An addendum to the Dover-Bay golf course story
A few months back, I wrote a story about the Dover-Bay Country Club, from its grandeur to its demise. After the story appeared in the Observer, I received an email from a longtime friend who added more information to why the Union Carbide Research Facility was not built in Bay Village. Following is the rest of the story:
In the late 1950s, the Union Carbide Company had proposed to build a research facility on the golf course property. The land where the golf course was located, at the corners of Lake and Clague roads, was not zoned commercial. The first thing the city needed to do was rezone the parcel of land to commercial.
A concerned group of citizens formed a “For the Project Committee.” It was decided every household would receive a post card proposal. The rezoning committee, sent post cards asking for a vote on the proposal. The straw vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the project coming to Bay, roughly 3 or 4 for approval, versus 1 against. My friend remembers, distinctly, the counting of all the returned postcards.
Meanwhile, over on Humiston Road on the eastern border of the golf course, the residents of the street were very much against the research facility. A small group of Bay Villagers led by attorney Oliver Hasenflue, a resident on Humiston Road, led the fight against the project and rezoning, with the intention of going to court to prevent the project.
Rather than becoming embroiled in a controversy, Union Carbide gave the Recreation Department of Bay Village a goodwill check for $10,000 and moved the research facility to Snow Road in Parma. They built a beautiful facility, the property having the appearance of a college campus.
So, the city lost the opportunity for new significant tax revenue, and instead had to provide additional services, schools, etc,, for the houses that were developed on the old golf course. Even though most citizens were in favor of this project, the challenge from this small group of Bay Villagers blocked what could have been a significant benefit for the city.
Today, nearly 60 years later, Union Carbide no longer uses the Parma facility for research.