2013 In Review: Aurora golf course deal appealed, but action dismissed

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Aurora — Six Aurora residents filed an appeal to the state’s Environmental Review Appeals Commission early in 2013, claiming the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s granting of $4.7 million for the city to acquire the Aurora Golf Club is “unlawful and unreasonable.”
The appeal, which was dismissed at the end of the year, claimed the city was seeking the land “to pursue a hidden agenda ... The city has not been open and honest about its hidden agenda for this land and has acted to rush this application through without sufficient accountability.”
The ERAC hears and resolves appeals resulting from technical and legal final actions taken by various agenices, including the Ohio EPA, and is the highest level of administrative appeal for final actions of those agencies. Decisions of the commission may be appealed to the courts.
The sale of the golf course property on Trails End, where residents had golfed for more than 80 years, became official Feb. 7 when the city gained the title from Aurora Recreation LLC.
“I hate to see a rich part of our history gone forever,” said Councilman John Kudley, who was the only Council member who voted against the city acquiring the land.
The residents who filed the appeal live in homes adjacent to or near the golf course.
“I have spent a lot of time researching this matter, and I am very upset about the action of our city officials hiding their actions [during the acquisition process] from the citizens,” said George Heisler, a resident who is leading the appeal.
Others listed in the appeal were Evelyn Heisler, J.R. Cicen, Marcia Laubacher, Robert E. Neer and Willlam Avalon.
Meanwhile, the Ohio Elections Commission dismissed a complaint filed by Heisler regarding what he alleged to be misleading information distributed prior to a 2011 ballot issue in which voters OK’d the rezoning of 6.7 acres of former golf course property.
Heisler claimed Aurora Recreation LLC, the previous owner of the course “clearly made false and misleading public statements” regarding the golf club property rezoning issue on the May 2011 primary election ballot.

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