The golf course at the Crowfield Golf & Country Club won’t be subdivided for apartments or other high-density housing anytime in the near future.
After eight months of discussion, Goose Creek City Council this week gave approval to an ordinance limiting development around the city-owned course and keeping council from dividing the land and selling it for 25 years.
Mayor Mike Heitzler initially faced opposition from all of council except Councilman John McCants.
In the end, the only dissenting vote came from Councilman Jerry Tekac, who lives in The Hamlets, the neighborhood that surrounds the course, and is a paying member of the club. Councilwoman Marguerite Brown, who also has been a vocal opponent, was not at the meeting.
“It’s kind of ironic that I live in The Hamlets and I voted against the deed restriction,” Tekac said. “The reason is very simple. I’ve reviewed the covenants of The Hamlets, and it’s very restrictive what can be built there anyway … I believe it was unneeded legislation.”
He also thinks that the restriction does not guarantee that the 180 acres will remain a golf course, and he is concerned about tying the hands of future councils. Other members of council were also worried about the 25 years, so an amendment allows the city’s voters to decide whether to allow future councils to lift the restriction.
When the city bought the course nine years ago, it “was on the auction block, the zoning was planned development and there was no title restriction,” Heitzler said. “A developer could have bought it and developed it into something other than a golf course and that is what we wanted to prevent.”
Three years ago, Heitzler met with homeowners in The Hamlets and came up with three goals: to run a successful golf course, rezone the property as “conservation/open space” and put a deed restriction on the course.
About $4 million in taxpayer money has been spent on the course, which is now paid off. It is expected to turn a profit for the first time this year.
“I’ve achieved my goals and now we can turn to the next chapter in the saga that is the Crowfield golf course,” Heitzler said. “The next chapter is improving the golf experience. That’s going to be a much more fun and exciting venture than the last nine years.”
Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or www.facebook.com/brindge.
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