Salt Lake County commissioners will be the next to vote on a proposed Dimple Dell golf course configuration that was approved Wednesday by the county's Recreation Board.
Opponents of the plan say they've all but given up hope that county officials will listen to their objections to the golf course proposal, and they expect their battle will end up in court. Diana vanVitert, representing Citizens for the Preservation of Dimple Dell Park, said the entire 643-acre regional park should be maintained as a multi-use nature area and that a golf course doesn't belong.County officials hired A/E Intra Group, Inc., to study golf course development alternatives for Dimple Dell - no option was left for the consultant to recommend the park be maintained without the development of a golf course.
Lynn Larsen, the company's vice president over planning, reported the results of the golf course study to the Recreation Board Wednesday and recommended a $7.5 million development alternative that would put an 18-hole course on approximately 200 acres in the eastern end of the 643-acre regional park.
A clubhouse would be situated just off Dimple Dell road on the flat upper bench that overlooks the open area below. A driving range is proposed just east of the clubhouse. The front nine holes would play north and then back south to the clubhouse while the back nine would play west and then return east to the clubhouse.
The county would have to buy an additional 10 acres to accommodate the golf course. Suggested greens fees, according to the consultant's report, would be $14 on weekends and holidays and $12 on weekdays.
The consultant's report indicates the golf course would increase the amount of traffic on Dimple Dell Road by an estimated 766 to 917 trips per day, which consultants said would be a 9 percent increase to the east end of Dimple Dell road and a 24 percent increase to the west.
Although the plan also leaves a site for a nature center, vanVitert and Robin Cederlof, representing a Dimple Dell interest group called the Nature Center Task Force, say the plan pushes a nature center off in a corner and was included to try to appease groups opposing the golf course.
"A nature center is not a museum. You go in and pick up your information and you go out on the trail," Cederlof said. "It's no good" if an 18-hole golf course separates the nature center from the park's natural areas.
County Parks and Recreation Director Glen Lu said he will try to get the County Commission to consider the Recreation Board's golf course recommendation as soon as next week.Cederlof said she doesn't see much opportunity for golf course opponents to persuade the County Commission to reconsider the golf course plans. "We know they've already planned to put a golf course there - we know we have no chance to change the commissioners' minds," she said. "We don't know what we'll do when we get there, but we'll be there" when Commissioners hear the design proposal.
The list of groups opposing the golf course includes the Sierra Club, Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, Audubon Society and golfers who "know and realize there are alternative sites for a golf course," vanVitert said. She characterized opponents as having "substantial monetary resources" that could be used as a war chest for a court battle against the golf course.