LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A popular disc golf destination in Louisville is being shut down by the city for violating zoning rules.
Arrowhead Disc Golf Course owners have been working for months to sort out why the course was being shut down, and what needs to happen to reopen. But after looking into its options, the course will remain closed, according to owners Roger and Vivian Wyatt.
The disc golf course started out as nothing but a hobby for the Wyatt family. Roger Wyatt and his son picked it up, then their friends, and then friends of their friends.
Since the creation of the first hole, the mom-and-pop shop has become home to a 27 hole course.
“All the disc golfers, we’ve made so many friends, you know every week,” said Vivian Wyatt.
The course is ranked in the top 60 best courses by UDisc, a popular disc golf app.
The Wyatt’s don’t charge anyone to come play. The couple said if cash is involved, it has only ever been for charity events hosted at the course.
But this year, no discs will be flying and no chains will be rattling. Last August, someone made an anonymous complaint to the city about the course.
Louisville’s Planning and Design Services department said the course needs a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to operate, and a licensing agreement with Louisville Metro, because several holes are on Metro-owned property.
In an email to WDRB, the department released the following statement:
“We received a complaint from a neighbor and sent a zoning officer out to the property. The officer found that the disc golf course was operating without the proper approvals. The owners need a conditional use permit in order to operate the disc golf course, as well as a license agreement with Louisville Metro as the course encroaches upon a neighboring Metro-owned property. The process has been explained to the owners, and they are aware of these requirements.”
The city-owned land is operated by MSD.
The Wyatt’s said they looked into getting the permits and approval.
“You have to hire someone, an engineer or surveyor and I called and the price is three to five thousand dollars,” said Vivian Wyatt.
Vivian and Roger said they are not willing to spend the money, because it is not a guarantee they can reopen.
“The city cannot give me a guarantee we would open if we spent that because it has to go through a neighborhood meeting, and then a board meeting, and meet all the regulations they have to make sure the course is up to par,” said Vivian Wyatt.
The Wyatt’s said many people in the Louisville disc golf community have offered to help cover the costs for a surveyor.
The pair has also received a letter from MSD’s chief engineer approving its use as long as area can still serve its purpose to flood extra storm water during major flood/rain events.
In part of the letter, MSD’s chief engineer David Johnson said, “MSD has no issues with this land being used for recreational use. MSD actually encourages the use of floodprone properties for recreational uses with no structures or filling activities that would reduce the flood capacity for the property.”
In another letter sent to the Wyatt’s from Councilwoman Cindi Fowler, she said the MSD land has already been, or soon will be approved for recreational use under the Mill Creek Stream, and finds the requirement for the Wyatt’s to get a CUP redundant.
Fowler has visited the property, and told the Wyatts she is offering her help to reopen the course.
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