The sale of the Plantation Golf Course to a developer and his stated plans for commercial and residential development of the property placed the future of a century-old community resource in flux.

What's the problem?

The extent of Will Gustafson's development plan is unknown but he has said that commercial and residential construction is desired -- although he pledges to maintain an 18-hole course after developing. Open space supporters fear this could follow a similar pattern to what happened to a golf course in Nevada, another Gustafson property.

Why can't the owner do what he wants?

We respect property rights -- but the community also has a property right to continue to enjoy Plantation in substantially its current state. The 118-acre course provides recreation, hosts cultural events, creates habitat for wildlife and gives a high-flowing Boise River a place to go, saving nearby properties from flooding. The community already has a hefty investment in this land.

What can be done?

Garden City is considering an ordinance to preserve open space, parcels that are or have been parks, golf courses, cultural resources, wildlife habitat, or which provide significant environmental benefit. The proposal would guide what kind of development could occur and at what level of intensity (building height, number of units, etc.) Please tell Garden City officials that you support the preservation of open space as the draft ordinance moves through the consideration process in coming weeks.

What about traffic?

State Street is one of the highest-volume, arterial roads in Ada County today -- moving 35,000 vehicle trips a day -- and projected to become more congested in the future. Current plans do not account for retail and residential units at Plantation, which could add to the traffic volume, perhaps beyond what the Ada County Highway District currently has planned to handle. The true impact on traffic will only be known when/if a detailed development plan is filed.