New Town Park

A new and exciting recreational area will be developed on the grounds of the Greenhills Golf Course.  We have noticed for years that the course was being used by fewer and fewer golfers, although the maintenance costs remained high.

A concept plan was developed by landscape architect Todd Wales of the environmental design firm of Vivian Llambi & Associates.  Todd has local roots and as a result, is already familiar with the property.  We asked him to develop a park that first would take advantage of the natural beauty and terrain of the site.  Finally, we wanted this beautiful land to be an amenity for all of Greenhills!

As a result, residents can look forward to a new recreational area in the heart of our Village.  The park will be located on approximately 10 acres of property that sadly has been the most underutilized property in the Village.  Unless you have a passion for golf and are one of the few who have utilized the golf course in recent years, you most likely didn’t even know the Village had a golf course.  For many years, the number of memberships has been extremely low and had continued to decline.

As the years have passed, more golf courses and driving ranges offering a variety of play opportunities have been developed in our immediate area, creating competition that we could not match.  After decades of trying various scenarios to attract members and increase usage of the course, the Village is bringing to fruition the federal government’s original plan for that property: a town park.

The result of Todd’s concept is a walking system with both short and long loops winding around the picturesque property, all accessible by wheelchair.  The pathways will connect the east side of Greenhills to the Village center.  His design calls for a pond, a natural prairie habitat surrounded by lawns, overlook points, a “natural” amphitheater (also part of the original plan), community gardens, pickleball courts, and more!

The golf course officially closed on October 31st.  It had been developed around 1960, after the federal government had deeded much of Greenhills to the Greenhills Homeowners Corporation.  Prior to that, it was said to be a forest with a creek running through it.

So, as one chapter ends, another one begins.  We are excited about the possibilities, knowing that this area recently used by just a few will now become a centerpiece of our community, providing a relaxing respite from urban noises and congestion.  It will become a focal point of what makes our Village so unique, and another reason why Greenhills residents love their great community.

SEE THE FRONT PAGE OF THE GREENHILLS WEBSITE FOR GOLF COURSE DATA.

 

How Did We Get the “Green” in Greenhills?

The answer is: our unique GREENBELT!  Did you know Greenhills is one of three federally planned and constructed greenbelt communities in the nation? The other two greenbelt communities are Greenbelt, Maryland and Greendale, Wisconsin.  Planned and constructed by the federal government in the 1930’s, the purpose of the greenbelt project was to 1) supply jobs, and 2) offer an escape from the congested inner city neighborhoods through the construction of a small town with plenty of park-like areas surrounded by a greenbelt.

I find it interesting that of the three greenbelt communities, Greenhills is the only one that has maintained its greenbelt. According to our Comprehensive Plan, our greenbelt encompasses approximately 270 acres, representing 30% of our land area. The Hamilton County Park District is the biggest owner of our greenbelt.

The greenbelt offers a very unique quality to our community.  Not only is it a natural buffer of greenery, it also protects from encroaching development.

The concept of greenbelt is often misunderstood:

> Some think any green space or park in the Village is greenbelt – but it is not. In Greenhills, we actually have a zoning district entitled: greenbelt. That district – for the most part – encircles the community.

> Some think it must be publicly owned for it to be greenbelt – but it does not.  Approximately 90 home owners in Greenhills own greenbelt land.  The benefit to those homeowners is that their park-like surroundings will not change over time.

> Some think that if they own greenbelt land they can use it as they please – but they cannot. The only uses that are currently permitted in the Greenbelt zone (whether publicly or privately owned) include public park reservation and playgrounds, public recreational buildings, allotment gardens (now known as community gardens), farms, nurseries and gardens; public utilities; bus passenger stations; or signs erected by public authorities.

> Some think that if they consolidate their parcels into one it will change the zoning to residential – but it will not.  And don’t be confused by the County Auditor’s website indicating your greenbelt land is “residential.” The Auditor’s notation is only indicating the use for which the land is being taxed – not identifying the zoning.

> It may interest you to know that any changes to the text of the greenbelt zoning district can only occur if approved by the voters of Greenhills.

Click here to check the Greenhills Zoning map on our website to see the locations of greenbelt parcels.

Greenbelt is not identified in property deeds so if you have recently moved to Greenhills you may not know if you own greenbelt land.  To find out, contact the Greenhills Municipal Offices at 513-825-2100.