caesars vs northfield

The Atlantic City County Club, in Northfield. Potential homes being built on Atlantic City County Club, in Northfield. Monday, March, 4, 2013( Press of Atlantic City/ Danny Drake)

Danny Drake

There’s no plan on the table now, but the owners of the Atlantic City Country Club in Northfield are trying to keep their options open if homes are ever built on the current golf course.

Caesars Entertainment, Inc., the owners of the country club, filed a complaint in state Superior Court against the city of Northfield after the city changed its city code in October. Among the changes was a provision that would increase the minimum lot size of single-family developments in the “Country Club” zone from 15,000 square feet to an acre.

Attorney Rick DeLucry, representing Caesars, states in the complaint that the “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable” change “established more onerous lot width and depth” for the county club zone, and is asking a judge to invalidate and set aside that section of the city’s ordinance.

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“We’re open to talking with the city about alternatives,” DeLucry said Monday. “But increasing from 15,000 to a full acre is unreasonable and impractical. ... We did speak informally with the city on several occasions, but we were unable to work anything out before they went forward with the ordinance.”

Northfield Mayor Vince Mazzeo said that the change was made “to make it not such an impact to the community if and when any property is sold to developers.”

While there have been no plans that he has heard of for development, it would have far-reaching effects if it were to happen, Mazzeo said.

“There’s a very huge impact to the community as far as infrastructure and schools if they’re able to develop as the old (city code) read, with 15,000 square foot lots,” Mazzeo said. “It’s less intense now, but it’s something we thought was fair all the way around, and to the country club if they ever decided to sell.”

The country club property is 170 acres.

Anthony Perez, who lives less than a block from the entrance to the country club on Shore Road, said that he would personally oppose any future housing at the site.

“I’d really not like to see any development on the golf course itself,” Perez said. “There are so many other areas to develop. I don’t know what plans are on tap, but I don’t think Shore Road needs any more congestion.”

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