HEIGHTS – After nearly two years of facing and overcoming a host of administrative and political challenges the city officially secured ownership of the long sought-after Warren Valley Golf Course and Banquet Center Oct. 10, Mayor Dan Paletko announced.
Originally owned by Wayne County, it was announced in late 2016 that the financially strapped county intended to sell the nearly 100-year-old course to developers, who planned to turn the 36-hole, 270-acre facility into a gated residential community.
In 2017, due in large part to the coordinated efforts of city officials, County Commissioner Diane Webb and other interested individuals, a public campaign was mounted to oppose the sale – resulting in a firestorm of criticism geared toward county officials from both nearby and distant residents, golfers and wildlife/conservation enthusiasts alike.
The outcry resulted in county officials dropping their development plan and offering the parcel to the city for $1.8 million, the same price it had been marketed to the developers. The city pursued the purchase, with the intent (and guarantee) the facility would remain a golf course and banquet facility, dedicated to the public’s use and enjoyment.
“We’re delighted that we were able to complete this purchase” Paletko said. “The Warren Valley facility has been a recreational, social and environmental gem in our community for generations. Had we lost this treasure for the purpose of a new residential community, not just our golfers and local residents, but the entire region would have lost an iconic part of our landscape.
“In addition to losing an iconic golf course, we would have also lost one of our city’s most popular banquet facilities – as well as a treasured wildlife habitat that serves as home to a wide array of animals. From a public safety standpoint, since a significant portion of the course is designated as a flood zone, the city would have also lost an invaluable collection point for the runoff that impacts this area during heavy rains.
“Down the road, the resulting flooding of the nearby neighborhoods would have caused untold inconvenience and suffering to our homeowners, as well as potentially resulting in millions of dollars in losses. This is a great deal for everyone involved.”