BAXTER — A hand-drawn sketch outline of residential units and two office buildings on a parcel on the former site of Pine Meadows Gold Course brought out Baxter residents for Tuesday night’s city council meeting.
The concept layout for the development has 14 residential units with access off Golf Course Drive.
The property is currently bank-owned but there is a potential buyer with the development plan. The tentative development is on the northeast corner of Clearwater Road and Golf Course Drive, along the former driving range.
Council member Mark Cross said when the city was originally sold a vision of the planned unit development at the former Pine Meadows Golf Course, it was for the entire parcel and his concern was for a disconnected development if it was chopped up into pieces.
“I think the development as presented should be questioned,” said long-time Baxter resident Roy Androli.
Androli has a home in Country Club Estates along the former golf course.
He said the swamp mud below the existing townhomes holds water and they’ve had continuous issues of wet basements and constantly running sump pumps in some units. He wondered what would happen with 14 more residences constructed there and questioned how the office buildings could be built in a residentially zoned area.
Fellow Country Club Estates resident Walter Tournat said when it came to the water tables, the seller didn’t let the truth get in the way of a good story when they were buying townhomes.
But he said they got a home in a beautiful setting in a beautiful city. But recently, Tournat said they spent thousands to refurbish their home after water issues.
“We are all a little long in the tooth and we felt this was our last home,” Tournat said, but added he can’t keep putting that money into the home.
Putting in more homes with the existing water concerns would be too much, Tournat said.
“I think it’s just over the top and I appreciate the time you are taking to listen to our concerns,” Tournat said. “We are adamant we are not going to allow this to happen. ... Where were the inspectors when Country Club Estates was built? AWOL.”
The city now has an ordinance that basements cannot be closer than 3 feet above the highest indication of water. Mayor Darrel Olson said by city ordinance anyone who is thinking of doing something next year has to get a sketch plan to the city before the end of this year.
The ordinance was developed before the economy fell and Baxter was awash in development proposals. Having the sketch plan in by year’s end helped the city plan for the coming year.
So, Olson said, the potential developer submitted the plan but there is nothing beyond that and the city wasn’t planning to approve anything Tuesday.
The city council acknowledged it received the sketch plan. Olson said neighbors will be notified before any planning and zoning hearings on the subject.
“Nothing is being approved tonight,” Olson reassured the crowd. “We are not anywhere close to that and you people would be a party to that process.”