Planning Commission to vote on golf course dispute

July 08, 1992|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff Writer

WESTMINSTER -- A final vote on the Fenby Farms subdivision, scheduled by the city Planning Commission tomorrow night, will again put the panel in the middle of a 2-year-old dispute between the developer and the owner of an adjacent golf course.

The commission will meet at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Planning Director Thomas B. Beyard said yesterday that he will recommend approval of the final plat for the 55-unit subdivision, which is surrounded by Wakefield Valley Golf Club. Developer Michael Oakes has met the city's requirements, Mr. Beyard said.

Golf course owner Hank L. Majewski says he will protest the approval. "The lots as they are planned right now are extremely dangerous," he said.

At issue are six or seven planned houses adjacent to the green of the fifth hole on the "gold" course, one of three courses. Mr. Majewski fears that if golfers hook to the left when they tee off, the balls will hit yards, windows or people.

The city Planning Commission approved in April a landscaping proposal that would place a tree screen between the houses and the golf course.

A more extensive proposal to construct several mounds on subdivision property between the houses and the golf course and to realign the hole was submitted earlier by Robert Elder, a golf course architect retained by Mr. Majewski.

Mr. Majewski declined yesterday to say why he did not have the hole realigned. Letters in the planning file indicate that he expected the developer to bear the cost of the mounds and landscaping recommended by Mr. Elder. Property owner L. Earl Griswold offered in the fall of 1991 to share the cost of safety

design changes. Mr. Griswold died in April.

Mr. Oakes declined to comment on the cost-sharing issue, but said he thinks the safety concerns "have been addressed quite adequately" in his landscaping plan.

Nathan Greene, Mr. Majewski's attorney, said he hopes to reiterate the safety concerns and the architect's recommendations tomorrow night.

"We told them in April we felt they'd failed to pay attention to their very own consultants," he said. Mr. Elder had been hired several years ago by the city government to make recommendations for landscaping between the golf course and the subdivision.

Mr. Beyard said the Planning Commission has no legal right to demand that a developer make changes on someone else's property, such as a redesign of the hole.

"The issue of redesigning the golf course is really an issue Mr. Majewski has control over," the planning director said.

Mr. Beyard said he believes the city planning staff and commission looked thoroughly at safety issues in the Fenby Farms proposal before the April vote to approve the landscaping plan.

Over the past several years, the study included asking the city attorney to research cases of houses being built adjacent to golf courses, he said.

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