News 5 Investigates

Aug 18, 2014 7:32 PM by Eric Ross

News 5 Investigates: Living on a golf course driving property values down?

Homeowners in the Gleneagle subdivision on the northeast side of El Paso County are sounding off over an unkept golf course they say is driving property values down and is an eyesore to look at.

Neighbors are also complaining the course has become a breeding ground for high weeds, grass, and occasional trash.

"For the golf course to have closed the way it did, I understand it affects property values and I believe the weed abatement is a fire hazard," homeowner Frank Thatcher said. "I moved here because of the golf course."

Now all that's visible is high weeds and grass.

"The golf course doesn't fall under the HOA jurisdiction or our authority," Ken Judd with the Gleneagle Civic Association said. "There are a number of us that our concerned about maintaining the quality of life out there."

The owner of the golf course lives out of state and the Gleneagle Civic Association says he refuses to mow the course.

Code enforcement officers have been notified, but News 5 uncovered a loophole. High weed codes only apply to parcels of land smaller than 2.5 acres.

"We're hopeful the county will find some sort of way to get the course maintained," Judd said.

About a 130 of the 650 homes in the subdivision back up to the golf course.

While some want the course sold, other homeowners aren't so sure that's the best option.

"My preference would be that it remains open space," Andy Stecklein said. "My fear is that if there's a change in ownership, someone may develop it into something that might not be so family-friendly for the neighborhood.

However, homeowners all agree they'd like more done to fix this eyesore.

"I'd love to see the course come back," Thatcher said.

County commissioner Darryl Glenn is working on a solution for homeowners. He hopes the County and golf course owner can come to an agreement on how to fix the weed issue.

If an agreement can't be reached, commissioners say they will look into making revisions to codes so fines can be assessed in this type of case.

Judd says the Wescott Fire Department is not concerned about the course being a "fire hazard" at this point in time.

Gleneagle was the second of three Tri-Lakes courses to close in about a year. The King's Deer golf course and Monument Hill Country Club have since re-opened.

Miles Scully, the golf course property owner released this statement to News 5 Monday afternoon:

"The golf course is now a field just like many in the area that grows wild. In response to the community's request, I offered to share with the community in the costs of mowing the field, but they declined and with no revenue from the course it doesn't make sense to do myself. I have found no interest from anyone in re opening the golf course. It lost money for about 15 years before it closed. Golf is in decline and this is happening across the country. I lost a lot of money trying to keep it open. There has been interest from developers but I want to involve the community in the decision regarding the best use of the land. I just haven't had time as I have a full time job, but hope to have a community meeting before the end of the year."




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