Victory for Pinellas community in fight with developer

Golf course will stay in Seminole

SEMINOLE, Fla. - Hundreds of Pinellas County homeowners were fighting to save the Tides Golf Course in Seminole from residential development.

Now they can claim victory with word that developer is backing out.

"It's a gem for the community," said resident Ed Methfessel.

For locals and visitors alike, there is no better way to spend an afternoon then a round at the Tides Golf Course.

That's why a proposal to build up 170 homes here was met with so much resistance.

"We have enough houses and condos around here so, time for some golf courses to stay around," said golfer Mike Drozin.

"It's close to the beaches, it allows us to play golf and recreate. There's also a tremendous amount of wildlife here," said Methfessel.

But residents in this Seminole neighborhood can breathe easy. They mobilized and got organized fighting the developer at every turn until finally that developer dropped its plans.

"This all happened because the ire of the community, came up and said we are pushing back," said resident Ronald Stevens.

Neighbors Stephens and Methfessel live right on the golf course and helped create Save The Tides.

They got thousands of people to sign a petition to keep the course, including golfers riding by the 18th fairway.

"We love our recreational open space, whether it became a park or stayed as a golf course really didn't matter to us, we just didn't want it to go away," said Stephens.

County staff were recommending commissioners reject the plans because of how it might affect the neighborhoods around the course.

Not to mention, green space in Pinellas is hard to come by.

A county report on the Tides proposal said this decision could set a precedent about how other open spaces are developed in the future.

"We are encouraged by where it stands today, in terms of the county standing up to a developer and saying, 'No,'" said Methfessel.

For now, residents can retire the bright green shirts, get back to golf, and enjoy a view they fought to keep.

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