A developer’s plan to build townhomes on a nine-hole golf course in northeast Mesa drew more than 120 residents to a meeting this weekend, many of them upset.
Under the plan, Ray Mehan, owner of Mehan Construction in Mesa, would build 333 townhomes on about 46 acres at the Painted Mountain Golf Course, 6210 E. McKellips Road.
Painted Mountain offers 27 holes of golf on two courses — an 18-hole championship course and a nine-hole "executive" course. Shelby Futch is the principal owner of the golf course, city records show.
Mehan’s plan is to convert the nine-hole course and a driving range into townhomes. The 18-hole golf course, which surrounds the smaller course, would remain open. Mehan outlined the proposal Sunday at the facility, during which dozens of homeowners complained that the townhomes will spoil their view and lower property values.
The city would have to rezone the land before construction can begin. The rezoning request is tentatively scheduled to go before the city’s Planning and Zoning Board Jan. 15. The City Council has final say.
The townhomes would range in price from $150,000 to $400,000 and would appeal to buyers of all ages, Mehan said.
Proponents said the ninehole course is used infrequently, and the townhomes would increase the value of area homes. The plan also calls for improving the 18-hole golf course. "We want to make sure it’s good for the neighborhood," Mehan said.
Homeowner Mike Miller said many people paid $50,000 to $60,000 premiums for their lots because of the golf course view. Miller told the crowd they needed to stand together to stop the project.
Ed Gowan, executive director of the Arizona Golf Association, said he has heard of 20 to 25 golf courses around the country within the last couple of years selling land to developers, and expects to see two or three more in the state do the same. Of the 350 or so golf courses in Arizona, about 100 are underperforming and 15 to 20 are poised to change ownership, he said.
City Councilman Rex Griswold, who represents the area, said he replied to 15 emails Monday from constituents, most with "grave concerns" about the plan. Griswold said he wants more information before deciding.