- Associated Press - Monday, September 1, 2014

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - A proposed University of Oregon golf course near Creswell is chipping along behind the scenes while developers work out land use, wetlands and water issues.

Last month, a group spearheaded by UO alumnus Mick Humphreys secured a two-year extension on its county land use permit, plus approval to add another building to its plans.

Plans now include an 18-hole, par-72 course, a clubhouse with a pro shop and dining room, a team building with men’s and women’s showers, and two or three maintenance buildings, according to plans submitted to Lane County.

The developer plans to water the greens with treated wastewater from the Creswell treatment plant with backup from a two-acre lake he plans to dig on the property.

Drinking and shower water would come from wells.

The course is proposed for 130 acres of rangeland about 1.8 miles west of Creswell, south of Spencer Butte.

Humphreys has pushed for the golf course since 2011. He secured a special use permit from Lane County in September 2012. His plan survived a nearby neighbor’s appeal to a county hearings official in January 2013.

Today, the developer is in negotiations with the Division of State Lands on the extent of wetlands associated with a stream running through the property.

“I don’t think this project has been dropped,” Lane County Planning Director Matt Laird said. “It’s just slowly working its way through.”

Mike Evans, a Springfield land use consultant who is shepherding the golf course, didn’t return Register-Guard calls seeking comment.

Spencer Butte resident Paula Grisafi, who mounted an earlier appeal against the project, has raised no further objections.

She said she’s still concerned about what golf course pesticides will do to bees and to nearby shallow wells, and further development the golf course could spur on the surrounding rural acreage.

“I fought them at the place where I was most likely to succeed,” said Grisafi, a retired UO biology lab manager.

“I would be making the same arguments (in future appeals), so I would lose again. I’m not willing to put the time and money into it.

“People who (live) a lot closer have contacted me and said, ‘What are you going to do about this?’ I said, ‘You live next door; what are you going to do about it?’

“I suspect (developers) will do what they want. I don’t see a lot of willingness to fight.”

The public would not be allowed to use the golf course, according to the plans. The new course would be primarily for UO golf teams and alumni, according to the proposal. Saturday would be the course’s highest usage day with up to 96 players strolling the greens. The clubhouse dining room would seat 50.

Earlier estimates of development costs were $25 million to $30 million. The money was expected to come from donors. The developer said he expected construction to take two years or more.

Tom Fazio, a golf course designer, was working on a plan for the course, developers said earlier. And Peter Jacobsen, a UO golfer who’s been on the pro circuit for more than three decades, was involved, too,

Humphreys, a Bend resident, was a UO golf standout in the early 1960s, and he’s maintained a connection with the game - and with the university.

Humphreys developed the two 18-hole, Fazio-designed Vintage Club golf course in Indian Wells, Calif. In 1996, Humphreys and his wife, Judy, pledged $50,000 to help endow a scholarship in men’s golf.

He was on the 18-member UO leadership council for the Oregon Campaign that, during the 2000s, raised $853 million for the university.

Besides construction costs, alumni would have to buy the acreage from current owner Darrick Salyers.

Salyers, a Eugene resident, has been a business partner of Veneta developer Greg Demers.

Demers’ Frontier Resources in 1999 conveyed parts of the land in question to Salyers for an unspecified sum, as “distribution of membership interest,” according to the deed filed with Lane County.

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Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com

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