Members of the Oak Hills Ad Hoc Driving Range Committee met with local residents and golf course architects Thursday night to present and discuss in an open forum their latest plan for the range and the nearby restaurant at Oak Hills Park.
The plan was presented by Jim Downing, Mark Curtin and Doug Smith of Total Driving Range Solutions which consists of demolishing the pro shop, to free up 5,000 square feet of space and move it into the restaurant. The plan also includes a new cart barn that would be put behind the restaurant's parking lot, and roughly 100 feet of netting.
"We're absolutely taking into consideration lining up carts," said architect Doug Smith. "All this will be in this design to facilitate proper golf that's on the golf course, with our traffic that's coming into the driving range."
Thursday was the committee's first meeting since Mayor Harry Rilling was sworn into office. Members welcomed Elsa Obochowski and William Waters.
"I was very active in opposing locating the driving range on the wooden hill outside the parking lot, which is not the place it's going to go," said Obochowski.
Designers also presented drawing of a proposed steel and mesh building.
"The mesh would allow for a lot of opportunities for color, for light, for shade to break some of the wind but also it can ultimately be planted on or can turn green," said architect Jim Downing.
"The location that is proposed is on existing golf course land," said Obochowski. "There are some golfers that think they do not want the golf course to be modified and they're up in arms about that so we'll have to see how this all develops."
Opponents argue the range, netting and building is not financially viable to the park or the community.
"When moving for a total driving range proposal to build a driving range in the park rests entirely on your conjecture that it will solve your financial problems," said Norwalk Resident Paul Cantor.
The committee is still in the process of appointing three members of legal and financial backgrounds. Meetings will start up again in January, every second Thursday of the month in Room 101 of Norwalk City Hall.