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Supporters push for golf course
Lanier Golf 2 es
Lindsay Ramsburg, 8, putts Friday at the Lanier Golf Course driving range. - photo by Emily Saunders


* County still looking at golf course.

*  Company drops out of lawsuit over links.

There’s been no public discussion among Forsyth County commissioners about acquiring Lanier Golf Course, but that didn’t stop residents from urging them to consider the site.

Clad in green shirts, a half-dozen people told the commission Monday night why they’d like to see the 170-acre course on Buford Dam Road in east Forsyth become the next county purchase.

The board listened, but took no action.

Joyce Kuykendall described the course as “a place where all ages may participate.”

“Whether they are retired, raising a family ... or introducing grandchildren to the wonderful game of golf,” she said.

Kuykendall said a municipal, or government-owned, course would suit the county well, particularly this golf course.

“Given the opportunity to purchase such a well-established golf course, which is well-respected throughout Georgia ... it’s hard to think in any other terms than the fact that we have this great opportunity,” Kuykendall said.

Ken Goodroe said the purchase would support the local demographic.

“Many of the people in Forsyth County are seniors, and it’s going to increase rapidly in the future ... baby boomers are getting ready to retire,” Goodroe said.”Many seniors do not have available, affordable facilities for golf. If Forsyth County purchased this, it would allow these people a place to play.”

Goodroe also suggested that a multi-use resource center could be built on the location.

Ken Leach agreed that such a center is “badly needed.” He said organizations such as the local chamber of commerce and the arts community could use the facility.

“We have a chance to do something great for the county,” Leach said. “What a beautiful place ... with its lakes, streams, walking paths, trees and the green, green grass.”

Leach said opponents of the purchase have used the term “selfish” in describing the desire of some residents to obtain the course as a government-run facility.

There has been opposition at past commission meetings, though no one spoke against the golf course issue Monday.

The timing of the residents’ pitch may not be coincidental. Speculation about the fate of the golf course is swirling.

Last week, Commissioner Patrick Bell confirmed the county has had appraisals done recently on the site.

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, has said only that there has been communication between the county and course owners.

The silence from officials likely stems from an ongoing lawsuit over the course.

Wellstone LLC and course owners Jack Manton and George Bagley filed the lawsuit in October 2007 after the county commission denied a request to rezone the property from residential to a master planned district.

Wellstone, who had plans to buy the site contingent upon its rezoning, has since dropped out of the fight.

Included in the complaint against the county were arguments that the commission’s denial of the rezoning was unconstitutional and was “in order for Forsyth County to purchase the property at less than its fair market value.”

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.

While much of the money has been spent, some of the purchased properties may 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.

E-mail Frank Reddy at