No decision yet on latest Razorback Golf Course rezoning

Former Razorback Golf Course / File photo

A new proposal for re-developing the old Razorback Golf Course seems to be on the right track, but area neighbors said they want some assurances before giving an official thumbs-up.

Developer Bart Bauer said Tuesday his vision for the property includes low-density single-family homes along with a small quadplex subdivision similar to the Pines at Springwoods across Deane Solomon Road.

Bauer’s plan is much different than what was proposed earlier this year by Lindsey Management. The Lindsey plan would’ve allowed up to 730 residential units, including 480 apartments and a mix of commercial spaces. The proposal was partially opposed by the Planning Commission, and neighbors who cited concerns with a number of issues including traffic safety, drainage, use compatibility, and overall quality of life. While some neighbors expressed concern over any development of the land, the opposition focused its efforts on stopping the planned apartment complex.

Ultimately the proposal was denied when aldermen voted unanimously against the plan in March.

Bauer’s request is to zone about 73 acres of the 99-acre property as Neighborhood Conservation and 15 acres as Neighborhood Services, while designating 11 acres as Residential Agricultural. The proposal was recently approved by the Planning Commission and also carries support from city planning staff.

Although Neighborhood Conservation allows up to 10 single-family homes per acre, Bauer said his ideas are much more modest. He said about half of the land includes ponds, floodplains, and unique topography that makes it unusable.

“It’s very difficult to develop at all,” Bauer said, adding that his plan calls for about two lots per acre. “There’s no way this could ever be high density.”

Most residents who spoke Tuesday liked the new idea, but said they’re worried about what could happen to the property if the land is rezoned and Bauer’s plans fall through.

Many said if Bauer offered a formal bill of assurance limiting the number of units that could be developed, they’d likely be in support. When asked if he’d consider such an offer, Bauer said, “I think I could look into it, yes.”

Jeremy Pate, the city’s development services director, said staff have received several emails in the past few days from concerned residents – some who said they couldn’t make it to the meeting on Tuesday. Pate asked the council to hold off on making a final decision Tuesday in order to give neighbors more time to voice their concerns.

Aldermen agreed, and left the item on its first reading. The discussion will continue at the next regular City Council meeting on Aug. 2.