City of Sarasota will protect site of Bobby Jones Golf Club from development in perpetuity
Course renovation to begin in February
The Sarasota City Commission unanimously approved placing a conservation easement on Bobby Jones Golf Club, restoring the historic 18-hole Donald Ross golf course, and constructing a new 9-hole adjustable course and clubhouse. The Commission took the action Monday during an all-day special meeting.
The conservation easement will limit the use to recreation, parkland and green space in perpetuity.
“Securing a conservation easement on 261 acres of urban green space is a historic legacy action,” said Mayor Erik Arroyo. “Future generations are guaranteed this beautiful natural area, that eventually will connect to the Legacy Trail, will permanently exist as parkland for residents and visitors to enjoy.”
The reconstructed Bobby Jones municipal golf course will be downsized from 45 holes to 27 holes and will now include the infrastructure for a 150-acre nature park while improving water quality. Wetlands will be created to filter stormwater as it flows through the Bobby Jones property, which is located within a significant regional watershed, and ultimately ends in Sarasota Bay. The Southwest Florida Water Management District approved a $1.5 million grant for a wetlands and water quality improvement project on the site.
“The permanent conservation of Bobby Jones Golf Club is a huge win for both people and nature,” said Christine P. Johnson, president of Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. “We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of community support and to the army of people who engaged their policymakers in favor of this vote. We are excited to work with the City to create this legacy for our region and thank both the City Commissioners and staff for their commitment to conservation.”