Lakes at Legacy developer asks to defer controversial project

    The developer of a controversial subdivision planned for the former Sherwood Forest Country Club Golf Course is deferring his request for a September hearing before the Planning Commission, while he makes changes to his plans for the 270-lot Lakes at Legacy project.

    The Sherwood Forest Citizens Association, which has vigorously opposed the project, posted news of the deferral on social media late Wednesday. A spokesman for the organization says they hope to meet with Lancaster, his engineer and property owner Randall Dornier once they’ve seen revised plans for the subdivision—but not before.

    Residents of the area oppose the Lakes at Legacy, which requests a rezoning from A.1 to A.2.7 to allow smaller lot sizes, for several reasons: increased traffic, increased potential for flooding and decreased property values. 

    But Dornier, who bought the 130-acre golf course and former country club in 2013—rebranding the clubhouse, tennis courts, pools and recreational facilities as The Legacy at Bonne Esperance—believes the fears are unfounded.

    Granted, he has an interest in saying so, as he’s trying to sell 80 of his 130 acres to the developer. But Dornier says plans call for mitigation measures, including retention ponds, that he believes will address drainage concerns.

    He says the subdivision has a single entrance on King Richard Drive, which connects to Old Hammond Highway, so should not have any impact on Sherwood Forest traffic.

    As for property values, he notes that homes in the Lakes at Legacy, though only 1,500-1,800 square feet, would be priced at around $140 per square foot, more than the average home sale price in Sherwood Forest.

    “I don’t think there’s anything in Sherwood Forest that has sold for $140 per square foot in a long time,” he says. “I would think this would help property values, not hurt them.”

    Dornier, who notes that existing plans also call for a 800-foot buffer zone between existing homes and the subdivision, says he understands residents’ concerns about a new development in their back yard. But he says when he bought the property, he always planned to sell the long-shuttered golf course to a residential developer, who would build something that would enhance his club and its amenities for the entire neighborhood.

    “I don’t want trash on our back doorstep,” he says. “We hope to affiliate with them, which would help build our club as well.”

    If the Planning Commission approves the deferral request, as expected, at its meeting next week, the plans will be put off for a vote until mid-November.

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