Supervisors Consider Development Plans For Pine Island Golf Course

Development on the old Pine Island Golf Course in Gulf Park Estates has been the works for years. Now, developers are a step closer to putting their plans in motion. Last week, the Jackson County Planning Commission approved the plans for the new Pine Islands Golf Resort.

"This is the highest and best use that we can hope for, for this piece of property," Jackson County Supervisor John McKay says.

Hurricane Georges destroyed the old Pine Island Golf Course. Now, a developer wants to turn the waterfront property into a resort with a 50-room hotel, 18-hole golf course, and lots of condos and luxury homes.

"The land is overgrown and basically vacant, with the exception of the three or four homeowners that live in the area."

Pam Blakeney is one of those homeowners. She's in favor of the project.

"I think if they do it right, and go along with nature and everything out here, and keep it pretty and respect the wildlife, that'd be nice," Blakeney says.

Greg Frye likes the idea too, especially what it does to his home's value.

"A couple years back they were looking at doing it. And I think it'll be really good for the property values in the area," Frye says.

This is the first time Sherry Tonne has seen the plans. She likes what she sees, but has one resonating thought.

"They've got to address the traffic," Tonne says.

Supervisor McKay agrees.

"When you have any new development, you're going to have more traffic. Unfortunately that's the way it is when you grow," McKay says.

McKay says the county will have to widen Beachview to deal with any new development. But adds that there are no plans for it right now.

The residents say they understand there's a price for progress.

"As long as they don't take too much of my yard," Tonne adds.

"The road being widened might be a headache to deal with, but I think once it's done, it'll be a good thing," Frye says.

If the Pine Island Golf Resort plans are approved by the Board of Supervisors, construction should begin within a year.