MIDLAND, Texas (Nexstar) – It’s all quiet on the Nueva Vista golf course.
Only six holes are open after significant rainfall flooded fairways and sand traps in recent days. The cart path on Hole 12 would normally lead to the green. Right now, it leads to a large, abnormal lake.
So what happens if housing was built on the course?
“After seeing the drainage issue from the rain, it’s become an even bigger concern,” said Amy Stretcher Burkes of Midland.
Five Midlanders who are spearheading the “Save Nueva Vista” campaign are speaking out. They say the Nueva Vista golf course lies in an emerging wetland. Proposed development would mean engineers would have to redirect the course’s water runoff elsewhere. The group says that could jeopardize surrounding homes and disrupt the ecosystem.
The other issue at hand is that the course is a green space, filled with wildlife biodiversity.
“Anytime you take something away, you’re creating a danger,” said John Joiner of Midland. “That danger is, what are you replacing it with? You say, ‘houses.’ What are you going to do with the green part of it?”
In late April, YourBasin.com first showed up to a Midland city council meeting when the proposed housing development was discussed.
The Nueva Vista golf course lies on both city and county land. Soon, there will be a vote on whether to annex a triangle-shaped piece of county land, about twenty acres, into the city of Midland. That land also faces a vote be rezoned under the same agricultural code as the golf course. It would likely lead to a lucrative deal with the golf course owner and the housing developer.
“What we are 100 percent against is rezoning it, which can be stopped,” said Konstanze Hardy of Midland. “There should not be rezoning by an out-of-state developer to add more housing when there are plenty of other opportunities for that housing.”
“It has nothing to do with people who want to move into Midland,” said Kim Helm of Midland. “We are more than welcoming.”
“No one here is against any economical development,” said Richard Hamm of Midland.
So far, talks with the developer are moving slowly.
But it’s not just people living in the Grassland neighborhood – by the course – who care about saving Nueva Vista. Support is far and wide across the city. Most share the sentiment that there is a need to preserve access to perhaps the most popular recreational and sporting activity available to Midlanders: golfing.
“Save Nueva Vista” signs are also growing in size and popularity. A large banner hangs gently outside Henry Resources on Andrews Highway. We’re told at least fifty people have donated to help create the signage.
“We’re a few miles away from Grasslands,” Hamm said. “It affects us as a community.”
Both Hamm and John Joiner live a good distance from the course, and they say they’re actively working to increase awareness about the current situation.
“I want ‘Fore Midland,’ a nonprofit group, to own it, and to develop it into a much larger, nicer green space for the city of Midland,” Hamm said.
Right now, more than 1,250 people have signed a petition to show their support.
“I think Midland is waking up and saying, ‘This is important and this isn’t just your issue in your backyard. This could happen to us and we care about this,'” Stretcher Burkes said. “So, it’s been neat to see the community come together.”
Midland city council is expected to meet again on the issue in July.