LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Valley Station family said they're not sure if they'll ever be able to reopen their disc golf course, even though it's beloved by the community and offered to anyone free of charge.
Arrowhead Disc Golf Course has been closed since Nov. 2021, days after the Louisville Office of Planning & Design Services ordered it shut down, citing a land violation on the property just off Lower River Road.
"We didn't think we were hurting anyone, and then they got the complaint from the neighbor," said Vivian Wyatt, who with her husband Roger created the course in 2016.
In that letter written to the Wyatt family, an inspector wrote he found the course had been operating without proper approvals.
Now, the city is saying the family needs to apply for a conditional use permit to have the chance to reopen.
"They want us to hire someone to complete it and the cost to hire -- average $3,000 to $5,000," Vivian Wyatt said. "There's no guarantee. The guy who made the first complaint could be at the first town meeting, and that would stop us, and my money would be gone."
The family fears the city's requirements will be never-ending. They're willing to make adjustments, but they'd want a guarantee that they could reopen if those steps were taken.
To this point, the city hasn't made that promise.
The course falls in a residential zone, along with dozens of acres of unused Metro-owned land.
Meanwhile, MSD said the land is set aside to offset flooding. From their view -since no course structures interfere with that - they said they have no issues with it being used for recreation.
"It's part of what's called a community improvement district," said Sheryl Lauder, Communications Program Manager for MSD. "Actually, we do encourage recreational use of flood plain properties, because you know, it's land just sitting there. So why not have fun on it?"
Ultimately, the city makes that call.
Hundreds of disc golf players who consider Arrowhead a community-favorite have signed a petition online, asking the city to cut the red tape.
The Wyatt's said they've made the Mayor's Office aware, in hopes of a different response.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Louisville Forward provided this statement: "Per requirements of the Land Development Code, Arrowhead Disc Golf Course and similar recreational uses operated by a private business on private property must obtain a conditional use permit to operate."