By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
District 5’s dilemma
County still looking at golf course
Lanier Golf 5 es
Seen from inside the golf shop, Robert Brown sits in a cart while a professional tournament airs on television. - photo by Emily Saunders


* Company drops out of lawsuit over links.

* Miscues in recent land acquisitions damage county's credibility.

It appears Forsyth County’s interest in acquiring Lanier Golf Course is strong enough that officials want to know how much the land might be worth.

County Commissioner Patrick Bell confirmed last week that the county has had appraisals done recently on the site, though neither he nor his colleagues would say much else about the matter.

Attempts to obtain the appraisals, which have not yet become public record, were not successful.

Commissioner Jim Boff, whose District 5 includes the golf course off Buford Dam Road in eastern Forsyth, would say only that there has been communication between the county and course owners.

Commissioner Jim Harrell said District 5 residents “deserve to have some consideration for the tax money they’re paying on the parks and rec bond.”

The county has acquired five properties totaling some 600 acres with funds from the $100 million parks and recreation bond.

The purchases, all of which are in Districts 2 (south Forsyth) and 4 (north Forsyth) total about $33 million of the $36 million set aside to acquire green space.

Districts 1 and 3, which cover central and southwestern Forsyth, and 5 have not been represented in the acquisitions.

During the commission’s May 21 meeting, District 5 resident Charles Pratt encouraged the board to “think outside the box.”

“[Lanier Golf Course] is the largest contiguous open space in District 5,” said Pratt, who is on the homeowners association board of directors for the Town Homes at Lanier, which is near the golf course.

Commissioner Brian Tam declined to comment on the matter.

Bell has said the county doesn’t “need to be in the golf course business.”

“District 5 definitely deserves some green space, but it’s a difficult time to consider buying a golf course,” he said.

Chairman Charles Laughinghouse said he hasn’t spoken with the owners of the course, but that any such purchase “would depend on price, use and where the funds come from.”

Bell said there’s $10 million “give or take” that could still be used to buy green space.

The purchase of properties so far has totaled about $33 million, but some of the properties include opportunities that could reimburse money.

Funds taken in through active recreation, such as sports fields, go back into the fund, as does revenue from green space property sold to other entities like the library system.

Opposition to the acquisition has surfaced in the past from residents who don’t consider a golf course to fit the description of “green space.”

Then again, it appears that if the county bought the course using funds earmarked to acquire green space, the site could be used only as green space.

If money from active recreation was used, however, the site could possibly be operated as a course.

But then a check of the county’s breakdown of bond-funded projects does not show any funding from active recreation for a golf course.

Staff Writer Julie Arrington contributed to this report.
E-mail Frank Reddy at