The Trump Winery hosts a public meeting tonight (Thursday) to discuss plans for an 18-hole golf course next to its vineyards, but opponents are lining up to give Donald and his son Eric a fight.
Donald Trump’s organization owns 14 golf courses, including Trump National in Loudon County, and son Eric - who oversees the Albemarle County winery acquired last year - says it’s the perfect site for 18 holes, but local environmentalists beg to differ. Rex Linville is with the Piedmont Environmental Council.
“Placing a large commercial golf course in that area really isn’t consistent with the other rural uses in the area. - the ag, the forestry. It’s also within the southern Albemarle historic district, which sits right adjacent to Monticello and Ash Lawn Highlands.”
And he points out there’s a conservation easement on the property.
“The purpose of a conservation easement is not to protect land for commercial uses like golf courses. It’s to protect land as genuine wildlife habitat areas, as agricultural areas, productive forests.”
The Trump organization could not be reached for comment, but it may argue that golf courses, if properly developed, are a form of conservation that protects natural open space, and Linville says opponents will have a fight on their hands.
“We’re largely worried, because we’re dealing with Donald Trump, and Donald Trump seems to be a man who’s used to getting what he wants.”
Trump may have to persuade a court that this use is within the realm of conservation, and the company will have to sell the idea to Albemarle County’s board. The area already has four public golf courses, but Trump appears confident and has already hired noted golf architects Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw to design the course.