LAKE SUZY — Progress is underway for the clean-up of Kingsway Country Club — owned by Allegiant Travel Company — in the the DeSoto County area of Lake Suzy.
Last week, Allegiant sent a landscaping company to the property after being cited in June for violating the DeSoto County’s Clean County Act.
“The majority of the golf course property has already been mowed,” Allegiant Spokesperson Hilarie Grey told the Sun in an email. “With the community in mind, that effort started with the exterior areas most visible to residents.”
The club, established in 1976, was set to be closed April 1 for renovations but closed earlier than planned in March due to COVID-19.
“The fact that the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry stopped (the Kingsway renovation) project from moving forward as planned breaks our hearts,” Grey said.
In the months after that closure, the club and its grounds were neglected, leaving area homeowners with an eyesore and safety hazard of overgrown weeds, dead grass, fallen palm fronds and other debris.
The violation notice stated that the property had fallen into a condition “constituting a violation” of the DeSoto County’s Code of Ordinance Article X, Sec. 11-221, part of the Clean County Act of DeSoto.
Maureen Stasi is president of the Alliance of Lake Suzy Homeowners Association, which represents 13 Homeowners Associations and single family residents in the area — around 1,000 residences in southwest DeSoto County.
She said she and other area residents are generally happy with Allegiant’s efforts so far.
“They bush-hogged and mowed with two mowers July 9 and 10,” Stasi said. “That’s all good as long as they continue to stay within the guidelines of Article 10 of the Clean County Act which means the grass has to be maintained below 10 inches.
“Both the Alliance and DeSoto County intend to monitor and hold them to it. I trust they will continue to abide by county codes.”
In mid-June, Allegiant representatives met with the county’s Code Enforcement Director Jorge Hernandez to discuss the violations.
That was the last time the two parties spoke, according to Hernandez.
“We have not had any further contact with them,” Hernandez said. “Code Enforcement has gone out and conducted follow-up inspections; we will be contacting the County Attorney (Donald Conn) with the result of our investigations. At this time, no fines have been assessed.”
Grey said that the Southwest Florida area is a crucial region for Allegiant.
“Southwest Florida is a critically important region for Allegiant where we have thrived and grown over the years,” Grey said. “Our commitment to the community remains steadfast and we look forward to a time when normalcy returns.”