MIDLAND, Texas — Nueva Vista Golf Course is staying a golf course, at least for now.
On Tuesday, Midland City Council voted 7-0 against rezoning the golf course for housing.
It is something the council has been discussing for 9 months.
But housing development plans are not entirely off the table. They are just off the table for at least 6 or 12 months.
In the meantime, nonprofit FORE Midland is hoping to gather up enough donations and support from the community to buy the golf course and make it a permanent green space for all to enjoy.
“We are very excited that the zoning didn’t pass, but while that is a win this is just the beginning," Autumn Winkles, FORE Midland founder and West Grassland homeowner, said.
The nonprofit has big plans for Nueva Vista.
“Walking trails, fishing docks, buttery fly gardens, it's going to be accessible to all of Midland," Winkles said. "We’re going to probably end up redesigning the golf course so more portions of that golf course are park conservancy area.”
But that vision will only come to life if the group comes up with enough money to purchase the 220 acres from the property owner.
“The landowner has made it clear he would like to sell his property," Lori Blong, Midland City Council, District 4, said. "He’s had it on the market for years. It’s not his preference to operate the golf course long-term. So I think we should be expecting that he will want to develop or sell it in a different way.”
As to how much it will cost?
“We don’t have an actual figure on how much the golf course is selling for," Winkles said. "We are hoping to get into discussions with the owner soon, but I know it’s in the millions.”
The city has made it clear they do not have the money to purchase the land. This means it’s going to be up to private donors to make the green space permanent.
Something Winkles is confident FORE Midland can make happen.
“We need to put our money where all of our feelings are with saving this green space," Winkles said. “221 acres inside the City of Midland that is wetlands, with all the wildlife species there, this is a very special place. We can get this funded completely by private donations.”
Winkles tells NewsWest 9 she’s meeting with the owner of the golf course this week.
She's hoping to learn how much money would be needed to buy the course.
FORE Midland does have a website with more details on their plans and a place for people to donate and sign a petition. They already have 1,700 signatures. If you are interested in donating, click here.
One thing to note is that more and more projects in Midland are being funded privately.
88% of Centennial Park was paid for through donations. The other 12% was through sales tax.
Also, over the weekend, Diamondback announced plans to donate $2 million dollars to the Hogan Park renovations.
FORE Midland is hoping similar trends can happen with Nueva Vista.