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Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #700 on: November 20, 2018, 07:10:50 AM »
Lou

If you read my post, and earlier posts on the subject you will note Iíve endeavoured to distinguish between the personal and the business method. Many on here have decried me for comparing the way Trump pursued his planning and the way the Embo developer is doing it, and saying they are nothing alike. Well, Iím happy to allow that they are nothing alike personally although Iíve not met any of them, but in terms of their business methods they seem very much alike in terms of their low regard for the environmental issues and how they have looked to get round environmental safeguards by making promises of money. Is that a US cultural thing or is that just how the two of them operate ?

Clearly itís not how everyone does it in the US as the Dumbarnie development appears to be financed by US money and I suggest that is a much better way of going about matters. No drama, no fuss and working around the environmental constraints rather than looking to drive a coach and horses through it with the promise of wealth.

Niall

Ps. As an aside, what put me in mind of throwing baubles at the locals was the Dutch (?) buying Manhattan island from the locals back in the 17th (?) century.

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #701 on: November 20, 2018, 07:24:02 AM »

Then again, for some, the prospect of 30-100+ jobs is a "bauble" (love the word!).  To others it is a means to a life of better prospects, the dignity of work and being productive.  Apparently, some believe that one out of over 100,000 species of flies have recognizable rights trumping those of property owners, the workers at the course, and supporting businesses. 


Lou

Itís been a while since I read all the planning documents submitted by the developer but as I recall about 60 was the figure for those directly employed (ignoring the niceties of whether caddies are self-employed). Again as I recall it the document allowed that the key posts such as course manager, head professional etc would likely be brought in but caddies would likely be local. Now accepting everyone works to get something out of it, usually financially, then all to the good however is a number of seasonal part time jobs worth trashing an environmentally sensitive site ? Personally, I donít think so but clearly you do.

Niall



Jon Wiggett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #702 on: November 20, 2018, 07:38:25 AM »
So, as I understand it, Keiser and the hotel guy approached the owner of the land somewhere around 2014-2105 re development of the golf course.  And, the owner remains the same but Keiser et al. would enter into a long term lease for the property were it approved for development.


 Is that correct?



Pretty much.

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #703 on: November 20, 2018, 07:39:53 AM »

And, if I may ask, is the current planning policy so well-calibrated, fair, timely, and efficient that is should be considered sacrosanct and impervious to challenge?  Is it resulting in affordable property prices?  Better living conditions beyond those of the NIMBYs?  Does it have a positive impact on the population widely and the economy?  Can a relatively small minority, no matter the quality of its intentions and its value judgments, be able to override the desire of a large local majority with last minute Hail Marys such as an "endangered" fly?  Just asking!

Lou

No planning system is perfect but it is essential if you donít want to end up in a built environment that is f****d up. In this instance you have a site that is clearly identified as environmentally sensitive and significant. The markers were clearly there that this land should not be developed but the developers basically gave a two fingered FU to that. And while like every other property professional, I get frustrated with the system at times I still respect it. These guys donít.

Niall


JC Jones

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #704 on: November 20, 2018, 07:51:11 AM »
Niall,


I think my latest post got buried at the bottom of page 28; give it a look if you can as you seem to be intimate with the details.


Thanks
I get it, you are mad at the world because you are an adult caddie and few people take you seriously.

Excellent spellers usually lack any vision or common sense.

I know plenty of courses that are in the red, and they are killing it.

JC Jones

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #705 on: November 20, 2018, 08:01:19 AM »
Not a slam at all JC.   ;)   JK gets off the reservation at times, but his provocations, IMO, are much enjoyable and interesting than the pablum, "+1" stuff that too often appears here.  On the few occasions I am able to decipher his short posts, his unusual insights and droll wit are enjoyable.  And though I've had disagreements with David M in the past, I always admired his intellect and ability to project his ideas in writing.  I think that both men add value of the site.

It just seems to me that the guy who partnered with me in victory at Aiken wouldn't be playing the bug card in this argument (hence the reference to Barney who likes to stir up things), and doubling down when challenged (a common Moriarty tactic).  If indeed yours is a heartfelt opinion vis-ŗ-vis the value of a fly and its rights within the legal framework, I fear that peaceful compromise between reasonable men is unlikely.  I suppose that the courts and the ballot box are the final means to a resolution, but that is so damned cumbersome and don't we have much bigger fish to fry?


The version of me that partnered with you in victory at Aiken wasn't as patient to wait for information to come in as the one now. 


I mentioned before that the problem with playing the "environmentalists are to blame" card is that it typically lacks nuance.  According to Jon Wiggett, that wasn't even the reason for the current halt in the plan.  So, in this case, not only does it lack nuance, it lacks accuracy. 


But as to the nuance, you and Tom quite cynically both dismissed the fly as an issue and said the whole thing was fabricated by the government to stop this project.  The problem with that narrative is, unless I have my timeline wrong (which I've asked for confirmation), the study of the fly and of the site was commissioned prior to 2010, was conducted in 2010 and the report provided by FBD was issued in 2013.  According to the timeline I've been able to put together from public reports, Keiser et al. didn't have interest until 2015.  So, the idea that the environmental concerns are fabricated out of convenience doesn't seem to make sense. 


Lastly, your argument that the owners deserve some sort of compensation doesn't make sense; at least not if you're applying United States takings law as your justification.  Planning and zoning commission decisions that don't go the way the owner would like do not, in and of themselves, constitute takings for which the government should compensate the owner. 
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 08:26:36 AM by JC Jones »
I get it, you are mad at the world because you are an adult caddie and few people take you seriously.

Excellent spellers usually lack any vision or common sense.

I know plenty of courses that are in the red, and they are killing it.

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #706 on: November 20, 2018, 08:15:30 AM »
JC

Canít comment on when MK got involved but I think youíre timeline is broadly correct. For this application to be successful it was almost certainly going to have to reach this stage. For Scottish Government not to call in the application following the Council granting consent would have been extraordinary given the proposal is contra to the development plan but even more so following the Balmedie debacle.

To blame it on environmentalists is akin to blaming the accused getting off a charge on his defence attorney. Itís all part of the process.

Niall 

Rich Goodale

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #707 on: November 20, 2018, 10:13:06 AM »
Niall


Could you please define the "The Balmedie Debacle?"  Sounds like a John Grisham book..... ;)


From what I remember, the SSSI issue at Balmedie was focused on "shifting dunes," and a simple Google search told me that Balmedie was one of the many (20+) shifting dunes systems in Scotland, and the number of such systems in Wales, Ireland, England and Namibia, etc. were (almost) ad infinitum.


Is it just a coincidence that the scientists involved with the SSSI issues at the Balmedie property were ensconced at the University of Aberdeen?  Maybe they were agoraphobic and not willing or able to see how "unique" was Balmedie (given that all things are "unique")?


Anybody who has visited Dornoch for any length of time will know that the dune system from Embo down to the Dornoch Firth is continuously moving and that the courses and the town are occasionally infested with sand flies when the temperature is high and the wind non-existent.  Maybe the Embo flies are cousins of the Dornoch flies?  If so, why not close down Royal Dornoch until all these scientific conundra are resolved?  If so, maybe the old clubhouse might suffice....


Rich
Life is good.

Any afterlife is unlikely and/or dodgy.

Jean-Paul Parodi

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #708 on: November 20, 2018, 11:30:37 AM »
Rich

I think youíre getting John Grisham mixed up with Stuart MacBride. ďThe Balmedie DebacleĒ was part of trilogy with the ďShiskine ShamblesĒ and Muirfield MassacreĒ. As I recall the central character was a bit of an anti-hero type who tilted at Windmills while holding onto his hair. Sort of Don Quixote meets Gone With The Wind if you like.

Apparently Alex Baldwin is going to star in the film.

Niall

David_Tepper

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #709 on: November 20, 2018, 11:45:40 AM »
"Many on here have decried me for comparing the way Trump pursued his planning and the way the Embo developer is doing it, and saying they are nothing alike. Well, Iím happy to allow that they are nothing alike personally although Iíve not met any of them, but in terms of their business methods they seem very much alike in terms of their low regard for the environmental issues and how they have looked to get round environmental safeguards by making promises of money."

Niall -

We have debated this issue several times in the course of this thread.

While I will agree that the Coul Links team was overly enthusiastic and slightly hyperbolic in their initial comments about their plans for Coul Links, since then their behavior has been quite circumspect. If you can find any public comments they have made where they have demeaned, insulted or attempted to intimidate the opponents of the project, I would like to see them. In this regard, their behavior has been the exact opposite of Trump at Balmedie.

The Coul Links people have engaged with the locals on multiple occasions to describe what they intend to do and address the questions and concerns of the locals.

Have you reviewed the Coul Links website thoroughly? The various environmental issues are addressed directly. To assert that they have "low regard for the environmental issues" and "they have looked to get round environmental safeguards" has little basis in fact. All in my opinion of course. ;)

https://www.coullinks.co.uk/

DT 


Lou_Duran

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #710 on: November 20, 2018, 04:08:49 PM »
Lou,
First with the fly, now with the fish.
What are you? Some kind of animal-hating monster?
 ;)
F.

I love animals:  steaks medium rare, brisket aged and lightly-smoked, chicken breasts marinated for a day and grilled fully but still moist, center pork chops oriental style, ham baked to slightly overdone (jamon gallego a personal favorite), white fish blackened, shell fish grilled or Italian style.  I spend a good deal of money trying to ward off fire ants, ticks, fleas, roaches from my yard and house, and keep flyswatters and various sprays close by to kill or discourage flies and mosquitos. 

All kidding aside, I love animals.  Flies and most bugs, not so much, though I recognize their role in an ecosystem.  Genesis 1:26-28 describes the proper relationship between man and other animals.   ;)

JC Jones

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #711 on: November 20, 2018, 05:51:24 PM »
Lou,
First with the fly, now with the fish.
What are you? Some kind of animal-hating monster?
 ;)
F.

I love animals:  steaks medium rare, brisket aged and lightly-smoked, chicken breasts marinated for a day and grilled fully but still moist, center pork chops oriental style, ham baked to slightly overdone (jamon gallego a personal favorite), white fish blackened, shell fish grilled or Italian style.  I spend a good deal of money trying to ward off fire ants, ticks, fleas, roaches from my yard and house, and keep flyswatters and various sprays close by to kill or discourage flies and mosquitos. 

All kidding aside, I love animals.  Flies and most bugs, not so much, though I recognize their role in an ecosystem.  Genesis 1:26-28 describes the proper relationship between man and other animals.   ;)


Good thing you stopped reading before you got to Genesis 1:29-30, otherwise you'd be asking forgiveness for the sins in your first paragraph above.
I get it, you are mad at the world because you are an adult caddie and few people take you seriously.

Excellent spellers usually lack any vision or common sense.

I know plenty of courses that are in the red, and they are killing it.

Marty Bonnar

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #712 on: November 20, 2018, 06:25:01 PM »
I liked them up until Trick of the Tail, but Abacab onwards were monotonous dreck.
 8)
F.
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town,
Washed the people coal-black from the hole in the ground.

Lou_Duran

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #713 on: November 20, 2018, 06:44:42 PM »
See Genesis 9:2-3

And though I haven't been a Catholic for more than 45 years, I can't help but to say an act of contrition on occasion just to be safe.

As to your retorts, are you suggesting that the environmental interventions of which the "rare" fly is but one are not what are primarily preventing the project?  I went back and read Kris Shreiner's (sp) painful, hostile screeds and thought that I perhaps was taken to the wrong site.  Since we are on a biblical theme, what I saw in the distance from the back of several farm buildings had much less in common with the Garden of Eden (per Kris's description of the land) than any number of sites along the coast.  I think that in one of the CL threads states that the land had been grazed, hunted, and degraded with various invasive plants.  The site certainly does not compare with the impressive dunes at Trump's course near Balmedie.

As to what constitutes a taking subject to compensation, I know very little of Scottish law, but my argument here is in general and about fairness in the context of private property rights.  If the tract was acquired with the SSI in place and the attendant restrictions, that is one thing.  But this is not the case here.  There are probably few if any other uses for the property than as a golf course or for public use.  Without being able to lightly develop the dunes part of the tract, it is of little value, and yes, I think that the SSI designation, whether political or truly scientific, is in effect a taking.  If the government doesn't want to pony up, perhaps it should give BugLife the right of first refusal and proceed to grant the permits if it won't put its money where its mouth is.  I know, it's a radical position  >:(-  until some environmentalist points out that your property where you were going to build a few houses for your extended family is a roosting place for bald eagles migrating south and the government says you can't touch it (analogous situation in the Dakotas).  Then, maybe it is a taking.


« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 09:17:04 PM by Lou_Duran »

Lou_Duran

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #714 on: November 20, 2018, 10:23:46 PM »
Niall,

First of all, if you believe that Mike Keiser, Ben Crenshaw, and Bill Coore would be "trashing an environmentally sensitive site", then either you don't know the extensive, well-earned reputation of these men or you have a poor opinion of golf's place in the environment.

Unlike you, I put no more faith in folks who are paid by the government or environmental NGOs to objectively analyze a situation than I do in those engaged by industry.  45+ years working in the private and public sectors have taught me that the work product and recommendations most often tend to support the desires of those who pay their salaries and fees.  Governments want to govern, industry wants to produce, environmentalists for the most part have a bias against development, growth, and capitalism.  So, IMO, there is at least as much politics in the various environmental regulations as there is "science".

As to P & Z in the U.S., I and nearly all of the many real estate professionals I've known acknowledge the need for reasonable, consistent policies.  We don't want a lead battery plant next to a residential community or a topless bar adjoining a school, but no one I know wants such rigid regulations which would render private property essentially unusable.  Clear, flexible, well-informed comprehensive land plans are seen a necessity, with emphasis on flexible, reasoned and timely resolution of requested exceptions.

Typically, P&Z issues are governed locally, though some states like CA and NY tend to weigh in heavily.  The federal government through environmental laws and agency regulations as well as social engineering schemes also plays a heavy hand.

As an industrial properties developer and  former green chair at a famous SoCal club once explained to me, if I came to his backyard and attempted to develop a property, say an office/warehouse, it would take me three years and several $100k to $1 Million+ to get my permits, and that is if I did everything right.  He could get the project going in less than a year for 25%-50% of my startup costs because he "worked" with the same P&Z staff, city councils, and all their preferred vendors (brokers, engineers, architects, appraisers, environmental and traffic consultants, public relations professionals).  In other words, I would have zero chance of succeeding.  A racket?  You bet it is, with a lot of money flowing a bunch of different ways.

Yet, this guy, as he told me, can come down to Houston- a city notorious for very little zoning requirements- and get a project going in under a year.   I would not have a competitive advantage over him in my own backyard.

Now, as you probably know, property values are much higher in SoCal than in Houston or Dallas.  That office/warehouse will lease for 2-3x more there than here.  They can get away with this because supply is also restricted (much like in the UK) and regulation forces land prices high.  Of course, average people are leaving CA in droves and Dallas and Houston, actually much of TX, is experiencing tremendous population and job growth.

Do all U.S. developers run shod of government regulations?  Of course not.  While I don't think that Trump is representative of most developers,  as long as money is available, developers develop.  He has acknowledged contributing huge sums to the big NYC Democrat machine, making deals with the unions (some mob influenced if not controlled), and being in bed with some unsavory characters.  The gentleman I played golf with paid high fees to preferred vendors and I am sure he donated to the campaigns of various politicos who ultimately decided the fate of his deals.  Any number of highways and streets in TX are named after real estate investors who also spent some time in city hall.  I suspect that it is not that much different in your part of the world.

I really don't have much of anything riding on the CL project.  As I get older, my desire to spend more time in two or three places as opposed to seeing a bunch of new courses grows stronger.  I just don't see any downside to the project.  But I am a very firm believer that a well-planned, designed, and maintained golf course can greatly improve the environment for all but a very small group who are very difficult to please.  Ironically, having travelled to various parks in Africa, India, the Americas, it never ceases to amaze me how much wildlife one sees from the road.  Guides and game managers tell me that animals are smart.  They too like prepared surfaces to move around.  Go figure.     

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #715 on: November 22, 2018, 08:44:29 AM »
Niall,

First of all, if you believe that Mike Keiser, Ben Crenshaw, and Bill Coore would be "trashing an environmentally sensitive site", then either you don't know the extensive, well-earned reputation of these men or you have a poor opinion of golf's place in the environment.
Trashing/destroying/obliterating/wrecking/ruining Ė Iíll let you use whatever word you want, they more or less all mean the same thing, but when you wipe out a landscape and replace it with something else then what else are you doing ? As for Mike Keisers environmental credentials, read the side bar on the front page of http://www.notcoul.com/developers.html

Unlike you, I put no more faith in folks who are paid by the government or environmental NGOs to objectively analyze a situation than I do in those engaged by industry.  45+ years working in the private and public sectors have taught me that the work product and recommendations most often tend to support the desires of those who pay their salaries and fees.  Governments want to govern, industry wants to produce, environmentalists for the most part have a bias against development, growth, and capitalism.  So, IMO, there is at least as much politics in the various environmental regulations as there is "science".

Of course the environmental agencies are there to support the policy objectives and those objectives are set by elected politicians. They are there to do a job. There raison díetre is to safeguard the environment. That will inevitably lead to an element of conflict with those who want to develop sites previously identified as being of high environmental significance. Iíll say it again, thatís what they are supposed to do. Itís what ďweĒ the taxpayer pay them for. Itís what every main stream political party wants them to do.

As to P & Z in the U.S., I and nearly all of the many real estate professionals I've known acknowledge the need for reasonable, consistent policies.  We don't want a lead battery plant next to a residential community or a topless bar adjoining a school, but no one I know wants such rigid regulations which would render private property essentially unusable.  Clear, flexible, well-informed comprehensive land plans are seen a necessity, with emphasis on flexible, reasoned and timely resolution of requested exceptions.

Fine, you accept the need for zoning. In your opinion building a golf course on an environmentally sensitive site is an acceptable divergence from any planning designation that the land might have. Thatís a matter of opinion but let me respectfully suggest your opinion is fairly extreme. Iíd suggest more folk value the environment more highly.

Typically, P&Z issues are governed locally, though some states like CA and NY tend to weigh in heavily.  The federal government through environmental laws and agency regulations as well as social engineering schemes also plays a heavy hand.

Iím not sure the value in comparing Scotland to parts of the US. There are different issues in play, different structures, different governance etc.

As an industrial properties developer and  former green chair at a famous SoCal club once explained to me, if I came to his backyard and attempted to develop a property, say an office/warehouse, it would take me three years and several $100k to $1 Million+ to get my permits, and that is if I did everything right.  He could get the project going in less than a year for 25%-50% of my startup costs because he "worked" with the same P&Z staff, city councils, and all their preferred vendors (brokers, engineers, architects, appraisers, environmental and traffic consultants, public relations professionals).  In other words, I would have zero chance of succeeding.  A racket?  You bet it is, with a lot of money flowing a bunch of different ways.

Again, not sure of the comparison, if that is what it is, unless you are suggesting that there has been some illegal practice going on as opposed to the correct procedures being followed ?

Yet, this guy, as he told me, can come down to Houston- a city notorious for very little zoning requirements- and get a project going in under a year.   I would not have a competitive advantage over him in my own backyard.

That sounds like apples to oranges but again I wonder what relevance that has to Scotland.

Now, as you probably know, property values are much higher in SoCal than in Houston or Dallas.  That office/warehouse will lease for 2-3x more there than here.  They can get away with this because supply is also restricted (much like in the UK) and regulation forces land prices high.  Of course, average people are leaving CA in droves and Dallas and Houston, actually much of TX, is experiencing tremendous population and job growth.

And ?

Do all U.S. developers run shod of government regulations?  Of course not.  While I don't think that Trump is representative of most developers,  as long as money is available, developers develop.  He has acknowledged contributing huge sums to the big NYC Democrat machine, making deals with the unions (some mob influenced if not controlled), and being in bed with some unsavory characters.  The gentleman I played golf with paid high fees to preferred vendors and I am sure he donated to the campaigns of various politicos who ultimately decided the fate of his deals.  Any number of highways and streets in TX are named after real estate investors who also spent some time in city hall.  I suspect that it is not that much different in your part of the world.

So when Mike Keiser donated money and provided the local Community group with a minor interest in the development he was just following the norm in the US ? Interesting.

I really don't have much of anything riding on the CL project.  As I get older, my desire to spend more time in two or three places as opposed to seeing a bunch of new courses grows stronger.  I just don't see any downside to the project.  But I am a very firm believer that a well-planned, designed, and maintained golf course can greatly improve the environment for all but a very small group who are very difficult to please.  Ironically, having travelled to various parks in Africa, India, the Americas, it never ceases to amaze me how much wildlife one sees from the road.  Guides and game managers tell me that animals are smart.  They too like prepared surfaces to move around.  Go figure.   

  I too believe that golf courses can add greatly to the environment and can provide a valuable habitat for all sorts of species. But there comes a point when you have to say that what is there already is more valuable.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +0/-1
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #716 on: November 22, 2018, 11:49:57 AM »

But as to the nuance, you and Tom quite cynically both dismissed the fly as an issue and said the whole thing was fabricated by the government to stop this project.  The problem with that narrative is, unless I have my timeline wrong (which I've asked for confirmation), the study of the fly and of the site was commissioned prior to 2010, was conducted in 2010 and the report provided by FBD was issued in 2013.  According to the timeline I've been able to put together from public reports, Keiser et al. didn't have interest until 2015.  So, the idea that the environmental concerns are fabricated out of convenience doesn't seem to make sense. 



I said no such thing.


Over the years, i have seen many golf development projects stopped or delayed or ransomed in the name of all sorts of causes - birds, bats, snails, snakes, and spiders among the animal reasons.  I often wonder whether the real reason for these arguments is really about the animals (and their importance to the ecosystem), or whether the animals are just a proxy to argue against development of an undeveloped area that some group believes should stay "wild", just as I wonder whether some posters here have a real interest in the issues of a thread or just use a thread to troll people. 


But one cannot know the answer to any of those questions without seeing into the hearts of the individuals - which is impossible to do.  I guess you can look back at their past stance in similar circumstances to get a gauge, but even then you are guessing as to motivation.

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #717 on: November 22, 2018, 12:02:01 PM »
Nice reference to the motivation aspect by Tom, one Iíve after pondered myself, and not just on this project.
Indeed I wonder if the opinions of any individuals living say within 50 miles of CL who were originally for/against this project have changed since it was announced?
I further wonder if any argument put forward or publicised by either side actually changed any individuals views?
Difficult to say I guess considering the way that the web and social media in particular has spread the debate.
Once upon a time Ďlocal planningí would have meant Ďlocalí. No such thing these days I guess.
Also, and obviously hindsight is easy, but I wonder if those wanting to develop the project wish now that they had gone about things in a different way and whether their different way would have resulted in a different outcome to date?
Atb

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #718 on: November 22, 2018, 12:15:52 PM »
Interesting the opposite motivations aren't being challenged.


That of a developer willing to rape and pillage a site for personal gain at the expense of everyone else after jumping ship and leaving the onus of cleanup on the taxpayers.  Granted I don't think this really applies much to golf courses, but 50-60 years ago no doubt this was extremely common in several other industries..

JC Jones

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #719 on: November 22, 2018, 01:00:38 PM »

But as to the nuance, you and Tom quite cynically both dismissed the fly as an issue and said the whole thing was fabricated by the government to stop this project.  The problem with that narrative is, unless I have my timeline wrong (which I've asked for confirmation), the study of the fly and of the site was commissioned prior to 2010, was conducted in 2010 and the report provided by FBD was issued in 2013.  According to the timeline I've been able to put together from public reports, Keiser et al. didn't have interest until 2015.  So, the idea that the environmental concerns are fabricated out of convenience doesn't seem to make sense. 



I said no such thing.


Over the years, i have seen many golf development projects stopped or delayed or ransomed in the name of all sorts of causes - birds, bats, snails, snakes, and spiders among the animal reasons.  I often wonder whether the real reason for these arguments is really about the animals (and their importance to the ecosystem), or whether the animals are just a proxy to argue against development of an undeveloped area that some group believes should stay "wild", just as I wonder whether some posters here have a real interest in the issues of a thread or just use a thread to troll people. 


But one cannot know the answer to any of those questions without seeing into the hearts of the individuals - which is impossible to do.  I guess you can look back at their past stance in similar circumstances to get a gauge, but even then you are guessing as to motivation.


Youíre right, Tom, anyone who dares disagree with you is a troll.  Youíd probably do well around here to drop your trump-esque tactics of of late.   


Iím sorry the facts here didnít fit your preferred narrative; but, a simple check of the dates on the fly study was all it took to find out people were concerned about the situation long before a golf course development entered the picture.  And, I know you benefit financially from golf course development, but we shouldnít pretend that development of golf courses is some sort of noble cause to which all other causes should be cast aside.
I get it, you are mad at the world because you are an adult caddie and few people take you seriously.

Excellent spellers usually lack any vision or common sense.

I know plenty of courses that are in the red, and they are killing it.

Ken Moum

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #720 on: November 22, 2018, 02:37:30 PM »
But one cannot know the answer to any of those questions without seeing into the hearts of the individuals - which is impossible to do.  I guess you can look back at their past stance in similar circumstances to get a gauge, but even then you are guessing as to motivation.





Having been sort of on the enviro side of at least one huge Federal project, I can tell you that the dead-serious professionals who opposed it would have used anything they had to to get it killed.


But it was because they truly believed that it was not only a huge waste of taxpayer's money, but an environmental disaster on several levels.  If there'd been a an endangered snail darter to use as a reason to kill the project, they'd have brought it into the discussion.


In the end it was the fact that despite the project being about 90% done, the last 10% was still more than expected benefits.


So, you're right, but the fact that someone or some group is talking about an endangered fly doesn't mean they have nefarious motives. In fact, my experience in middle America was that the opponents almost always have fairly pure motives.  Which, of course, doesn't mean a project is bad.


I mentioned the snail darter because it was the focus of the proponents and opponents of Tellico Dam. The opponents were "using" the Endangered Species Act to fight the dam, and proponents were "using" the fact that a silly, little minnow was going to kill such an important project.


When the "God Committee" was convened, it decided against the dam, but not because of the darter


Chairman Andrus stated, "I hate to see the snail darter get the credit for stopping a project that was ill-conceived and uneconomic in the first place."[/size] [/color][/size]The annual cost of the dam, $7.25 million, exceeded estimated benefits, $6.25 million, in addition to the cost of completing dam construction and also would tie up approximately $40 million in private (agricultural) land values.[/color]
[/size][/color]
[/size]That it finally got built is completely about politics and had nothing to do with whether it was a good idea.[/color]

Over time, the guy in the ideal position derives an advantage, and delivering him further  advantage is not worth making the rest of the players suffer at the expense of fun, variety, and ultimately cost -- Jeff Warne, 12-08-2010

Lou_Duran

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #721 on: November 22, 2018, 04:42:06 PM »
Interesting the opposite motivations aren't being challenged.


That of a developer willing to rape and pillage a site for personal gain at the expense of everyone else after jumping ship and leaving the onus of cleanup on the taxpayers.  Granted I don't think this really applies much to golf courses, but 50-60 years ago no doubt this was extremely common in several other industries..

Certainly you jest!  The zeitgeist being promoted by the environmental left in nearly every instance is precisely what you suggest: greedy capitalists pillaging the earth and exploiting the working class for their narrow, selfish gains.  Look at the mud being thrown at Mike Keiser and the picture of Bandon Dunes the anti-Coul bunch is attempting to paint.

Ken, who self-identifies with an environmental cause, offers that those on his side "almost always have fairly pure motives".  Virtue fighting evil.  GMaFB!

The bottom line is rather simple.  We have a relatively small number of people who find meaning, actually a bit more than that, a raison d'Ítre, in radical environmentalism.  We are not talking Mother Teresa types attempting to improve the fate of very poor people living in Third World conditions.  These are folks in enviable positions refusing to acknowledge the good in a quest of their vision of the perfect.  And for those whose prospects are marginal, well, that's what the dole is for, right? :(

Like with the Balmedie development, there is a lot of bad information (pulling punches here) being tossed around as fact.  Local opposition should not mean a political planning council bending to the will of well-financed, organized outside groups and voting narrowly against the will of the people.  The easiest thing for a politician to do in the face of opposition is to say "No" (page 1 of the unpublished bureaucrat's training manual- "One 'Oh Shit' offsets 10 'Atta-Boys').  There was a lot of evidence that the Balmedie project had substantial majority support from the local citizens.  I would be interested in the results of a local referendum on Coul Links.


Sean_A

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #722 on: November 22, 2018, 04:57:00 PM »
The bottom line is rather simple.  We have a relatively small number of people who find meaning, actually a bit more than that, a raison d'Ítre, in radical environmentalism. 

Say it isn't so Sweet Lou.  You show your hand too easily despite all your previous hard work.  8)

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

Lou_Duran

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #723 on: November 22, 2018, 06:03:20 PM »
Niall,

First of all, if you believe that Mike Keiser, Ben Crenshaw, and Bill Coore would be "trashing an environmentally sensitive site", then either you don't know the extensive, well-earned reputation of these men or you have a poor opinion of golf's place in the environment.
Trashing/destroying/obliterating/wrecking/ruining Ė Iíll let you use whatever word you want, they more or less all mean the same thing, but when you wipe out a landscape and replace it with something else then what else are you doing ? As for Mike Keisers environmental credentials, read the side bar on the front page of http://www.notcoul.com/developers.html

"WIPE OUT A LANDSCAPE"? IS THAT WHAT YOU CALL MOVING MINIMAL AMOUNTS OF DIRT AND SEEDING WITH NATIVE COOL SEASON GRASSES?  ON THE CL SITE I CALL IT VASTLY IMPROVING A DEGRADED PROPERTY AND MAKING IT AVAILABLE TO A MUCH LARGER PUBLIC WHILE GENERATING REVENUES FOR AN AREA WHICH HAS LOST POPULATION FOR DECADES.

AS TO THE OPPONENTS AND THEIR CHARACTERIZATION OF KEISER AND BANDON DUNES, DID THESE FOLKS CONSULT WITH THE DEMOCRATS ON THE KAVANAUGH CONFIRMATION?  I WONDER WHAT THE PRO/CON SPLIT IS ON BANDON, 9 TO 1?  I CAN'T THINK OF A BETTER GROUP TO DEVELOP A LOW IMPACT, ULTRA ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIVE GOLF COURE THAN KEISER/C&C TEAM.
 
Unlike you, I put no more faith in folks who are paid by the government or environmental NGOs to objectively analyze a situation than I do in those engaged by industry.  45+ years working in the private and public sectors have taught me that the work product and recommendations most often tend to support the desires of those who pay their salaries and fees.  Governments want to govern, industry wants to produce, environmentalists for the most part have a bias against development, growth, and capitalism.  So, IMO, there is at least as much politics in the various environmental regulations as there is "science".

Of course the environmental agencies are there to support the policy objectives and those objectives are set by elected politicians. They are there to do a job. There raison díetre is to safeguard the environment. That will inevitably lead to an element of conflict with those who want to develop sites previously identified as being of high environmental significance. Iíll say it again, thatís what they are supposed to do. Itís what ďweĒ the taxpayer pay them for. Itís what every main stream political party wants them to do.

MAINSTREAM?  IS THAT WHAT THE LOCAL CITIZENS WANT?   A DEGRADED SITE WITH A FEW FLIES AND NO CL?  I DON'T THINK SO.

As to P & Z in the U.S., I and nearly all of the many real estate professionals I've known acknowledge the need for reasonable, consistent policies.  We don't want a lead battery plant next to a residential community or a topless bar adjoining a school, but no one I know wants such rigid regulations which would render private property essentially unusable.  Clear, flexible, well-informed comprehensive land plans are seen a necessity, with emphasis on flexible, reasoned and timely resolution of requested exceptions.

Fine, you accept the need for zoning. In your opinion building a golf course on an environmentally sensitive site is an acceptable divergence from any planning designation that the land might have. Thatís a matter of opinion but let me respectfully suggest your opinion is fairly extreme. Iíd suggest more folk value the environment more highly.

IT IS A MATTER OF OPINION THAT THE SITE IS ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE.  IT IS MORE A MATTER OF VALUES ON HOW PRIVATE PROPERTY SHOULD BE REGULATED.  I HAVE FOUR GRANDCHILDREN BREATHING AIR AND INTERACTING IN NATURE EVERY DAY.  I VALUE A CLEAN ENVIRONMENT VERY HIGHLY AND MY POSITIONS ARE ONLY EXTREME TO ONE WHO ADHERES TO THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE WITH A STRONG ANTI-GROWTH BIAS. 

Typically, P&Z issues are governed locally, though some states like CA and NY tend to weigh in heavily.  The federal government through environmental laws and agency regulations as well as social engineering schemes also plays a heavy hand.

Iím not sure the value in comparing Scotland to parts of the US. There are different issues in play, different structures, different governance etc.

I AM SUGGESTING THAT ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES ARE AT LEAST AS MUCH POLITICAL AS SCIENTIFIC.  I AM ALSO ATTEMPTING TO POINT TO THE SIMILARITIES OF THE P&Z PROCESSES, WHICH PROBABLY HAVE SOME COMMON BASIS.  IT HAS BEEN THE CONTENTION OF SOME THAT THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT SHOULDN'T BE INTERVENING IN LOCAL DECISIONS, THOUGH I SUSPECT THAT THE SAME FOLKS WOULD BE FIRST IN LINE TO DEMAND INTERVENTION IF THE LOCAL DECISION HAD GONE AGAINST THEM,

As an industrial properties developer and  former green chair at a famous SoCal club once explained to me, if I came to his backyard and attempted to develop a property, say an office/warehouse, it would take me three years and several $100k to $1 Million+ to get my permits, and that is if I did everything right.  He could get the project going in less than a year for 25%-50% of my startup costs because he "worked" with the same P&Z staff, city councils, and all their preferred vendors (brokers, engineers, architects, appraisers, environmental and traffic consultants, public relations professionals).  In other words, I would have zero chance of succeeding.  A racket?  You bet it is, with a lot of money flowing a bunch of different ways.

Again, not sure of the comparison, if that is what it is, unless you are suggesting that there has been some illegal practice going on as opposed to the correct procedures being followed ?

ILLEGAL, PERHAPS NOT UNDER THE LETTER, BUT MAYBE IN SPIRIT?  ALL HEAVILY-REGULATED PROCESSES REQUIRING JUMPING THROUGH MANY HOOPS ARE PRONE TO GRAFT AND QUID PRO QUO NORMS/PAY-TO-PLAY.  DON'T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT THE CL SITUATION TO SUGGEST THAT THIS APPLIES HERE.

Yet, this guy, as he told me, can come down to Houston- a city notorious for very little zoning requirements- and get a project going in under a year.   I would not have a competitive advantage over him in my own backyard.

That sounds like apples to oranges but again I wonder what relevance that has to Scotland.


RELEVANCE: HIGHLY REGULATED DEVELOPMENT LEADS TO HIGHER COSTS, HIGHER PRICES, LOWER SUPPLY/LESS DEVELOPMENT, HIGHER UNEMPLOYMENT, SLOWER ECONOMIC GROWTH.  I WOULD THINK THAT THIS IS JUST AS RELEVANT TO SCOTLAND AS IT IS TO NY, NJ, CA, IL AND ANY OTHER "PROGRESSIVE" COMMUNITIES IN THE STATES.  PEOPLE FROM THESE PLACES AREN'T MOVING TO TEXAS FOR THE WEATHER AND THE POLITICS.

Now, as you probably know, property values are much higher in SoCal than in Houston or Dallas.  That office/warehouse will lease for 2-3x more there than here.  They can get away with this because supply is also restricted (much like in the UK) and regulation forces land prices high.  Of course, average people are leaving CA in droves and Dallas and Houston, actually much of TX, is experiencing tremendous population and job growth.

And ?

SEE ABOVE.

Do all U.S. developers run shod of government regulations?  Of course not.  While I don't think that Trump is representative of most developers,  as long as money is available, developers develop.  He has acknowledged contributing huge sums to the big NYC Democrat machine, making deals with the unions (some mob influenced if not controlled), and being in bed with some unsavory characters.  The gentleman I played golf with paid high fees to preferred vendors and I am sure he donated to the campaigns of various politicos who ultimately decided the fate of his deals.  Any number of highways and streets in TX are named after real estate investors who also spent some time in city hall.  I suspect that it is not that much different in your part of the world.

So when Mike Keiser donated money and provided the local Community group with a minor interest in the development he was just following the norm in the US ? Interesting.

MAYBE.  HE COULD BE A GREAT HUMANITARIAN FOR ALL I KNOW.  OR PERHAPS HE KNOWS THAT HE NEEDS TO GREASE THE SKID.  DO I GIVE MY MAIL CARRIER AND PAPER BOY A CHRISTMANS BONUS IN GOODWILL FOR DOING A GREAT JOB?  OR IS IT STRATEGIC TO ENSURE MY MAIL DOESN'T GET TRASHED AND THE PAPER THROWN IN A WATER PUDDLE?  REGARDLESS OF THE MOTIVATION, THE RECEIVER BENEFITS AND THE BENEFACTOR IS SOMETIMES REWARDED.  I HOPE THAT GRACE AND GRATITUDE HAS NOT BEEN BRED OUT IN SCOTLAND.

I really don't have much of anything riding on the CL project.  As I get older, my desire to spend more time in two or three places as opposed to seeing a bunch of new courses grows stronger.  I just don't see any downside to the project.  But I am a very firm believer that a well-planned, designed, and maintained golf course can greatly improve the environment for all but a very small group who are very difficult to please.  Ironically, having travelled to various parks in Africa, India, the Americas, it never ceases to amaze me how much wildlife one sees from the road.  Guides and game managers tell me that animals are smart.  They too like prepared surfaces to move around.  Go figure.   

  I too believe that golf courses can add greatly to the environment and can provide a valuable habitat for all sorts of species. But there comes a point when you have to say that what is there already is more valuable.

WITH SUCH A TINY FRACTION OF THE COUNTRY DEVELOPED, THAT POINT IS VERY FAR FROM BEING REACHED.  AGAIN, PUT UP THE PROS AND CONS, LET THE FOLKS HAVE A SHORT, BUT THOROUGH DEBATE AND LET THEM VOTE ON IT.

Lou_Duran

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #724 on: November 22, 2018, 06:06:53 PM »
The bottom line is rather simple.  We have a relatively small number of people who find meaning, actually a bit more than that, a raison d'Ítre, in radical environmentalism. 

Say it isn't so Sweet Lou.  You show your hand too easily despite all your previous hard work.  8)

Ciao

You will have to tell me what my hand is before I can disown it.  I do believe that there a relatively few masters in the environmental activist community pulling the strings of many good, well-meaning folks who are woefully uninformed on science, economics, business, politics, and how the world really works.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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