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City approves adding golf course to UGB

Dallas Golf Club is a nine-hole course.

Photo by Lukas Eggen
Dallas Golf Club is a nine-hole course.

DALLAS — Dallas Golf Club’s application to be included in the city’s urban growth boundary was approved by the Dallas City Council without conditions that an extension of the Rickreall Creek Trail be included.

The Polk County Board of Commissioners, which also must approve the application, is scheduled to deliberate on the matter on April 26.

Andrew Stamp, attorney for Dallas Golf Club, said the owners objected to the provisions to build the trail through the property based on safety, cost and space concerns. The proposal to build the trail was first proposed by Dallas Golf Club, but the owners discovered it wouldn’t be feasible without putting trail users close to playable areas of the golf course.

David Brinker, agent of the owner who has been associated with the club for 19 years, said inclusion in urban growth boundary is needed for the course to develop the property to include a restaurant, a 20-space RV Park and expand the pro shop. Its current conditional use permit with Polk County doesn’t allow for those improvements.

He said the changes are needed to make the business profitable.

“The only way to make money at a golf course, is when people quit playing golf, for them to stay there for a while,” Brinker said.

The application with the trail included was approved by planning commissions for the city and the county.

A trail route had not been determined, but course owners said there are only two options, neither of which is safe without precautions such as netting. Stamp said there isn’t room on the south side of the course, and neighboring property owners in the Ceres Gleann development objected to a trail on the north side, saying it would be too close to their homes.

Ceres Gleann residents packed the Dallas Civic Center Monday night to voice their concerns about building a trail on the north side of the course.

Councilors Kelly Gabliks and Jackie Lawson asked why the applicant included the trail to the begin with.

Stamp admitted the course owners should have studied that provision of their application sooner.

“We kind of backed into that,” Stamp said. “We originally thought, a trail, that’s a great idea. That’s great. Let’s do it. It wasn’t until we were able to start looking at the mechanics of it that we realized it was problematic. I guess that is our fault. We should have done a better job from the get-go of realizing that.”

Stamp asked the city to approve the application without that requirement.

Brinker said the course may consider closing if it were not included in the urban growth boundary.

“Most likely if this does not pass and we could not do improvements, we would look very closely at closing,” Brinker said.

Gabliks wanted to change the last condition to give the course more time to find a viable trail route, and made a motion to that effect.

Councilor Micky Garus made a motion to amendment Gabliks’ proposal to strike the conditions requiring a trail. That amendment was approved.

The subsequent vote on the amended motion passed 6-2, with Gabliks and Councilor Ken Woods Jr. voting no.

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