Article Courtesy of The West
Orange Times & Observer
By Danielle Hendrix
Published March 1, 2021
Although Stoneybrook West residents recently shot down a proposal necessary
to allow the homeowners association to purchase Stoneybrook West Golf &
Country Club, another vote is on the horizon.
During a special meeting Tuesday, Feb. 16, residents were asked to answer
two questions on the ballot. The first requested approval of changes to the
HOA’s governing documents, while the second asked for permission to move
forward with purchasing the property.
To amend the governing documents, they needed a supermajority — or
two-thirds — of the votes cast, HOA President Dennis Armstrong said. For
proceeding with the purchase, only a majority was necessary.
Armstrong said there were 532 votes cast. Although the second question
passed with no issues, the request to amend the governing documents fell 15
votes short. Because the vote was so close, the HOA is opting to hold a
“We’ve addressed a lot of the residents’ concerns — the ones that weren’t
willing to support the first go around,” he said. “We tried to listen, and
we tried to come up with some changes that we feel reflects what people had
The HOA vote took place 15 days after Fisher Auction Company announced it
was appointed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to manage the auction of the golf
course and club. The auction is scheduled for Friday, March 12.
However, Winter Garden city officials asked the bankruptcy trustee what it
would take for the city — in partnership with the HOA — to buy the property
before the auction. The answer: $2 million.
“After we found out that it went to auction, I asked the attorney, ‘Do we
want to go and try to purchase it?’” City Manager Mike Bollhoefer said.
Two things are necessary for that to happen. First, residents need to
approve both questions on the ballot the second time. The city then would
submit the contract for purchase to the bankruptcy trustee, who would submit
it to the judge for approval.
Although it seems there’s a good possibility that could work, there is a
chance a judge could reject the offer and move forward with the auction
process, Bollhoefer said.
“That was really a big change for us, because probably the biggest unknown
that we heard from the residents was, ‘Well, what’s the purchase price
really going to be? How much is it really going to cost us? Do we really
have to go through the whole auction scenario?’” Armstrong said. “This, of
course, addressed all three of those questions.”
Meanwhile, the HOA is hoping to hold the second vote in early March — before
“We’ve seen a number of positive comments on social media and all … that
after the discussion and proposed language changes, a number of the
residents that voted no were now comfortable in voting yes,” Armstrong said.
“Plus, we’re doing the second vote electronically so it’ll be easier for
people to vote, and hopefully we’ll get more voters.
“That was very fortuitous that we have the opportunity to go back again and
ask the residents, ‘Hey, we heard what you had to say, we’re trying to make
this as palatable to everyone as it can be. Here’s another crack at it,’” he
said. “All things combined, we believe we’re on the right track.”