Federal judge hears Silverstone Golf Course case

LAS VEGAS - Neighbors upset with the closure of the Silverstone Golf Course have now brought the issue up in federal court.

Homeowners want the landowner to maintain the land, but defense lawyers argue their client shouldn't be responsible for keeping the course green, because it's no longer operating.

For neighbors, the Silverstone Golf Course was an oasis in the middle of the desert, but the course closed earlier this month because of the financial problems.

Basically, it was too expensive to operate.

Even though it has a new owner -- Desert Lifestyles -- the grass isn't getting watered and neighbors say it's hurting the value of their homes.

"The golf course is getting browner and browner and the greens are starting to deteriorate. The wildlife is starting to come up. We've seen a couple of coyotes that have now crossed the boundary," said homeowner Steve Hellerstein.

"I wouldn't have bought a house there if I would think that I'd lose the view," said Melanie Hill, a homeowner.

The issue went before a federal judge on Thursday.

Homeowners want the golf course landscape to be watered so it stays green, but defense lawyers don't see it that way.

"It's not as simple as that. It's a non-operational golf course so a company that comes in has to use its funds for a certain purpose and just to water a lawn, you're talking about 100 acres. It doesn't make economic sense," said Ross Goodman, defense attorney.

A federal judge issued an order two weeks ago requiring Desert Lifestyles to turn the water on and keep the landscape maintained, but that didn't happen.

Neighbors say they bought homes expecting a golf course view.

Defense lawyers say there should be other options on how to use the golf course land because it hasn't been profitable.

"Sometimes when you have a deed restriction it becomes outdated and circumstances change like it did in this case," Goodman said.

Neighbors say they'll keep fighting for what they paid for when they bought their homes.

"I'm not a golfer, but I like having the open space and the view and I pay the premium on my lot for that," said homeowner Melanie Hill.

The federal judge continued the hearing for Friday.

He could rule on whether the landowner will have to turn on the water and keep the landscape green. Homeowners would be responsible for a portion of the cost even if the judge rules in their favor.
 


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