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East Mountain Country club withdraws conservation restriction

Date: 12/12/2014

WESTFIELD – The East Mountain Country Club has withdrawn its proposal for a $758,000 conservation restriction as a result of a negative recommendation from a subcommittee of the Westfield City Council. The City Council voted to accept the withdrawal on Dec. 4.

The restriction would have prevented any development to be made to the golf course, which would have been declared open space. The city would be charged with paying East Mountain Country Club to leave the land undeveloped and, in this case, for it to remain a golf course.

Ted Perez Jr., manager of golf business, said that though he does not need to make a decision in the immediate future, he and his family are exploring the choices that are available to them.

“We’re assessing our options and trying to find the best option for us as a family,” Perez said.

Though he said that the land might have more value to the city as a residential development, worth was not the main concern.

“The number one goal is to keep it a golf course,” Perez said.

Because Perez and his family withdrew the proposal before it could be voted down in a formal meeting, the conservation restriction could be proposed again in the future, so “it is not dead in the water,” Perez said. If it had been voted down, the Perezes would not have been able to bring the proposal to the City Council for two years.

The Perez family has been running East Mountain Country Club for 52 years, and Perez said that this move was not a “get rich scheme.” It was meant to prepare for the future and preserve the club as what it was intended to be: a golf course.

“My dad taught me one thing: if you believe in something, you fight for it,” Perez said.