Jones Creek neighbors fear potential changes to golf course

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 5:17 PM EST
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EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Those who call the Jones Creek Golf Course home say they’re worried about changes that may be coming to the area.

Columbia County leaders are trying to ease those concerns.

Jones Creek hasn’t been operating as a golf course since 2018. The course was sold, and some flooding issues with the county went unresolved.

Now millions of dollars in property lies in limbo, with families wanting it restored to its former glory.

The owner requested to rezone the clubhouse and the surrounding 6.9 acres in December, sending neighbors spiraling in fear of the clubhouse being put to a different use.

“If the clubhouses zone differently, it could be a restaurant entertainment center. And someone wanting to come in and purchase the golf course, as we have someone now, that is our main concern is if this rezoning happens, what is going to happen to the clubhouse,” asked Lilia Greene.

According to the owner, Mark Herbert, after hearing the concerns from neighbors like Greene, he isn’t rezoning, he’s requesting to withdraw it.

“I’m withdrawing the S-1 zoning that I was going to do, I’ll just change the verbiage in the PUD,” he said.

After consulting with the county, the original planned unit development called for only Jones Creek investors to operate the clubhouse but because he wasn’t an investor, he’s never been able to do with it what he wanted.

He’s hoping by changing the zoning, he could help bring new life to the clubhouse, potentially a restaurant, events, and later hours.

“I don’t understand why everybody is all upset. I don’t know if anything has changed from the day I bought it other than I’ve never been able to really do anything that I really wanted to do to it,” said Herbert.

Neighbors are holding out hope that the zoning stays the same, and a developer buys the entire golf course, including the clubhouse and the area around it.

Greene said: “Our hope is to get back into the golf course and just have the community that we had in the past.”