Boise & Garden City

’We got run over’: Homeowners group laments new decision on Plantation golf course

Homeowners around Plantation Country Club in Garden City fear a new owner will redevelop the golf course into housing

Homeowner Pierce Roan worries that a new owner might reduce Plantation Country Club in Garden City to nine holes, or worse, completely remove the golf course and develop the property.
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Homeowner Pierce Roan worries that a new owner might reduce Plantation Country Club in Garden City to nine holes, or worse, completely remove the golf course and develop the property.

The Garden City Council has taken a step that Plantation Country Club homeowners fear could lead to added development of the golf course property on State Street.

The council approved a change to the city’s comprehensive plan to say that green spaces, including golf courses, open spaces and parks, contribute to the health and well-being of the community, and that existing parks should be preserved.

A draft plan had said that green spaces should be preserved too. Homeowners surrounding the golf course at 6515 W. State hoped would make it harder for the country club’s owners to develop any of the existing property, even though it is privately owned and not a park.

In a letter to the council, Glass Creek LLC, which bought the golf course from American Golf Corp, in December, said it was unfair to treat green space owned by a private enterprise the same way as public parks and open spaces in deciding what to preserve. The council agreed.

Pierce Roan, president of the Plantation Master Association, a homeowners’ group, says the change could lead to added development around the golf course and higher-density development along the Boise River.

“The bottom line is we got run over,” he said after the meeting.

CEO Will Gustafson reiterated in an interview that his company plans to maintain Plantation as an 18-hole course.

Gustafson told the Idaho Statesman previously that his company plans to develop a portion of the property along State Street. He said the widening of State Street from two lanes to three in both directions by the Ada County Highway District will force Plantation to reconfigure several of its holes and shorten the course.

“We’ve been completely transparent in the process and will continue to be,” Gustafson said, noting that he and his team have met several times with club members and neighbors.

He said any development plans will undergo scrutiny at numerous city hearings.

Roan was also upset that Plantation project manager Bob Taunton was named Monday as a member of an ad hoc committee to look at a potential overlay district replacement.

Earlier this month, the council repealed a zoning overlay that added restrictions above base zoning requirements along the river and the city’s Greenbelt Pathway. The overlay was created in February 2018. Landowners complained it was impossible to meet some of the requirements, such as a rule that parcels must have a 50% tree canopy within 10 years.

Roan said it was unfair for Taunton and Mayor John Evans, who develops home sites in Canyon County, to be on the eight-member committee.

“They’re going to be the most influential members of the committee,” Roan said.

Evans has not engaged in any business activities in Garden City since joining the council in 1995.

Taunton said it was appropriate that someone from Plantation, the largest property in the city, serve on the committee.

“We should have a voice at the table,” he said.

Reporter John Sowell has worked for the Statesman since 2013. He covers business and growth issues. He grew up in Emmett and graduated from the University of Oregon.If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.