Do Cities Have Room For Golf Courses?

<p>Stakeholders in Austin debate the future of a public golf course in the center of town while the University of Texas, owner of the land, debates whether to seek greater profits off the land. Neighbors champion the course as vital open space.</p>
July 9, 2008, 12pm PDT | Larry Schooler
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"The University of Texas System owns the rolling, timbered land the course has occupied since it opened as a Lions Club course in 1928. Now the Board of Regents is considering other ways to use the valuable property, part of a 500-acre gift nearly a century ago from Col. George Washington Brackenridge.

'You're talking about acres that act as lungs for that neighborhood,' said Save Muny advocate Zack Fleming, a former assistant golf professional at Lions.

The regents retained a New York planning firm in May to create at least two distinct sets of recommendations. Those are due in a year.

The two previous efforts to keep Lions have preserved an affordable place to play golf in a leafy, tranquil setting amid the affluent neighborhood of Tarrytown. But with state financial support in decline as a percentage of UT-Austin's budget and a desire to elevate the university's status even higher among American universities, the regents seem more determined than ever to extract more income out of the so-called Brackenridge tract."

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Published on Sunday, July 6, 2008 in Austin American-Statesman
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