Golf course subdivision goes to committee

NORTHAMPTON — A proposed 10-parcel subdivision of the Sacandaga Golf Course was referred to the town’s golf course committee Wednesday by the town board.

The board has been considering whether to pass a law allowing a rezoning of the Sacandaga Golf Course, which is currently in a “Golf Course District.” Northampton’s Comprehensive Plan, written in 2007, established the protective district around the golf course, built in 1898, to prohibit single-family residential development of the land in order to maintain the golf course as a tourism asset for the town.

John Mulcahy, a businessman who owns a camp on Lincoln Avenue, has proposed purchasing the 54-acre golf course for approximately $400,000, but only if the town rezones the land to allow for a 10-parcel residential subdivision.

Before the board handed the issue to the golf committee, which is comprised of town board members Art Simmons and William Gritsavage, the board first listened to a report from code enforcement officer Matt Ginter.

Ginter said he and Fulton County Planning Department employee Scott Henze had been tasked by the Northampton Planning Board with researching how large the parcels would need to be if the subdivision were allowed. He said each of the 10 parcels Mulcahy has proposed would need to be at least 20,000 square feet in size, to accomodate the building of septic systems. Four of the parcels would also need to dig wells for water.

“None of the proposed lots are close enough to connect to sewer without putting in that infrastructure. The northern six lots have the ability to connect to municipal water, but because they can’t get both, they would have to be 20,000 square foot also,” Ginter said. “One acre is 43,560 square feet, so these lots would need to be just under half an acre.”

Mulcahy’s plan includes carving out 10 lots from the golf course, nine of which he would sell. The plan includes six subdivisions near the 8th hole of the course, all of which could be connected to municipal water; three subdivisions on the southern end of the property, not connected to municipal water; and one property on the lake, the property he does not plan to sell. The holes affected by the plan would Nos. 3, 4 and 8.

Ginter said before a rezoning could take place there would need to be at least one State Environmental Quality Review process and then the town board would need to set a public hearing for the rezoning law.

“They will need to get the public’s input and then make a decision whether to approve it or disapprove it. That will take awhile,” he said.

Simmons said he’s not certain how long the golf course committee will mull the issue before making its recommendation to the full town board.

“We’re going to meet and go over it and see where it goes from there,” Simmons said.

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