, 2022-07-12 22:33:48,
ROCHESTER — Any of the city’s four municipal golf courses could be converted to a variety of other uses, but it doesn’t mean they’ll change.
“This is the first step at looking at whether we decide to make changes or if we decide to keep things the same,” Park Board President Linnea Archer said of reports outlining optional uses of the city’s golf courses.
While private development was cited as an option at three courses – Eastwood, Hadley Creek and Northern Hills – any potential changes at Soldiers Field Golf Course are expected to keep the property within the park system.
“We know there is a growing demand downtown for added park spaces,” said Mike Nigbur, the city’s parks and forestry division head.
Nigbur presented possible changes for the downtown course during the
June Park Board
meeting, citing options for maintaining an 18-hole course, converting it to nine holes or eliminating it in an effort to add other park amenities.
City officials have been discussing golf options for years, but the Rochester City Council directed staff to a deeper look earlier this year, asking for options that range from funding improvements at all four courses to potentially converting a course for another use,
Nigbur said a study of the courses points to mixed potential for private development, with some challenges based on soil conditions or street access. Still, he said the city could consider selling at least portions of three golf courses for housing development or other uses.
When it comes to potentially converting the Eastwood, Hadley Creek and Northern Hills course to other uses, he said the northwest Northern Hills is likely best positioned to meet park needs.
“There are a lot of opportunities here for this particular golf course because of the sheer size of it,” he said of the 134-acre course…
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