Neighbors upset over poorly maintained former golf course

January 4, 2012 3:42:54 AM PST
They used to live next to a golf course, neatly maintained with a quaint little pond. But after the city purchased the land, neighbors say things went downhill fast.

Now they're even worried about their safety. And when they couldn't get any answers, they turned to Eyewitness News for help.

The good news is, the part of the old golf course in question was being mowed before the end of the day. The bad news is, it took neighbors months of complaining and finally talking to Channel 13 before anyone would fix it.

If you look on Google maps, the neighbors in the 7700 block of Antoine used to border a well-manicured golf course. These days, not so much.

"The weeds here, they're quite high," said neighbor Josefina Valague. "We can't walk through here, there's snakes."

The city of Houston bought the old Inwood Forest Country Club last summer. The Near Northwest Management District signed a lease with the city, agreeing to mow the course "not less than nine times a year." They told Eyewitness News in a statement "it is being allowed to return to a more natural state to become a green space and wildlife habitat."

But the neighbors here say it's a little too green and wild.

Neighbor Mildred Foster said, "I'm tired of it and they won't do nothing about it."

Valague says her daughter has complained for months about the problem.

"They refuse to talk to her," she said.

Eyewitness News tried to find out why no one's mowed back here. The president of the Near Northwest Management District emailed us, saying it's a pond that's to blame. It's tough to get a mowing tractor between the pond and the neighbors' properties.

"It was maintained before," Valague asserted.

That's changing, after Eyewitness News asked about it. In that same email from the management district we were told they "expect the mowing to be completed by the end of the day." Around 5pm we spotted a tractor out on the former course doing just that.

Eventually the plans for the old golf course call for a bike path and the Harris County Flood Control District says the property will help with flood control. In the meantime, the neighbors say they just want the part of the course bordering their properties kept up.