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UNM North Golf Course development plans

February 20, 2007

UrbanABQ is running a disparaging post on the prospect of UNM developing a part of the North Golf Course. I’m not sure where I fall on the purposed development—to the best of my knowledge a formal plan doesn’t exist yet. Here is what I understand is going on with the North Golf Course:

The course is an island of green in a sea of asphalt; no one needs to tell the University. UNM’s former acting President, David Harris, acknowledged as much in an ABQ Journal article back in early January.

“There is a way you could configure a facility around the perimeter without disturbing the golf course at all,” said David Harris, UNM’s acting president.
Similar facilities elsewhere occupy 25 to 35 acres, he said.

So what is this purposed facility? A retirement community for those with ties to the University. The University purports the Golf Course is an ideal location for a retirement community because of its proximity to UNMH. Building the community will let the University maintain its relationships with lifelong members of its community. If the development only occupies 25 to 30 acres of the 80 acre site, then I think the University is being more than accommodating to its neighbors (the neighborhood associations).

And let’s not forget that while the nine hole course is nice, it certainly is not a necessity. UNM has a world class golfing facility at UNM Championship Course. The nine hole course serves a small clientèle. The majority of people who use the course aren’t actually golfing—they’re running or walking around the perimeter. I don’t see how a retirement community with a nine hole course running through it will effect runners and walkers. Bottom line, the course isn’t a public park, it is a university golf course. It’s also a nice open space, but it is still a unnecessary extremity of the University.

On the aesthetics of the North Campus:

As for the 75% of the North Campus being parking lot— might have a point. But those parking lots are jam packed during the week, and the current bus routes aren’t nearly as time efficient as driving one’s own car. It is my understanding the University is planning a parking garage to serve the North Campus community in the near future. The physical plant of the North Campus (i.e., the Health Sciences Center, UNMH, and the School of Law) are actually pretty easy on the eyes (at least my eyes). Landscaping the parking lots—putting in trees, shrubs, and earthen medians—would go a long way to increase the North Campus’ visual appeal.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. James Gonzalez permalink
    September 16, 2008 12:48 pm

    Wasn’t the golf course gifted to the university with the understanding that a certain percentage of it be maintained as open space?

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