Walt Williams lives near the Soaring Avenue entrance into the Raintree neighborhood and has endured multiple home invasions.
In a conversation with Mayor Joe Affronti about possibly closing the entrance, he was referred to Mike Holtcamp. Holtcamp lived for many years near the Soaring entrance in Raintree Terrace but some years ago moved his family to Raintree Oaks. When he lived near the Soaring entrance, he had approached city officials about closing the entrance.
Homes in the Raintree community were built by Lennar Homes. Raintree is a mix of single-family homes and condominiums. The homes are located within two areas, Raintree Terrace and Raintree Oaks. The condos are known as Raintree Manor.
“A minority of our residents, mostly those who live away from that entrance in the cul-de-sacs, are happy with the status quo, but when we lived on Grape Fern, I was definitely a proponent of closing the Soaring Avenue entrance,” Holtcamp said.
Williams and Holtcamp spent several weeks knocking on doors, surveying residents about whether they would like to see a full or partial closure of the Soaring Avenue entrance, or if they would rather leave it as it is.
Both men reported that of the 130 people they talked with, 90 percent voted for either partial or full closure. Survey results include 58 percent of the houses in Raintree Terrace and 73 percent of the houses in Raintree Oaks.
Raintree Terrace resident Carolyn Hines-Cobb says she’s in favor of closure, but only if residents can go in and out via a private gate with a key-code pad.
“What do we do when there is an accident at the Fowler entrance? It happens,” she said. “I try to avoid driving on Fowler when I can.”
Holtcamp said that some years ago when he explored the issue, one of the problems had to do with Raintree Boulevard. Lennar Homes had never conveyed the rights to Raintree Boulevard to the city. City officials objected to closing the only public access to the neighborhood—the Soaring Avenue entrance.
Recently, the Raintree Lakes Property Association was active in getting ownership of Raintree Boulevard changed to the city.
“Our next step is to schedule a time to formally present the results of the survey to the City Council,” Holtcamp said.
Williams has spoken to Affronti and to Kathy Pack about getting the Soaring entrance closure on the City Council agenda.
“We’re hoping to get the survey results in front of the City Council by the end of the year,” Williams said.