Letters: What should be done with Buffalo Valley Golf Course?

Johnson City Press • Sep 16, 2018 at 6:00 AM

We asked you with Monday’s Question of the Week what you think should be done with the Buffalo Valley Golf Course. Here are some of your answers.

ETSU needs room to grow

Sell or donate it to ETSU.

In the future, the campus will grow, and the university needs room to grow. Besides, they will be much better stewards of the land. Just because Buffalo Valley is only 5 miles away doesn’t mean the property doesn’t hold potential to be part of the ETSU campus.

Johnson City

Take the money and run

So glad you asked!

The Town of Unicoi offered Johnson City $400,000, which the city never had the courtesy to even respond to. So now they have a golf course they don’t want which costs them on a continuing daily basis as it deteriorates.

Not only that, Johnson City promotes itself as a wonderful place to come to, but this is how it treats its close neighbor? Many people who live on the golf course work, shop and support Johnson City’s numerous activities and yet “good, kind, progressive” Johnson City is doing everything to destroy their property values by removing topsoil and leaving giant eyesores elsewhere. I think Johnson City should either take the $400,000 offer or give the property to the Town of Unicoi, stop worrying about it, and take whatever write-offs they can get.


I want to ride my bicycle

What I would like to see done with the old course is that it be turned into a recreation park, in particular I would like to see it cater to road bicycles. We have mountain bike parks, but we need paved paths that could easily wind 10-15 miles. Road riders can easily reach speeds over 20 mph, so they don’t need to be shared with walkers or runners for that reason.

If you want to make it a dual purpose pathway cyclist and runners or walkers need more than a line to separate them, in Charleston they have this and walkers frequently stray into the bikers’ path.

Another use along with this is multiple soccer/football fields for youth leagues, I can’t understand why we would want to wear out Science Hill’s field so quickly when it’s a high-dollar field. We played on grass fields as children, no problem.

Thanks for letting me yammer on.

Johnson City

It Otter be a soccer field

Is there really any other option for the Buffalo Valley Golf Course than to sell it to Tri-Cities Otters owner Michael Balluff and redevelop it for alternative sports use?

Balluff's plan will redevelop the land with soccer, rugby and lacrosse fields. A stadium for the Otters to play in, insuring the franchise's stability, would also be built.

The Johnson City Indoor Soccer facility and offices are already on the property's Golf Course Road, and there is also a motel adjacent to Buffalo Valley for the teams who would use these fields for tournaments and the like to stay in.

If residences are built on the property, what kind of residences would they be? Since the motel is currently one that caters to residents more than overnight guests, what kind of residents would these new homes attract?

As for the residents of the surrounding homes, there's an intrigue upon owning a home near a soccer stadium, much like people in major metropolitan areas might want to live close to a stadium or arena to easily attend the events there.

I do have concerns about the current residents of the motel on the property, which Balluff wishes to buy. They must not be thrown into the streets.

But if one has a house near an indoor soccer facility and a residency motel, is there really a valid "There goes the neighborhood!" argument that would make developing a golf course for continued sports use improper?

Who's the loser if the property is developed for other sports? The winner is the community, which then becomes more cosmopolitan with the stability of their soccer franchise and money coming from out of the area into it from the visitors such redevelopment would provide.

Johnson City

Keep an eye out each week for another Question of the Week, but you may send us letters about any topic important to you. Authors must sign their letters and include addresses and phone numbers for verification. Letters may be no longer than 300 words and will be edited for grammar, style and length. Send your submission to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717 or [email protected].

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