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March 17, 2010 > Fiscal impacts of proposed golf course

Fiscal impacts of proposed golf course

By Meenu Gupta

Newark's Areas 3 and 4 are of high interest and the subject of debate by Newark residents and neighboring cities. Area 3, bounded by Cherry St., Stevenson Boulevard, the Union Pacific railroad tracks and Mowry Avenue is approximately 77 acres of undeveloped land. Area 4, located between Mowry Avenue and Stevenson Boulevard, west of the Union Pacific tracks, totals 560 acres of undeveloped land.

For more than a decade a new residential community, a neighborhood park near Cherry Street and Stevenson Boulevard, an elementary school for up to 600 students and a golf course have been proposed in south-west Newark. The residential community will include up to 1,260 new homes, trails and open space. Development of a championship golf course has been controversial. Defined by the number of holes and certain yardage for the course as a whole, this course will meet all the requirements of a championship course.

According to Community Development Director Terrence Grindall, the developer and owner of the land will pay all costs. If approved, construction could begin between 2011 and 2015 depending on the housing market and economy recovery. The golf course will probably not be built until several years later and, if studies show that it will not generate revenue for the city, may not be built at all.

According to the project's Draft Environmental Impact Report, an estimated 2.1 million cubic yards of material must be hauled in to raise the land by more than 10 ft. in some places to avoid possible flooding over the next century. Area 4 is relatively isolated and not visible from many surrounding public vantage points. The proposed Specific Plan will substantially alter its existing visual character. The proposed 10 - 14 ft. increase in elevation, the addition of residences, streets, landscaping and golf course on open agricultural land will change the existing visual character of Area 4.

Newark residents spoke against the golf course. Jana Sokel described the project as more "fantasy" than "fact," stating that the studies do not address the feasibility of homes in Area 4.

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