Efforts to convert the 18-hole course in Saint Paul, Minn., into a 175-unit residential development were denied by the local planning commission, but the plan still has life in it.
A plan to redevelop Parkview Golf Club faced a hurdle at a May 22 meeting of the Eagan (Minn.) Advisory Planning Commission, the Eagan Patch reported. The commission voted 5-1 to recommend denial of developer Hunter Emerson’s Comprehensive Guide Plan amendment.
The plan would convert the Saint Paul, Minn., 18-hole golf course into a 175-unit residential development.
Despite this setback, the plan could still see the light of day if the Eagan City Council finds the proposal more favorable on June 19. If the council approves it, the request would then go to the Metropolitan Council.
After nearly two hours of testimony from neighbors, three commission members voted against the proposal out of concern that low-density, single-family housing would not accommodate the city’s housing goals, as the area’s aging demographic will eventually require senior housing.
Other concerns about the plan include proximity to significant parkland, increased traffic, declining home values and the reduction of recreational space, as well as the effects that would come from losing another course in the area.
“With the closing of Carriage Hills [Country Club, an Eagan property that closed in 2004] and now potentially Parkview, where are these golfers going to go to learn the important skills and etiquette?” Mark Wanous, the golf coach at Eastview High School, asked. “It just really concerns me as a golf professional in the business.”
Robert Zackheim, co-owner of the Parkview Golf Course, said he was encouraged by the emotional response, but added that the club may close regardless of the city’s plans. Zackheim cited over-saturation of the golf market, rising costs and declining participation numbers as factors contributing to the course’s financial troubles.
“We’ve been unable to have the course achieve any of our financial goals,” Zackheim said. “As much as we would like to make it work, continuing to run our golf course operation is not viable.”
Hunter Emerson will consider tinkering with the development plans to include senior housing before the June 19 meeting.podcast