NAPLES — A proposal to turn the front nine holes of the now-closed Naples Golf and Country Club into a housing development will go before the Planning Board this week.
Developer Paul Hollis of The Homes on the Front 9, LLC sent a letter to the Planning Board with an outline of the potential residential project, planned under the name Brandy Pond Crossing.
The meeting is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, at the Town Office.
“I realize that the closing of this historic golf club and course has been an emotional decision by its owner, Richard Dyke and his board of directors,” Hollis said in his letter. “The club members, and especially the homeowners who live on Fairway Drive who enjoyed living with the course on one side and beautiful Brandy Pond on the other, are of course saddened by the decision.”
“The zoning options offer multiple uses of a commercial or denser residential use, but in an attempt to protect people’s home values and protect their way of life the transformation to a high-end, well-planned, and full abutter involvement residential community appears to be hopefully a palatable alternative,” Hollis continued.
A December news release announced that the Naples Golf and Country Club shareholders had decided to close the course and sell the club’s assets. The release also said the stakeholders rejected a private offer to purchase the entire course, which was founded in 1921 as a nine-hole course and expanded to 18 holes in 2000.
Hollis said he is cognizant of the course’s history and has worked to engage with abutting property owners, including at a Feb. 10 “neighborhood meeting” at town hall.
Hollis’ letter says that he is proposing “20 new residential lots and two common lots on the 43-plus acres that make up the front 9 course.” A preliminary plan is also available at the town hall.
Hollis said the final sale of the front nine property is contingent on receiving the necessary project approvals at the local, state and federal level.
Allen Faraday, the president and treasurer of the country club’s board of directors, said the board has signed off on the sale.
“The board of directors has approved the sale of the balance of the front nine acreage to Paul Hollis or his entity, and a purchase and sale agreement has been signed,” Faraday said. “We are not entertaining any development on the back nine property at this time, until this first project is completed.”
Faraday said in December that Richard Dyke is the club’s largest shareholder and chairman. Dyke is also the chairman and CEO of Windham Weaponry.
Faraday also said that Dyke “has purchased the existing clubhouse lot and a few surrounding lots through a company, Naples Causeway Development, that he personally owns.”
Naples Selectboard Chairman Jim Grattelo mentioned the proposed front nine development at the Feb. 25 selectboard meeting and encouraged anyone interested to attend next week’s Planning Board meeting.
“I know there’s been a lot of talk through this town about the golf course, and I would just suggest that if you have an interest, you attend the meeting so you can see what’s going on,” Grattelo said.
“This is the first step, where the public is now going to be able to see what the plan is for the front nine of the golf course,” Grattelo continued. “I would encourage anyone who is interested, the information is at town hall and they can attend the meeting on March 6.”
Selectboard member Kevin Rogers asked at the Feb. 25 meeting if there was a discussion about what to do with the back nine of the course yet, and wondered if the front nine properties would consider creating an association to support continued use of the back nine holes.
“If they all bought in it would help. That’s how a lot of the fellas back in the day made it happen — split the cost,” Rogers said.
Selectboard member Robert Caron II, who previously served as the Naples Golf and Country Club general manager, said after the meeting that Monday night was the first time he had heard the details of the proposed development and that he has been focusing on his new job as general manager at Windham Weaponry’s Windham Indoor Shooting Range.