The park district had been seeking a zoning variation that would allow the club’s proposed 75-foot net, which was part of a planned $6 million renovation. Officials argued that the netting would prevent golf balls from leaving the facility and potentially damaging neighboring properties, but neighbors were generally opposed to the plan for aesthetic reasons.
The Mount Prospect Park District failed to win village board support Tuesday for a proposed 75-foot-tall net for its future driving range at the Mount Prospect (Ill.) Golf Club, forcing officials there to decide whether to pursue scheduled renovations without it, the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald reported.
Although three of six village trustees, along with Village President Arlene Juracek, voted in favor of the netting, the measure failed to win the super-majority needed to overcome a negative recommendation from the planning and zoning commission, the Daily Herald reported.
“We are going to have to look at the layout of the range and then determine, I guess, what our options are,” Park District Executive Director Greg Kuhs said.
The park district had been seeking a zoning variation that would allow it to exceed the 30-foot height limit written into village zoning regulations. Officials say the netting would prevent golf balls hit on a planned new driving range from leaving the facility and potentially damaging neighboring properties, the Daily Herald reported.
Neighbors, however, opposed the plan, saying it would be an eyesore and lower property values. C&RB reported on residents’ opposition to the proposed “curtain” (“Neighbors Voice Objections to Plan for Course’s 75-Foot Driving Range Net”).
District officials argued Tuesday that the netting would provide safety, while the driving range itself, moved to a better location, would be more attractive to users and benefit high school players and others learning the game, the Daily Herald reported.
Village board members registered concerns not only about aesthetics, in particular the number of trees that would need to be removed, but also whether there would be enough parking to accommodate users, the Daily Herald reported.
Trustee John Matuszak summed up his concerns with a photograph he took of a driving range in Glenview that showed a bleak landscape dominated by netting and poles. He was joined in opposition to the proposal by trustees Steven Polit and Richard Rogers, the Daily Herald reported.
“You can see dead on it’s pretty hideous,” Matuszak said.
But Dave Esler, golf course designer, said the Glenview facility is not similar to what the Mount Prospect range would look like, the Daily Herald reported.
“We do not have 70 percent of that photographic condition,” Esler said. “We have mature landscaping that will fit into the existing mature vegetation 300 to 600 feet away from existing neighbors’ backyards.”
The park district also has discussed the possibility of putting in additional fast-growing tall trees on the outside of the net to provide a better shield, Kuhs said.
“If the golf course doesn’t keep up, it’s going to die,” Juracek said. “And I know there are a lot of people who like a friendly neighborhood golf course. It may not be a friendly neighborhood golf course in 25 years, if in fact they are not able to accommodate a longer game, further hit balls and the training.”
The new driving range is part of a larger $6 million plan to renovate the golf course (“$6M Upgrade Planned for Mount Prospect GC”). The plan also includes replacement of the course’s irrigation and drainage systems, construction of a new maintenance structure and the redesign of select holes, the Daily Herald reported.
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