August 27, 2014

Medina
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Deal mulled to buy land from shuttered golf club

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated a meeting was set for Thursday to discuss acquiring part of the Blue Heron golf course. The meeting Thursday was to discuss acquiring a different property. There are still plans to acquire the golf course land, but they were not discussed at Thursday’s meeting.

MONTVILLE TWP. — Trustees are still looking to acquire part of the former Blue Heron golf course property and may do so with the help of a land conservation group.

Trustees proposed the idea in January but had no clear plan for building or developing the property.

Montville Township Trustee Jeff Bandon has said the seven miles of paved paths that wind through the overgrown fairways of the former Blue Heron Golf Club would make an ideal park. (GAZETTE FILE PHOTO)

Montville Township Trustee Jeff Bandon has said the seven miles of paved paths that wind through the overgrown fairways of the former Blue Heron Golf Club would make an ideal park. (GAZETTE FILE PHOTO)

Trustee Jeff Brandon said the Western Reserve Land Conservancy has reached a tentative deal to buy the property. He said the trustees hope to buy a portion of the land from the conservancy.

“Our goal is still to acquire some of the property to use for a township park and we would want to acquire it for as little money as possible,” Brandon said. “I think that could be most easily done by working something out with Western Reserve Land Conservancy.”

Brandon said the township has hired Montville Township attorney Trina Devanney, formerly of the Medina County Prosecutor’s Office, to explore a deal.

Devanney said she had received a call from the land conservancy Monday but said she had no further information.

Township officials met in January with Gregory Happ, of Medina, the lawyer for 6061 River Styx LLC, the company that owns the Blue Heron Country Club property.

Happ confirmed Monday that River Styx has entered into a tentative agreement with Western Reserve Land Conservancy but declined to provide details.

He directed further questions to Joe Leslie, of the land conservancy, who did not return a call Monday for comment.

The 27-hole golf course opened in 2005 but has been closed for two years. The clubhouse, which included a restaurant, is vacant and the golf course is overgrown.

The 6061 River Styx company owns eight parcels totaling more than 100 acres and valued at more than $1.4 million.

Brandon said the township is interested only in buying a portion of the golf course land. In January, he mentioned more than seven miles of golf cart paths that would make for ideal walkways.

Some residents in the neighboring Blue Heron Trace development have protested the idea of the township buying the golf course, saying some of the land rightfully belongs to the homeowners association and a public park next door would reduce privacy.

Brandon said some of the land eventually will be re-deeded to the Blue Heron Homeowners Association, but does not know how much of the property will be transferred or when.

A representative of the Blue Heron Homeowners Association could be reached for comment Monday.

If a deal is reached for park land, Brandon said the purchase likely would be paid out of the township’s general fund.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.