A deal between Granville Township trustees and the village of Granville could result in a conservation easement on the property that would ensure its 138 acres are never developed. If the plan is approved, the township would pay the Granville Golf Course Co. and its six shareholders about $2 million for the unimproved portion of the course.
The Granville Township trustees have taken steps toward partnering with the village of Granville, Ohio to place the Granville Golf Course’s 138 acres in a conservation easement that would ensure it’s never developed, the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch reported.
If the plan is approved, the township would pay the Granville Golf Course Co. and its six shareholders about $2 million for the unimproved portion of the course. The township’s Open Space fund—the source of the $2 million—cannot be used to acquire easements on recreational property with improvements, the Dispatch reported.
However, the Granville Village Council last week approved spending $16,000 per acre for the 13 acres of the developed portion of the course that include improvements such as the clubhouse, the driving range, maintenance shed and cart barn, the Dispatch reported.
In turn, the owners would give the village the first right of refusal on any future purchase of the property. The deal now needs approval of the conservation easement document itself, which is still being drafted. All parties involved must sign off on it; it’s expected to be reviewed by early next year at the latest, the Dispatch reported.
The golf course, according to the appraisal accepted by the township last night, has been operating at a loss for years. Its taxable loss for 2011 was $218,000, compared to the 2010 loss of $164,000, the Dispatch reported.
Additionally, the youngest member of the six-person ownership group is 78-year-old Robert Kent, the Dispatch reported.
“Something is going to happen with the ownership, and potentially, the use of the golf course,” said Steve Layman of Ohio Equities, hired as a consultant to the township on open-space issues. “Now the choice is, what is that ‘something?’”
The owners offered the easement to the community with a couple of contingencies: They want the ability to pass their ownership shares on to heirs without triggering the village’s first right of refusal and they reserved the right to donate the course to a nonprofit organization, the Dispatch reported.
The folks who are most happy are those living on the course in the Bryn Du Woods and Hilengreen housing developments, the Dispatch reported.
“It’s critical,” said Tracy Rizor, president of the 172-home Bryn Du Woods association. “It’s preserving the green space. It’s preserving the historic course. It’s not having to worry about someone developing behind you.”