Angry Harvest Hills homeowners vow to fight golf course redevelopment
A meet and greet turned into a showdown Tuesday night between Harvest Hills homeowners and the company hired to redevelop the golf course in the northeast community.
More than 200 angry homeowners jammed the clubhouse at the 9-hole course to square off with the developer, QuantumPlace Developments.
QuantumPlace was hired by Cedarglen Homes, the new owner of the course, which hopes to fill the lands with single family housing, duplexes, townhouses and multi-family condominium complexes.
“We have a beautiful neighbourhood here,” said Joe Laratta, whose lot backs onto the course. “You wake up and find out one morning that all of a sudden it is changing, and that is just not right.”
Residents received letters last week informing them of the change of ownership and Cedarglen’s redevelopment plans.
The meet and greet was the first of three scheduled for this week, and quickly devolved into angry shouts and accusations.
Residents are worried about extra traffic, the impact on wildlife that live on the course, and most of all, the fact they’re losing what was marketed as a golf course community.
“A lot of us spent more money so we could live on the golf course and now we’re being told that we’ve probably lost 80-100 thousand dollars in property value. That’s big,” said Laratta’s wife, Doris.
The course was originally purchased by another company, which committed to keeping it a golf course.
“I’m not feeling real good about it. I think that we were led down the garden path,” said another homeowner, Scott Blaney, who also owns a home along the popular and public course.
Quantum Place development manager Chris Ollenberger said the subdivision will likely include single family, duplexes, townhouses and condominiums.
There could also be new perks like more park space and a new storm pond.
A handout from the company says it’s trying to be open and transparent with the community, and won’t start planning the redevelopment until hears from the community through in-depth consultations.
“We knew that in Harvest Hills would be a bit of a shock and a bit emotional because Mt. Pleasant, Rosedale, they’re used to redevelopment and duplexes going up beside them. Harvest Hills hasn’t had that yet,” Ollenberger said.
“We’re hoping to spread some information, open some doors of consultation and dialogue, and make sure we can answer any questions we can,” he added.
But at the meeting, Ollenberger found himself standing on a counter trying to get a word in edgewise with furious residents.
They’re vowing to get better organized and launch a big fight.
The developer hopes to start moving earth in about a year, but the golf course will stay open for one more season.