Concern is growing for many people living in Henderson’s Wolf Hills Subdivision after the owner and prospective buyer of a now-shuttered golf course have re-filed a petition to rezone the property.
The last round of golf was played at the former Players Club of Henderson golf course in March 2016. Citing mounting costs and decreasing revenues, the owner, Daniel McQueen of Corman-McQueen Golf Inc., opted to close the course after a previous two year lease had expired. Ever since the closure, there’s been an ongoing battle between McQueen, the prospective buyer Mike Chambers, and a group of property owners living in the surrounding neighborhood.
The ownership group had previously tried to have the more than 130 acre former golf course rezoned. However, after receiving some pushback from neighbors, that request was withdrawn. A few months later, the ownership group successfully convinced city officials to permit the use of the former golf course clubhouse as a banquet hall or meeting space.
Officials from the ownership group have previously stated that it is their intention to use the property as a banquet hall-style venue that would overlook the rolling hills and bluffs of the former golf course.
On July 21st, neighbors reported receiving letters from the city-county planning commission notifying them that the ownership group had re-filed the petition to rezone the golf course. If granted, the rezoning petition would allow the property to be used for something other than a golf course so long as it qualifies as an acceptable use under the city’s agricultural zoning.
“You’re always leery as a property owner what the property values are going to be and what further development in the area could cause,” said Tony Drury, who lives just a couple of houses away from what was once the golf course driving range. “Once you change it from a golf course to agricultural, everything is up in the air again.”
Drury moved to the neighborhood in 1998, just as the subdivision was being developed. He was content with moving to the area regardless if the golf course was, indeed, going to be built, he said.
“Now that you’ve had [a golf course] and lost it, you realize what an asset it was,” Drury said. “After being here almost 20 years, it’s just a shame to see it digress to this point. It’s kind of a blight compared to what it once was.”
Large patches of dead grass now dot the rolling hills like chicken pox. Some of the small ponds are covered in a thick blanket of algae. It resembles someone’s memory of a golf course.
And while it may never be a golf course again, Drury and others who spoke to Eyewitness News hope any future development compliments the neighborhood — not detract from it. Among the acceptable uses under an agricultural zoning are farming; churches, non-profit public and private organizations; greenhouses or nurseries; public, private or parochial school facilities; vet clinics if the structure is 400 feet away from a residential district; oil well or gas well drilling and a winery or vineyard.
“When you talk about other developments outside of what it is, then there is real concern in this subdivision and community for what that might turn into,” Drury said. “There’s a real fear. These homes in this neighborhood are nice homes. There are some restrictions with the property and what you can do here and if you further develop it, that would be lost.”
The City-County Planning Commission will take up the rezoning petition at a special meeting on August 15th.