Originally created 02/22/06

'Paparazzi Towers' collapse

Call the proposal "Paparazzi Towers."

The idea for an eight-story set of twin condominium towers on Washington Road overlooking the Augusta National was little more than a way to overlook the famous course.

If your neighbor wanted to build a higher house just to spy into yours, you wouldn't like it either.

Thank goodness the Richmond County Board of Zoning Appeals has denied a height variance allowing the development.

Nothing against the developers, Kennedy Capital Group of Atlanta. We hope they take their concept somewhere else in town. There's some prime property to be had, for a song in some cases. Their architectural renderings look great. Build the towers elsewhere.

If they don't, then perhaps their intentions will be laid bare: The idea won't have been to build seven stories of condos on top of one floor of retail space; it will have been to build seven stories of condos on top of one floor of retail space overlooking Augusta National.

Frankly, there's retail there now. And we certainly don't need 14 stories of residents trying to get in and out during Masters Week. There have got to be better places for new residential development.

Clearly the selling point for that site was the ability to maybe see into the course. Augusta National attorney Pat Rice noted the condos might afford a view of the National's future practice range along Washington Road.

We don't need to build a monument to peeking. You may not have much sympathy for celebrities who frequent the Masters, but Augusta National is privileged to host some pretty special guests each April - and should be allowed to offer them minimal amounts of decency and privacy.

Augusta and Augusta National have worked in tandem over the years to make this one of the premier events in the world. Anything that cheapens it would spoil it for us all.


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