Response to commentary
Editor, Daily Times:
I am responding to the commentary printed in the Daily Times weekend edition, May 10-12, titled “If not a camping resort, then what?” I assume that you, dear editor, are the author. You who, speaking from your ivory tower, employ the “royal we” (“We like the idea ...,” ”... we are having a hard time ....” “We think the recent proposal ...”) have the effrontery to deride the town of Emmet Board, characterizing their decision to deny the Kelly clan’s rezoning request as “capricious” and somehow analogous to the whimsical act of an indifferent ruler. That, sir, is an insult to each and every one of those board members. They acted in accordance with the overwhelming mandate of their constituency. For them to have done otherwise would have been unconscionable.
You then trivialize the concerns of residents whose property abuts or is near the Windwood property by reducing them almost solely to aesthetic issues. We are understandably opposed to trading “emerald vistas of sprawling fairways and quiet evenings ... for colorful tents and perhaps late night (sic) revelry around numerous campfires ...,” but you fail to mention even in passing perhaps our most serious objection. Had the Kellys been allowed to repurpose Windwood to a campground, bordering residents alone would have suffered property devaluation totaling some $3 million-$4 million. The additional devaluation of properties nearby but not abutting the ex-golf course raises that figure substantially. Strangely, you seem to think it is the duty of area residents to sacrifice tens of thousands of dollars in property value to relieve Windwood’s poor, unfortunate corporate owners of the property taxes. That only makes sense if your property isn’t one of those being devalued, and not a great deal of sense even then.
Finally, in your inexplicable empathy for Madison Golf, you claim that “the town owes it to (them) to provide at least some fair, plausible solutions.” What?! Nixing the nefarious scheme to force a campground on the area’s unsuspecting landowners does not automatically obligate the town to formulate alternatives. Madison Golf is owed nothing except due consideration of reasonable, workable proposals. It is not “incumbent on the town to provide ... (those) options.” Rather, it is incumbent upon the property owner to bring forward realistic proposals for consideration and approval. The town of Emmet Board is not constrained to proactively facilitate the sale of Windwood.
Windwood may never again be a golf course, but plopping a campground into the middle of an established community largely comprised of senior citizens, driving down property values and destroying the idyllic atmosphere was never a viable plan of action. I think the recent proposal was self-serving, disingenuous and amoral. Blaming the town of Emmet Board even in part for the owner’s inability to sell Windwood is ludicrous. They did their job, and they did it exactly as they should have.
Windwood condominium owner