Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Roanoke takes option on Countryside Golf Course – December 1982

Roanoke takes option to buy golf course for $1.5 million
– By Mag Poff, Senior Writer – December 28, 1982.

Roanoke City Council has taken an option on Countryside Golf Course as part of a deal for purchase of 14 parcels from the same owners for airport use..

Councilman James Trout, chairman of the Economic Development Commission, said it will use the 120-day option to negotiate with any developers who want to swap industrial land for the residential land at the golf course.

The Option permits the city to buy the land from Builders Investment Group of Philadelphia for $1.5 million.

Trout said the city will not operate the golf course, which lies along Interstate 581, nor will it attempt to develop the 174 acres for industry..

Council, after a 20-minute executive session Monday, unanimously gave formal approval to taking of the option under the plan proposed by Trout..

Trout said the consideration for the option is the $133,800 price the city will pay to buy the 14 parcels for airport protection and development. The Fedral Aviation Administration will reimburse 80 percent of that cost and the state another 10 percent..

The land will be acquired by the end of this week. Trout said the city needs the 14 parcels for the airport regardless of any interest in the option..

But as part of the deal, the Philadelphia owners also agreed to give the city an option, to last four months, to buy the golf course for $1.5 million..

Should the city pick up the option, Trout said, the $133,800 payment for the 14 parcels will become a credit against the $1.5 million price, reducing it by that amount..

Under the plan, the city would swap the golf course land for the industrial land. The golf course could be developed for condominiums, apartments or other use consistent with residential zoning..

(So what happened after this – mystery Philadelphia owners? Obviously the golf course was not purchased/swapped … we would not be here now if they had followed through with the option to purchase Countryside Golf Course. Another short-sighted decision? More to come from Stephanie Moon, Roanoke City Clerk, and minutes of the Council meetings during this time.)

The difference between then and now besides 25 years, $2.6 million, and less land is that – WE LIVE HERE NOW! As many as 100 homes have been built since then. The Countryside Drive homes in about 1998 and Mattaponi between the 10th and 12th fairways from 1999 – 2002. A. Byron Smith on Cheraw Lake in 1984 as well as new homes on Lewiston and Laurel Ridge. All of us bought to be on the open green space of a golf course and not crammed into a dense housing development. We bought and built here because it was “something special”. All the while we were unknowingly moving in – Roanoke City was “knowingly” planning our demise. The City then does not understand why we feel so betrayed. The time to buy the property is past … it is too late … citizen’s property will be diminished and their quality of life will suffer. As I mentioned earlier the business community does not want to see it developed for a different reason. They want it saved for expansion of runway 6 so Roanoke does not loose another opportunity like Dell Computers who would have located here if 747s could have taken off from Roanoke Regional Airport. We support their reason as well. CLICK HERE FOR THE DELL ROANOKE TIMES ARTICLE..

** A big “thank you” to Belinda Harris, The Roanoke Times Librarian, for sending the clipping.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Finance

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