OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Owners of an Overland Park golf course that closed April 1 submitted plans Tuesday to replace the course with 70 more homes.
More than 100 homeowners living along Deer Creek Golf Club banded together Wednesday trying to save their golf course. A lawsuit has been filed by a resident saying an implied covenant requires the property to be maintained as a gold course.
Great Life, owners and operators of the course, announced the closure almost immediately after plans to build apartments along the course failed.
Some neighbors living alongside Deer Creek Golf Club fought the original plans over the past year for those 225 apartments to be built in mostly parking lot areas alongside the golf course’s first hole and clubhouse. The plan was approved by a planning commission and then rejected by the full city council.
“A lot of people are up in arms they didn’t realize the effect of not having the apartments was going to have on the community and our house, the value especially,” Larry Boyd said.
Residents thought Great Life would then sell the course which has dealt with flooding issues, but learned that doesn’t appear to be the plan. Boyd said he first learned the real plan from a maintenance worker closing up the course April 2.
“He said the first thing that’s going to happen is we are going to tear down the clubhouse, strip the sod and put it on other courses. I flipped out,” Boyd said.
So neighbors organized a grassroots effort to save the course. They ended up having their first meeting Wednesday, the same day Overland Park uploaded GLDC LLC’s request to plat 70 homes on the course, an area already zoned R-1 residential.
“The further you get down the road the harder it is going to be to turn the ship around,” Terry Carr said.
Questions remain about what can be done? The apartment plan may not still be on the table according to a vocal opponent of the original plan and recent mayoral candidate Mike Czinege.
“Its not like we can say lets go back we changed our mind we think this is a good thing. They had this platted out before they asked for this building, they were going to close this course to build it,” Czinege surmised.
The consensus among residents seemed to be to try to get grant money to fix the flooding and convince Great Life to sell to someone who will keep the course, maybe the residents themselves.
The preliminary plat application for new homes doesn’t need the same council approval as the apartments but will still go before the Overland Park Planning commission. Right now a public hearing is tentatively scheduled for June 13th.
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