Golf course may become chain of lakes

By Mary Alys Cherry

ChainlakesClear Lake City may be getting its own version of New York’s Central Park one day soon. Perhaps a “Land of Lakes.”

After many hours of meeting with various citizen groups and conferring with hydrologists and various other experts over the past year, the Clear Lake City Water Authority has drawn up a plan to turn the Clear Lake Golf Course into a beautiful park the community can enjoy and which will add value to property in the area.

As envisioned, it will be a 178-acre chain of five lakes, with a waterfall, picnic areas, hike and bike trails, practice fields, public restrooms, perhaps a concession stand, areas for canoes and kayaks – even a tree just for birds and sitting on an small island so wandering cats can’t snatch them.

The plan was presented to the community at a town hall Feb. 21.

The hike and bike trails, along with existing golf cart trails, would be among the first things done. Each will tie into the various Clear Lake neighborhoods, CLCWA Vice President John Branch said, adding that while the chain of lakes “is just a vision at this point,” he hopes to see become a reality in the not-too–distant future.

Each lake will be six feet deep normally, except in times of heavy rainstorms, and a dam will hold all the water in.

It will have no lighting and will be open during daylight hours only for safety reasons and will have “a nice park-type atmosphere,” Branch said. Sadly, some trees will have to be removed. But 42 percent of them will be saved and hundreds more will be planted, he explained.

The golf course became quite an issue a few years back when a developer bought it, shut the course down and indicated that he wanted to use it to build homes and apartments. He ran into a stumbling block when it was discovered that Exxon Mobil held the deed restrictions, which said the land could only be used for recreational purposes until 2021.

The Water Authority, feeling development of the golf course would cause serious flooding and drainage problems for much of Clear Lake City, finally stepped in and took the land by eminent domain with the intention of using it for water detention and to avert flooding.

It will be done in phases and will take time, probably one to five years to develop each of the five sections for a total of about 15 years. Grants can be used to fund much of the development, Branch added.

3 Commentss to “Golf course may become chain of lakes”

  1. Chuck Howard says:

    As a 38 yr. resident of the old golf course (OGC) I am not opposed to limited detention but I am concerned about the inaccuracies in this article. 1. The CLCWA PLAN as published shows 42% of trees in the 10 ft. wide utility easement zone will be saved & not 42% of all 3000 trees in OGC as stated in article. Less than 100 existing trees will be saved. 2. Each pond (not lake) will be surrounded by acres (39 total) of wetlands (not mentioned in article). By law, a declared wetland can not be mowed or sprayed for mosquito conrtol. This will become an uncontroled health hazard for OGC resudents(also not mentioned in article). 3. The CLCWA says they will not fund any part of this project (not mentioned in article) except the excavation of 77 million cubic feet of soil. Therefore the beautification features mentioned in the article may not come to be in a timely manner (if ever they ever happen). 4. Contrary to the article’s statement ,hike & bike trails require outside funding and can not be created until all excavation is completed & safe for public use. Per the PLAN, the hike & bike trail will reside on a 30 ft. wide plateau 6 ft. below the perimeter zone level and 7 ft. above the wetlands/ponds. If the plan takes 10 to 12 years to complete, the total hike and bike trails will not exist for 11 or 13 years. 5. Property will not increase (contrary to artucle) unless volunteers and funds become available. At present neither are available ,therefore property values may go down & insurance may go up as the 20 to 22 foot deep detention pond + retention pond grows weeds in the mud/ gumbo left untended. I don’t think this will have any resemblence to New York’s Central Park. Solution: Cut the PLAN by 60% & have adequate detention. Also save 2000 existing mature trees and begin to build winding hike & bike trails on the untouched surface areas .

  2. Emily Louviere says:

    I live on the old golf course and I have serious concerns about this plan. What does that mean “just a vision at this point..?” They are relying on grants because there is no money for this GRAND PLAN! This will be a big mess and they will run out of money to even finish it. We will all flood and have millions of moquitos and lord knows what else will be living in that water. Do the research, the whole plan is full of flaws!

  3. Doylton Davis says:

    I live on the old golf course and I hope the “obstructionists” that are at work trying to thwart the plans as laid out by the water district are not successful. It seems the group has a narrow and selfish view of things. And plus they are trying to use falsehoods and scare tactics.

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