Augusta National gets approval to expand grass parking lot

Monday, June 1, 2009 5:22 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010 11:17 PM
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The Augusta National Golf Club's "pastoral" parking lot off Berckmans Road is expanding.

The club parked 7,000 cars on about 70 acres during April's Masters Tournament, according to senior tournament director Buzzy Johnson. Today the Augusta-Richmond County Planning Commission granted special exceptions allowing another 34 acres of residentially zoned land to be used for patron parking one week a year.

Mr. Johnson said that opens up room for another 2,200 to 2,500 spaces. The club plans to clear the land in stages, bringing the total spaces to about 8,200 for the 2010 tournament and as many as 9,500 by 2011.

Attorney Pat Rice, speaking on behalf of the club's brokerage companies that own the property, told planning commission members that the new lots will have the same pastoral appearance 51 weeks a year as the existing 70-acre lot. The rolling, grassy fields are interspersed with pine trees and the homes of holdouts who didn't sell to the National.

Since 1998 the Augusta National has spent more than $60 million acquiring parcels along its borders, eventually paying more than $1 million per acre, sweetening deals with Masters badges, razing homes and erasing entire neighborhoods along Heath and Stanley drives and Cherry and Hillside lanes.

The new parking lots allowed room for a state-of-the-art practice facility for Masters Tournament golfers, scheduled to open next year, on the old parking grounds behind a city water tower.

The 34 additional acres of parking include 13 acres within the block bounded by Cherry Lane, Berckmans Road and the southern leg of Heath Drive, and 21 acres south of the Washington Road Publix backing up to Rae's Creek.

The special exceptions will go before the Augusta Commission on June 16 for final approval.

Comments (16) Add comment
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LMS2005
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LMS2005 06/01/09 - 05:36 pm
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we might as well be known as

we might as well be known as "Master GA" they are just taking over I say NO MORE for the National

HillGuy
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HillGuy 06/01/09 - 05:58 pm
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"they paved paradise and put

"they paved paradise and put up a parking lt."

Riverman1
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Riverman1 06/01/09 - 06:06 pm
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Wait a sec...we have an

Wait a sec...we have an organization that pays a fortune in all kinds of taxes, brings in hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy, contributes millions to local causes AS THEY DID TODAY and you want to slam them? Many cities pay private landowners to keep land green and undeveloped. That soft undulating green space will be an excellent place for COUNTING CROWS :).

dashiel
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dashiel 06/01/09 - 06:26 pm
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You tell em Riverman. Of all

You tell em Riverman. Of all the things to bellyache about, why pick the one positive thing we all salute? Optirectumitis is a terrible thing.

HillGuy
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HillGuy 06/01/09 - 06:36 pm
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or an outdoor Joni Mitchell

or an outdoor Joni Mitchell concert

DuhJudge
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DuhJudge 06/01/09 - 06:47 pm
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No retaining ponds for the

No retaining ponds for the runoff but otherwise who should complain about that much greenspace.

Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 06/01/09 - 07:42 pm
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Look, you have to admit that

Look, you have to admit that the greenspace does look very nice and scenic the other 51 weeks of the year. We can suck it up for 1 daggone week! (Course, I live way out in Evans and never venture near that part of Augusta during the Master's) But, ya'll do bring up a very good idea...why can't that land be used for something else during the other parts of the year? How about a series of concerts? Nothing heavy or any of that "rap-crap". Symphony concerts, R&B, jazz...nicer, more "mature" stuff...the type that won't tear up the grassy areas. I think this would go a long way toward good relations between the city and the Augusta National. Just a thought.

Rucker1
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Rucker1 06/01/09 - 08:19 pm
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those are some good ideas

those are some good ideas just my opinion

pizzato
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pizzato 06/01/09 - 08:50 pm
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My friend bought a 50

My friend bought a 50 thousand house over ther in the 80's and cleaned up on this deal. I wish they would do the same with most of the surrey area too. Everything from Augusta State to Washington road should be raised and restored to pines.

ldsmith1
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ldsmith1 06/01/09 - 09:05 pm
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ANGC didn't pave anything,

ANGC didn't pave anything, HG, they Unpaved an aging neighborhood and are expanding paradise.

HillGuy
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HillGuy 06/01/09 - 09:19 pm
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I tend to think a nice

I tend to think a nice neighborhood where children are reared, memories are made, is more of a paradise than a parking lot.

triscuit
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triscuit 06/01/09 - 10:26 pm
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Is that the Aug. National

Is that the Aug. National pavng all the area in front of the apartments on Washington Road at Woodbine? I'll bet it is parking for tourney employees...anyone know?

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 06/01/09 - 10:29 pm
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Although they didn't actually

Although they didn't actually pave all that acreage, they threw down gravel everywhere, which, among other things, doesn't make for pleasant seating. I really hated seeing that stuff go down, even if grass does grow through it. The pretty pastoral look is a bit deceptive. That land is not much good for anything else now.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 06/01/09 - 10:44 pm
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"That land is not much good

"That land is not much good for anything else now." What a comment! You could say that the Grand Canyon is not much good for anything else now. It is what is is and it is attractive. Thank you, Augusta National.

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 06/02/09 - 12:30 am
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Somehow, I just can't quite

Somehow, I just can't quite compare the Augusta National's woodland parking lot with the Grand Canyon. And as pleasant as the property is to drive through, there's something a little awful about having gravel contaminating all that good land. If you don't get that, it's no big deal, but it's still a legit gripe, whether you agree or not. It's a pretty parking lot, but it's still just a parking lot.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 06/02/09 - 12:42 am
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It is a green field used as a

It is a green field used as a parking lot one week a year. Silly.

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