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SunLand course seeks financial help

The SunLand Golf and Country Club is seeking financial assistance from the SunLand Owners Association to prevent the golf course from closing, which potentially could reduce property values by as much as one-third.

The country club's board hosted a two-plus hour meeting last month that included a discussion of the club's declining membership and a presentation by real estate agents about the golf course's impact on property values.

"Failure is clearly possible," SunLand Country Club president Jim Ratliff told a crowd of more than 200 people.



$300 fee proposed

In an e-mail to SunLand Owners Association home-owners, the country club's board of directors proposed charging each of SunLand's residences $300 per year for golf course maintenance.

The club also has cut its budget, increased dues, sold assets, started open play on weekends and held a membership drive to improve its finances, the e-mail stated.

SunLand has about 750 residences, but the golf/country club has only 195 members. The club's membership has declined 50

percent since 2001, including 48 members who have left since February.

Real estate agent Tom Montgomery of Sequim said he doesn't live in SunLand but the "park-like ambiance" created by the golf course creates demand even from nongolfers.

Property values would decrease by as much as 33 percent for everyone - even those with homes located away from the course - if it closed, Montgomery said.



Costly conversion

Ratliff said it potentially could be converted to a park but that costs money and still requires maintenance.

But resident Jim Karr said he couldn't decide without better financial information. Also, nongolfers wouldn't be represented on the club's board propor-tionate to the money they would contribute, he said.

The club has set up the "SunLand Preservation Project" that includes letters from real estate agents, links to stories about similar golf course communities and past presentations, as well as a comments section.

Go to sunlandgolf.com and click on SunLand Preservation Project.

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