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Injunction sought against planned development

The complaint, filed by Greens at Greencastle LP, seeks to stop a Connecticut firm from building a nearly 200-home development o

The complaint, filed by Greens at Greencastle LP, seeks to stop a Connecticut firm from building a nearly 200-home development o

August 11, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Opponents of a proposal to turn the Greencastle Greens Golf Course into a nearly 200-home development have filed for an injunction in Franklin County Court to halt the project.

Greens at Greencastle LP, which developed homes around the course, filed the complaint Aug. 4.

Attorney Paul Schemel, who represents Greens at Greencastle LP, said he expected a notice of the complaint would be served to the golf course by week's end.

The complaint seeks a halt to any development or use of the property for purposes other than golf. It bases the argument on deed restrictions from 1990.

Calls to the attorney representing Connecticut-based GIBG Golf LLC, which proposed the houses through its Baltimore office, were not returned Thursday.

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The defendant has 20 days to respond to the complaint, which then could be followed by a fact-finding period and hearing in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Schemel said. It would be a several-month process, he said.

Land development plans for the 192 single-family houses on 212.5 acres were submitted to the Antrim Township, Pa., municipal offices last month for review by staff and governing bodies. The planning commission's review of plans scheduled for earlier this week was postponed at the request of GIBG Golf LLC's attorney.

The course remains open, with fundraising and corporate outings planned for the near future. About 27,000 rounds of golf are played on the course, which is two miles north of the intersection of U.S. 11 and Pa. 16, general manager Mike Reid said.

It employs four people full time during the year, and brings on an additional 30 staffers for seasonal help, Reid said.

Under the "use of property" section on a copy of the deed provided by Schemel, a number of permitted uses are mentioned; all relate to golf course operations. It provides for "not more than three single-family residences" for caretakers or people connected to the course owner.

The land being debated was deeded to Robert L. and Diane S. Elder on Dec. 7, 1990. Their foreclosure on the property in 1995 led to its purchase by Greencastle Links LP at sheriff's sale, according to the injunction.

Deed transfers came again in 1998 and 2005.

The course today largely is surrounded by the Greencastle Greens upscale housing development being built in phases that started close to a decade ago. Residents have said they bought their houses under the belief the course would be there perpetually.

The complaint claims development of the course would "cause irreparable harm ... to the residents of the surrounding neighborhood who purchased their property in reliance on the (course's existence)."

Development plans call for 192 single-family houses while maintaining open space in accordance with the Conservation by Design standards in place in the township.

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