Letter to the Editor: 450 Homes on the Green?

I’m sad to inform you that the Golf Course of South Carolina at Crickentree has closed its doors. Golf courses are having a tough go of it lately so some might say this is just a sign of the times. The northeast Columbia area has an oversupply of golf courses and all are struggling. But what you may not realize is how investors and developers use these opportunities to swoop in to make huge profits. And what is left in their wake is the destruction of real estate values as well as the suburban sprawl often called the sea of rooftops.

In the case of Crickentree’s golf course, a Texas investment company specializing in repurposing distressed properties is in the process of foreclosing on the golf course owner.  This investor wants to replace the tranquil golf course fairways with a housing development.  And to do so they will need to mount a campaign with the Richland County Planning Commission and County Council to change the zoning. Back in 2007 under pressure from the local golf course community the planning commission added a classification called Traditional Recreational Open Space (TROS) which was supposed to protect golf course communities from becoming the victim of rampant development. This investor has an aggressive plan to reverse that protection. This matter concerns all the residents of Crickentree and the Langford Road area.

On Monday July 16, there was a presentation of E-Capital’s development plan at the Hilton Garden Inn on Farrow Road.  Dozens of Crickentree neighbors attended and voiced their views. As you might imagine they were extremely upset by the investor’s plans.

It would be a tragedy to have the property values of more golf course communities degraded in this same way. But however Crickentree goes, so goes the next struggling golf course. Communities need to stand together to preserve the tranquility that was promised with the TROS designation. Please voice your support of the type of community you want to see in Blythewood’s future.

Marvin DuBois

President of Crickentree HOA