Proposed development on Midland golf course prompts homeowners to speak out

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MIDLAND, Texas (Nexstar) – A proposed development in Midland is prompting some homeowners to speak out.

Several dozen Midland homeowners from the Grassland and Grassland West estates showed up to Tuesday’s Midland City Council meeting to speak against a proposed development on the Nueva Vista Golf Course.

It is facing purchase from a developer and single family housing would likely be built on the land.

The golf course lies both on city and county land. The issue at hand Tuesday was whether to annex a triangle-shaped piece of county land, about 20 acres, into the city of Midland, then re-zone it under an agricultural zoning code, called “AE” or agricultural estate.

It’s the same zoning code the Nueva Vista course is under.

Some homeowners said they fear that would lead to the golf course being rezoned entirely, then a developer buying entire plots of the golf course, and developing the Nueva Vista course into housing.

“But the problem we’re dealing with today isn’t that in my opinion. We’ve already received a plat from the developer – that’s not his endgame. AG is not the endgame, it’s to develop single family housing,” said Amy Stretcher Burkes of the Grassland Estate HOA. “The impact is huge. I think one concern is about our property values. We all paid a premium to live on the golf course, and this is our home. We’re a little bit concerned. We heard from the council that this is a limited government issue, and we don’t believe that’s correct. Council intervention should change zoning… picking winners and losers is not limited government.”

“That area is emerging wetlands. Animals cling to that land along the golf course. It needs to be protected and permitted,” said Becky Hise, a retired environmentalist.

“I think all of Grasslands and Grasslands West won’t be as desirable,” said Autumn Winkles, the executive director of the brand new non-profit, Fore Midland.

Autumn says she’s been in talks with the developer and that the developer backed down from proposing apartments and small lots. Autumn also said converting the golf course would leave Midland without a green space on the West side.

“So, allowing a developer to come in and turn it into housing would be detrimental to all of Midland, because all of Midland will be losing green space,” Winkles said.

The vote to annex the 20-acre plot of land was deferred. One councilmember voted not to defer: at-large councilmember Spencer Robnett.

“I think that 20 acres, it’s an outlier, its adjacent to the city limits. It’s a pretty straight forward annexation in my opinion,” Robnett said. “But, I think the final plan is to be determined and what the neighborhood says or what the city council decides. I just don’t know where we are going to be on that right now.”

An engineer with the developer said during public comment that there are more plans for the future. But it would all begin by annexing the 20 acre plot of land first. The issue of annexation is expected to be revisited in the coming months. Several homeowners said they are trying to compromise with the developer over a round of talks.

Watch the video above for the full story.

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