Country club's end pains residents

February 25, 2008 4:01:23 PM PST
The Newark Country Club is moving out and residents are concerned about what will take its place. The Newark Country Club is one of the largest open spaces in the city of Newark with 120 acres of privately owned greens, but after 87 years, the lay of the land is about to change.

With golfers teeing off on more popular updated courses, it didn't take long for a developer to come up with other plans for the property; the plan is a housing development called Country Club Estates.

"This is beautiful land and some of it's going to be chopped up into one fifth acre lots so to me that's very sad," Jim Froggatt of Newark said.

Residents' concerns include the increase in traffic and the developer's plan to put 270 single family homes here

"I understand it's private land and it can be developed, but it would be nice if he just tried to work with the community a little more, and he just hasn't," Jessica Casey of Newark said.

The attorney representing the Aston development company, Shawn Tucker, says his client deserves more credit. Under zoning codes, Tucker says, even more homes could be built here, but, instead, a public park will be created.

"In my ten years, I've never seen a developer who only had to provide by coded, 8 acres of open space. He is providing 30 acres, and I think that is significant," Tucker said.

Newark's mayor, who happens to be a real estate attorney, acknowledges the developer has gone above and beyond code requirements, so even though he toohates to see the country club go, there's little the city can do

"As the lawyers say code compliant; if it is code compliant, you really have no choice," Mayor Vance Funk said.

A public hearing is set for Monday night and opponents know they are facing an uphill battle.