Despite multiple protests by many of the same neighbors who have cried out against the project for more than a year, Glendale City Council effectively closed the books on the Glen Lakes Golf Course.
“It’s a crying shame,” said Councilman Bart Turner, the lone opposing vote. “We can afford to restore this, either as a golf course or a park. ... There’s a lot of dissent in the community.”
Council voted 6-1 to approve an amendment and rezoning of the city-owned golf course. That clears the way for closing on the $6.5 million sale of Glen Lakes Golf Course.
Homes by Towne, the buyer, plans a 173-home gated housing community, with a 10-acre surrounding park.
"I do not take any pleasure in casting this vote," said Councilwoman Lauren Tolmachoff, who voted for both motions. "We’ve spent over two years debating this issue, and it just doesn’t make financial sense to me for a city of 250,000 people to have two nine-hole municipal golf courses. Literally there’s a nine-hole municipal golf course five and a half miles from here. I don’t see any other option for us but to move forward with this.
"I think it’s the right thing to do for the city. I know the residents are not going to be happy," Tolmachoff added.
So the 173-home Trevino at Glen Lakes is set to tee off in Glendale.
Suzanne Weber, director of marketing of Homes by Towne, was asked by The Glendale Star about the opposition by neighbors.
“We respect the love neighbors have for this community and invite everyone to come and visit our existing communities to see what we are about,” said Weber.
Homes by Towne has communities in Surprise, Litchfield Park, Cave Creek and North Phoenix.
Asked why Homes by Towne was so interested in Glen Lakes, Weber said, “We were excited about the opportunity to build and provide a new home option in an established neighborhood with strong community ties and great freeway access.”
Glen Lakes is on 40 acres near Northern and 55th avenues in northeast Glendale.
According to Weber, construction on the Trevino at Glen Lakes community will begin with six months “with home closing slated for two years from now.”
She said the 173 homes will range from 1,500 to 3,000 square feet.
The Glendale Chamber of Commerce wholeheartedly supports the project.
“We encourage your full support on Trevino at Glen Lakes—your approval of this project will demonstrate the councils ability recognize the importance of an infill project as a way to strengthen Glendale’s economy,” wrote Robert Heidt Jr., president and CEO of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, in a letter to the mayor and council members before the meeting.
“In addition, your support recognizes the potential of this new development as a catalyst for new and affordable homes, shows you have fully evaluated the prior use as a golf course and the cost implications associated, etc. It also shows the community the council’s ability to recognize a better use for a city asset that has not been able to reach the potential it perhaps once had whereas it has been costing the city money.”
Heidt said the new community will have significant impacts “and has the potential to raise property values in the area. What is also of great interest, the nearly 173 new homes and families who will relocate into our community within one mile of downtown, an area of the community we continue to work collectively on as we strive to drive economic vitality to downtown businesses—another win for Glendale’s businesses,” Heidt said.
But several who posted comments to The Glendale Star’s social media expressed frustration.
“Our Glendale City Council doesn’t care what its residents want. Thank you, Bart Turner, for being the one vote of reason,” said Jim Wolfe.
Tom Cole complained about council “completely disregarding the unanimous vote of the planning commission. The majority of this council thinks they know better than the neighbors or the volunteers appointed for this purpose. This is not how city government is supposed to work.”
“This is so sad!” wrote Becky Shad. “Thank you Bart for trying.”
Jane Bachmann, one of the leaders of Save Glen Lakes, which has been fighting to keep the golf course, joined in the praise of Turner and condemnation of the other votes.
But Bachmann added a cryptic note; “It is not over yet for Glen Lakes, stay tuned ...”