The Milwaukee Country Club and the River Hills Village Board on March 24 signed an environmental stewardship agreement for the club's property along the Milwaukee River.
Although the village concluded the country club was not in violation of an environmental corridor ordinance for past clearing along the riverbanks, it negotiated an agreement with the club, setting more clear ground rules for the future.
The county club has agreed it will not further modify the golf course along the Milwaukee River for at least three years. The country club also agreed to give notice of any future changes, although none are currently contemplated.
At its own expense, the country club will plant bushes and grass to help filtration as recommended by an independent consultant the club hired to develop a best management practices report.
The agreement comes after at least nine months of negotiations between the village and the country club.
"I'm very pleased that the country club and its board decided to enter into a very positive stewardship environmental agreement with the village," Village President Robert Brunner said.
Gus Taylor, president of Milwaukee Country Club, said in a news release, "The club recognizes its responsibility to be a good environmental steward of the land adjacent to the river and believes all parties will benefit from having a written agreement governing certain activities."
But River Hills resident Fred Vogel, who led the protest against the club's past cutting along the riverbank, disagreed.
"This agreement has not fully addressed, much less solved, the longer-term environmental problems which have been at the center of the controversy right from the beginning," he wrote in a statement.
It fails to secure club recognition that the cutting was a serious environmental step, Vogel wrote. "And, as a blueprint for managing the community's legitimate environmental interests in the future, I find this negotiated outcome in lieu of enforcement to be especially troubling."
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