Old Ben Lomond Golf Course clubhouse razed as housing project proceeds
HARRISVILLE — The old Ben Lomond Golf Course clubhouse is gone and dirt is moving at the site ahead of planned development of a 130.8-acre subdivision with more than 600 housing units.
The plans have unrolled over two years, and Jennie Knight, the Harrisville city administrator, said sentiments of the public toward the change, initially chilly, seem to be thawing. “We really have seen the temperature of the entire development change as we’ve gone over the past two years,” she said.
Initially, the prospect of losing the large, open space to development disconcerted some in Harrisville. The sentiments have since evolved — at least, for some — into curiosity about when the homes will take shape and what sort of housing is to be developed.
At any rate, things are still in the early phase and complete development of the sprawling site south of 2000 North off U.S. 89, dubbed Ben Lomond Views, would likely take years. On Tuesday, the Harrisville City Council granted preliminary approval to the first phase of the project to be developed, a 37.3-acre parcel where 101 single-family homes and 52 townhomes would sit. The land includes Ben Lomond Drive, the new roadway that would cut through the development and link it to U.S. 89.
Knight noted that city officials have asked the developer, Douglas Palermo of Orem-based BLD investment, to address 31 issues planners identified. Final approval would only come after the items are addressed.
“That’s a lot” for a project in the preliminary review phase, she said. “But it is a large development and it is a significant number of units.”
Among the items to be fixed are proposed turnarounds and sharp curves on roadways in the development that will have to be softened to make turning easier for cars. Some narrow roads may have to be designated as no parking areas on one side. There are also sewer and storm drain issues to address, among other things.
Meantime, some of the buildings on the land, like the clubhouse, have been razed and heavy equipment is on site to start earthwork.
The Ben Lomond Views plans call for as many as 664 housing units on the grounds of the former golf course, which closed in 2018. There would be as many as 440 single-family homes, 144 townhomes and 80 condos. Commercial space is also proposed along with nearly 31 acres of park and open space.
To the west, across U.S. 89 on an undeveloped 8.67-acre parcel, Palermo is proposing a commercial development containing a gas station and convenience store, a medical office and restaurants. The Harrisville City Council last February approved a rezone needed for the plans to proceed and the next step will be submission of a site plan by the developer for review by city officials.
To the north of the Ben Lomond Views location, another housing project is moving forward. The Copperwoods is a mixed-use development calling for 65 townhomes, with commercial development proposed for the ground floors of about half of the housing units.