Council unanimously approved a plan Wednesday for Neal Communities to build 160 homes on the former golf course in west Bradenton.
Developer Pat Neal told city council members he hopes to begin construction on “The Seasons at Village Green” early next year. The new development will be built inside the Village Green community in west Bradenton south of Manatee Avenue.
Neal said his infill development in Village Green will “add vitality to a neighborhood that is almost 40 years old.”
The development will be made up of duplexes that Neal described as “paired-patio homes.”
While representatives from Neal Communities had met with many of the residents who lived on or near the golf course, several residents said they had not talked to the developers and had several concerns.
Frederick “Fritz” Johnson said the developers could call them twin villas or patio homes, but in the end they are “really duplexes.”
“This does not conform with our area,” Johnson told the city council.
He was also concerned that the new units would compete with houses now sitting empty in the neighborhood and only add to the number of vacant homes in the community.
“This would add to more decreases in property values and more foreclosures,” he said.
The most frequent objection among the half-dozen residents who opposed the plan were that the villa homes were not compatible with the other homes around the golf course.
Several residents supported Neal’s plan, which will include open space and a recreation center.
Larry Cobins, who lives in the Village Green condominiums, said he likes the paired-patio concept and that the villas look like single family homes.
Jack Rooney, who has a home on the golf course, said it is “nice to see something happening there.”
“It should be a great project,” he said.
“I appreciate what they are doing.”