The Second Battle For Countryside
Earlier this month at the Countryside Neighborhood Alliance night out celebration, I sensed a hope that had been struggling to flourish over the last few dark months. The city’s development plans had unraveled and the alliance felt that if nothing else, time had been bought. While none of us were under any illusion that we’d won a great victory in our first battle, we did think we had won time.
Time is up. Monday, the city will open another salvo. According to reports filtering out, the city is considering selling a tract of Countryside land to a neighboring business. Such a sale would most likely erase the third hole and second green as well as a chunk of the approach to the second green, although details remain sketchy and under wraps.
Looking at the most likely scenario if the sale goes through, the golf course would be radically changed and the idea of parceling out the course will have been introduced. With only sixteen and a half holes left, the course will have to be reconfigured with at least one more hole added. Where will that hole go? That’s the big question. Other questions pop in to my mind. If that tract can be sold off independently, will the city sell off others? Will Countryside slowly be turned in to an “executive golf course?” Will the neighborhood alliance’s resolve be tested every few months as the city sells off chunks of the property willy-nilly? Why haven’t our civic group leaders been included in any discussions?
Monday night’s meeting is key. City leaders need to understand that the people of Countryside care very deeply about their community. The city needs to see us at the meeting with our bright shirts on and resolve etched on our faces. Let’s hope that the wisdom of the council outstrips their desire to develop the land quickly. In this case, proceeding carefully and thoughtfully with all parties engaged in positive and honest dialog trumps a rush to development. Since the latest development plans fell apart, the city now has a unique opportunity to study the Countryside property in rich detail and figure out how to use it effectively as a recreation facility for all of the city’s residents. We need to make sure council understands that we have a vision for the property that would be a win/win for the community and the city. We need to be at Monday night’s meeting!
Posted By Valerie Garner