Mount Vernon homeowners backtrack on plans to convert former golf course into a Christian retreat

Eaglemont Golf Course closed in 2020. The new owners want to convert it into a Christian retreat.

Mount Vernon, Washington – The Eaglemont community was built 30 years ago as a public golf club.

A total of 277 homes surround Eaglemont Golf Course, which has been closed and resale during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, the future is sitting in a little sand trap.

When Gerald Barron moved to Eaglemont, it was an emerald gem
Mount Baker views of Camano Island. These days, moles and weeds are rampant, and the ground is turning brown – the once-cracked gem.

“We love being part of the golf community,” Barron said. “It is my pleasure and disappointment to see it this way.”

The course closed in 2020. The property was sold to Beacon Hill Ministries, which plans to convert it into a Christian retreat.

“He kind of looks like the artist formerly known as Prince. It used to be a golf course, now it’s the property of the department,” said Beacon Hill CEO Tim Langenberg.

They point to the city’s original ordinance when the property was allowed in 1992 which stated that “the public shall be allowed reasonable use of the golf course.” The homeowners claim that the land was not intended for any other use, and they want the new owners to keep it that way.

“He bought the land that was allowed to be a public golf course,” Barron argues. “If he didn’t know it, he should definitely know it. Any change requires adjustment and it is required to go through the city.”

Langenberg replied, “We only do what we are entitled to do on our property. It’s absurd to think we can’t.”

Bacon Ministries said the club’s 20,000-square-foot building was badly damaged by broken pipes earlier this year, which would cost about $750,000 to clean. Langenberg estimates that reopening the course will cost $10 million.

For Langenberg, golf is simply not financially viable and there are no plans to go back now.

“Honestly, we feel like this is where we’re supposed to be,” he said.

Langenberg believes his organization shouldn’t get stuck paying for maintenance on a golf course it doesn’t intend to run. Suggest homeowners pick up the tab.

This proposal was flatly rejected.

In an email to KING 5 News, Mount Vernon City Attorney Kevin Rogerson wrote: “The city is listening to our residents’ concerns and exploring options…including hiring an outside counsel to help analyze the cases. While the city takes no position on the merits, it has Courts have recognized that property owners in a situation such as the Eaglemont Homeowners Association may have claims about the non-operating of the golf course. The city has approached the Homeowners Association for any authority it might have to support the city’s actions in order to mandate the resumption of business operation from the property owner” .

Meanwhile, homeowners say they’re playing the long game.

“The only thing he has done for this community is connect us together like never before,” Barron said. “We will not go away.”

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