Charlotte’s oldest public golf course could be replaced by a housing development

Charlotte’s oldest public golf course could be replaced by a housing development

CHARLOTTE, NC (Ely Portillo/The Charlotte Observer) - A public golf course in east Charlotte that's been operating for 60 years could soon be redeveloped into a residential subdivision, plans filed recently with the city of Charlotte show.

Larkhaven Golf Course, off Camp Stewart Road near Interstate 485 and Albemarle Road, opened in 1958 on land that was once a dairy farm.

"In a city that loves its own sparkle, Larkhaven is a grassroots reminder of how Charlotte used to be and how golf, for most of us, will always be," former Observer columnist Ron Green, Jr., wrote in a 2008 story on the course's 50th anniversary. "It is not a country club and has never tried to be one."

Meritage Homes of the Carolinas, the subsidiary of an Arizona-based homebuilder, filed plans this month to rezone the 140-acre property for single-family houses.

A site plan shows 350 houses, laid out along a new network of streets and cul-de-sacs. About 40 percent of the site, 56 acres, would be kept as open space, much of it the natural ponds and streams that make up water features on the course.

Meritage and Larkhaven executives couldn't be reached Friday for more information on the plans.

The area nearby, until recently largely vacant and wooded, is undergoing a major building boom. Cresswind, an age-restricted development for senior citizens, is taking shape on the adjoining property, and will eventually include up to 850 houses. Novant Health is building a medical center adjacent to the development.

Meritage has 18 developments in and around Charlotte, from Fort Mill, S.C., to Mooresville. Their prices range from the $300,000s at Parkside in Ballantyne up to the $700,000s in the Falls at Weddington.