Developers want to put 1,800 homes on what’s now a shuttered Henderson golf course.
Concept plans reviewed by the city Thursday show intentions to build over the historic Black Mountain Golf and Country Club, marking the first step in transforming the roughly 200-acre area.
In a letter to the city, developers wrote about a vision for converting the former course into “a vibrant and sustainable neighborhood that provides a variety of housing types, within a walkable, bikeable, green and dynamically planned environment.”
But the idea is getting some pushback.
“They’re trying to milk this for as much density they can get and it’s all about the profit,” said resident Denell Hahn, a member of the vocal community group Save Black Mountain.
The original nine holes — dubbed the Founders Nine — opened in 1958. The course expanded to 18 holes five years later, then to 27 holes in 2002. It returned to 18 holes in 2013 before going into bankruptcy in 2017. The golf course closed last November.
Fairways of the Founders Nine would be replaced with single-family homes, documents show. The plan does not include apartments.
Hahn said she is concerned with the density of the concept. And according to the plan, the project would create some 18,000 car trips per day.
She said the plan is inconsistent with existing homes in the neighborhood and that residents just want to see homes and roads similar to those that already exist in the area, she said.
Val La Porta, another vocal opponent to the development, considered the volume of homes proposed by the developer “greedy.”
“It’s just going to effectively destroy the integrity of this area,” she said.
Andy Baron, a Phoenix-based land planner and landscape architect who works on the project, said developers have studied the area to make sure existing roads could handle the influx of traffic. He said the planned homes would be compatible with existing properties.
His group’s studies show that the area could support 1,800 units, despite current concerns from neighbors and city staff, he said.
Hahn said she felt the neighborhood was being left out of the conversation, but Baron said his team has been working with a neighborhood committee to communicate the plans. Developers held a courtesy meeting last month, which Hahn said drew opposition from droves of neighbors.
Baron acknowledges that transitioning to a new development causes discomfort, but said neighbors would have plenty of opportunities to have their say.
“We’re just barely getting into the public process,” he said.
A master plan application will be submitted to the city later this month for review, he said. After addressing staff comments, developers will hold an official neighborhood meeting. From there, the project would go to planning commission, then to the City Council for consideration.
“It’s a healthy process,” Baron said.