Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps says the $6.5 million sale of Glen Lakes Golf Course will get the city out of a failing business, create a 10-acre public park and generate money that can be used to improve other city parks.
The Save Glen Lakes group remains sharply critical of the Phelps plan. Glendale City Council will vote on an amendment and rezoning needed to close the deal Tuesday, Oct. 13.
The Glendale Star asked members of the group—which has been fighting the sale of the golf course at meetings for more than a year—for specifics on their opposition. Several said they felt the process was unfairly manipulated.
“This entire thing was still born from the beginning,” said Scott Rusch. “The city made sure to condemn the course to further the cause to sell. Then wildly over inflating the costs to repair and run the course. Thus, illegally and actively working against the citizens of Glendale and their demands to keep the course open and functional. There also exists a servitude on the land which was made in the 1979 contract when the city purchased the land that has been conveniently ignored.”
Said Kathy Wheeler, “Glen Lakes Golf Course was very profitable for the city. Decisions were made by the city to neglect the golf course, which is typical of how Glendale operates. In spite of this, the neighborhood still is blight free and homeless free.”
Phil Erickson added, “From day one, the city has not been transparent with the citizens. They had a general plan from the contracted developer with a plot layout of what the development would look like to present to the citizens at the first public meeting. Never once were we asked if we wanted the property sold for 173 homes or keep it as a golf course.”
“City management and council have totally ignored our comments, publicly denounced us when we did voice our opinions at the open houses. There has been absolutely no transparency. Their minds have been made up, and we’re the losers,” said Martha Erickson.
Jane Bachmann summed up the group’s feeling: “Citizen’s desire to keep Glen Lakes has not been considered.”
Rusch critiqued the development plan for 173 homes, saying, “Tiny, ticky-tacky houses jammed into small lots is a travesty.”
“The neighborhood will not be able to handle the two-story houses with no back yards and limited front areas,” Wheeler added. “It will be too crowded with 173 homes.”
Others brought up increased traffic and the environmental impact of open space being reduced.
The group cynically views the plan for adding a 10-acre park—and promises to used the $6.5 million to improve other parks around the city.
“There will not be a park. It will be the run-off basin for the development,” said Rusch.
“The park as presented is a stripped-down version of what was (first) presented to the citizens,” said Bachmann.
Martha Erickson went further, calling the park “a big joke.”
And Wheeler noted the money from the sale will go to the city’s general fund. “The city will spend it wherever they want it to go,” she said.
Bachmann agreed and went a step further.
“The city is doing well financially and could fund Glen Lakes if they wanted to keep the golf course as an amenity for the people,” she said.
Phil Erickson summed up the views many in Save Glen Lakes would second: “Why destroy a well established neighborhood for, in the grand scheme of things, is such a small amount of money? Selling this beautiful, historic course with a gorgeous canopy that was donated by the Tiger Woods Foundation is such a short-sighted, reckless and irresponsible decision.
“Not to mention a disrespectful, slap in the face to the taxpayers and their right to this wonderful amenity.”