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The Lake News Online
  • Defunct Bayview Golf course owners seek rezoning to agriculture

  • Owners of a high-end golf course development that failed a few years ago have applied to Camden County to rezone the course and four undeveloped residential sites all to agricultural.
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  • Owners of a high-end golf course development that failed a few years ago have applied to Camden County to rezone the course and four undeveloped residential sites all to agricultural.
    The Camden County Planning Commission heard the case on the old Bayview Golf Course, located in the Linn Creek area, at its May 21 meeting.
    After the golf course went under, current owners Richard Leon Huxman and Michael Weigel purchased the 110 acres of P-2 commercial parks area and 2.23 acres of R-1 low density residential on Jan. 18, 2011, according to Huxman.
    They purchased the property as an investment with plans only to resell.
    Since that time, Huxman said they have seen no interest from anyone in buying the property and the course has gone unused. They have never operated it as a golf course and have no plans to operate it as such, he added.
    Huxman asked the commission to recommend rezoning to A-1 agricultural, hoping to reduce the property tax bill on the patchwork of the 12 parcels making up the 112.23 acres.
    Residents of the defunct golf course, including Al Kitta, Cynthia Pritchett and several others, attended the hearing against the rezoning. In addition to fears that a livestock farming operation at the site would hurt the aesthetics of the neighborhoods on Fontana and Sylvan Bay roads as well as property values, they also argued that they had purchased their homes with the understanding that it would be a golf course community.
    According to the P&Z Staff Report, the tracts in question are bounded by R-1 on all four sides with a small parcel of B-2 general commercial to the north and a small B-2 parcel to the east. The report characterized the overall area as R-1.
    The Future Development Map, however, identifies the property as Rural Open Space.
    There are also portions of the property that are on the Lake of the Ozarks. According to the county's Unified Land Use Code, farming is not allowed within 1,000 feet of the lake. But it could be possible to fence off the three places where the property is within 1,000 feet.
    While the stated intent of the rezoning is just to lower the tax liability on the property, Planning Commission Chair Jerry Carroll said that just because they rezone it A-1 does not mean the county assessor would assess it as the lower agricultural rate of 12 percent. The assessor follows state statutes on assessment, which goes more by actual use and does not always coincide with the zoning.
    Carroll also said that at golf courses the holes are assessed at the residential rate of 19 percent, not the commercial rate of 32 percent.
    The only real savings, according to Carroll, would be on the lone structure on the property — a maintenance building — which is assessed at the commercial rate.
    Page 2 of 2 - Carroll advised Huxman that he might be better off rezoning the P-2 acreage to R-1 to give it better sales potential for a developer.
    "Bayview is the second course in the community that's gone under. We're trying to come up with an equitable solution for all concerned," Carroll commented.
    The case was tabled to the June 18 planning commission meeting.
    As of Tuesday morning, May 27, the rezoning application had not been amended as the P&Z Office worked on legal notices to advertise next month's planning commission meeting.
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