In a 19-page Opinion issued late today, Senior Judge Lawrence F. Clark, Jr. of the York County Court of Common Pleas ruled in favor of Newberry Township and VGRO in denying the Land Use Appeal brought by Golf Enterprises, Inc. (“GEI”).  You can read the full Opinion at the following link:


More to come on this later, but this is a huge win for VGRO and our fight to keep the open space the Township has enshrined in its zoning and comprehensive plans for decades.

Thank you to everyone who has put so much effort into this since the beginning more than three years ago.  Our work isn’t finished, but we’re now seeing what organized and committed residents can accomplish.

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Update on Valley Green Golf Course aka “Open Space for Newberry Township”

In December 2013, GEI filed a Curative Amendment Appeal challenging the validity of the Newberry Townships 2006 Zoning Ordinance, with regards to the open space classification of the golf course property.

On 10/15/2014, Judge Lawrence Clark requested that all three parties attempt to work out an agreement to settle the issue of open space with regards to the curative amendment. (Effectively removing the judge from making an all or nothing ruling for one party.)

Despite extensive negotiations between the parties over the last 10 months, representatives from the VGRO (Valley Green Resident’s Organization) board, the Newberry Township Board of Supervisors/Solicitor, and Golf Enterprises Inc. (GEI/McNaughton) could not reach a proposed settlement that was agreeable to all parties.
As a result, Judge Lawrence Clark will make a decision regarding the Curative Amendment Appeal that GEI filed. We believe that the risk of the supervisors’ decision being overturned is outweighed by the benefits of the court upholding the decision.

As always, your Valley Green Resident’s Organization Board will continue to fight for our Open Space and appreciates all of the continued support from everyone. We urge all of the residents to attend the monthly Board of Supervisors meeting and make known your position on this, and any other areas of concern, in your community.

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Judge Requests Out-of-Court Resolution

The Judge recently requested that the parties (Golf Enterprises/Newberry Township/Valley Green Residents’ Organization) explore the possibility of an out-of-court resolution. VGRO’s position on this request is that it is in the best interest of the VGRO Board, and the community in general, to participate in the discussions to see if there is a reasonable compromise that can be reached. Depending on any potential settlement, nothing would be decided unless mutually agreeable between the Township and Golf Enterprises with the input of the community. Your Valley Green Resident’s Organization will continue to keep you informed.

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CBS21 Screenshot SmallAt a standing room only Newberry Township Board of Supervisor’s meeting this evening, the Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to reject a zoning change proposed by Fran McNaughton and his development company, Golf Enterprises, Inc. McNaughton’s proposed change would have paved the way for the destruction of the Valley Green Golf Course and the development of more than 300 new housing units.

After a motion to reject McNaughton’s change was made by Supervisor Maxine Kauffman, three additional supervisors – Carl Hughes, Robert

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Conley, and Brandt Cook – joined in support of the motion. Supervisor Ernest Helmick was the lone vote in favor of McNaughton’s proposal.

The meeting was attended by more than 100 concerned residents including many VGRO members. “This a great win for residents of Newberry Township,” said LeeAnn Menut, President of Valley Green Residents Organization (“VGRO”). “We thank the four supervisors who listened to the wishes of their community. VGRO will continue to fight in the interest of local residents for the betterment of our township.”

The Patriot-News has posted video of the hearing with their article titled, “Newberry Township supervisors put kibosh on Valley Green Golf Course rezoning.”

The York Daily Record reported, “Valley Green Golf Course will remain open space.” And the York Dispatch explained, “Newberry supervisors say no to Valley Green rezoning.”

UPDATE: WHP CBS21 has run a story last night and this morning which can be viewed here, and the York Dispatch has added “Newberry Twp. Residents Praise Supervisors’ Decision.

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BE PRESENT: Voting to Take Place on 10/22

10-3-2013 1-43-11 PM

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Cancellation of Thursday, October 25 Curative Amendment Hearing – Rescheduled for January 17th

Once again, by request of McNaughton and Golf Enterprises, the start date of the hearing has been rescheduled.

As a reminder, the first night of the hearing will be dedicated to McNaughton’s presentation of the Curative Amendment request and testimony from his experts. As residents, we will be able to rebut his testimony, but will not be presenting our case until the second night of the hearing – a date yet to be determined.

As the fight

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continues to span across the months, it’s imperative that we don’t lose momentum, and all remain actively involved. We’re asking residents to be on hand for each night of the hearing to present a united front against the Curative Amendment and proposed rezoning. As soon as we know more about the scheduling of hearings before the Board of Supervisors, we’ll post it here and send an email out to residents.

Thank you for your continued support and the continuous calls to the following, to let them know you do not support the rezoning of the

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Golf Course:

Francis McNaughton, Sr. ………………………………….. (717) 234-4000

Board of Supervisors

Carl Hughes, Chairman …………………………………….. (717) 932-4264

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Patriot-News: “Keep The Valley Green Golf Course.”

It’s not only Newberry Township residents that recognize the importance of preserving the Township’s only designated Open Space. Adding to growing public outcry, the Patriot-News Editorial Board has voiced its opposition to McNaughton’s proposed destruction of the Valley Green Golf Course. In an editorial published today, the paper stated:

Prior generations zoned Valley Green as “open space” for a reason. They valued keeping that area green and mostly accessible to the public. It is the only official open space designation on the Newberry map. … Newberry Twp. residents and officials are asking the right questions. Is there really demand for more than 300 homes in this economy?

VGRO appreciates the well-reasoned support of the Patriot-News, and invites other editorial boards and opinion-makers to join the chorus of opposition to this disastrous development plan. We hope the Board of Supervisors recognizes the overwhelming public concern from not only their constituents, but also non-resident observers in the Mid-State area. Newberry Township should set an example

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to other area localities, as the Editorial Board suggested, “to start taking a closer look at balancing development with preserving open space.”

Despite the increasing momentum we’re seeing, Newberry Township residents cannot stop the fight until this plan is defeated. Please join our effort today by contacting us at, follow us on Twitter at @keepthecourseVG, and make sure to check our Calendar for upcoming events. We need your help more than ever as we reach the critical stages of the process!

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VGRO Informational Meeting Covers Next Steps In Effort


On Sunday, July 29th, VGRO held an Informational Meeting at the Township Municipal Building covering various topics including:

In addition, VGRO introduced its new officers: Bill Hendrickson (President), LeeAnn Menut (Vice President), Mary Miller (Treasurer), and LeAnn Straub (Secretary). VGRO Organizer Don Noss also introduced the organization’s new Communications Director, Emily Copenhaver. A Q&A session at the conclusion of the meeting led to lively discussion among residents that included some new ideas for the effort.

Above all, residents were encouraged to continue to voice their displeasure with McNaughton’s proposal, most notably by attending public hearings, directly contacting their elected officials, and talking to neighbors. More yard signs were handed out, and we look forward to seeing them around the Township!

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Supervisors: “We’ll Base Our Decision On What The People Want.”

On Tuesday evening, local residents including VGRO members showed up at the Newberry Township Board of Supervisors meeting en masse to protest McNaughton’s pending proposal to destroy Valley Green Golf Course in favor of an additional 336 housing units. In fact, according to the Patriot-News,

When Supervisor Ernest Helmick asked the crowd of more than 100 that spilled out into the hallway how many favored the project, no one raised a hand.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on that–more than 100 Newberry Township residents showed up to protest McNaughton’s plan! A huge thank you is in order to everyone who made their voices heard on Tuesday at the Municipal Building.

This showing of support to KEEP THE COURSE builds on the momentum we’ve been building in the past few weeks. And our momentum is getting noticed. Just Monday, Supervisor Maxine Kauffmann told the York Dispatch, “It’s always been a golf course. I’m so against it being anything else.”

VGRO is pleased that the Supervisors hear our concerns, and they appear to take those concerns seriously. Supervisor Kauffmann’s statement of opposition to McNaughton’s destructive proposal is particularly welcome.

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However, the real measure of the Supervisors’ responsiveness will come when they take a final vote on the proposed re-zoning. Unless and until the Board of Supervisors definitively tell McNaughton, “this land will remain Open Space,” Newberry Township residents must continue this fight.

So what’s next?

1. Organizational Meeting: First,

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we’re having an organizational meeting on Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Newberry Township Building on Old Trail Road. Just look for the white and green “KEEP THE COURSE” signs outside. At this meeting, we’ll tell everyone (1) where we’ve been, (2) where we’re at and what we know, and (3) what we still need to do to stop McNaughton from replacing Valley Green’s Open Space with more development.

2. YCPC Meeting: Second, our Calendar of Events has been updated to include the York County Planning Commission’s meeting on August 7th at 7:30 p.m. This meeting will be held at the York County 911 Center,

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120 Davies Drive in York. According to YCPC, residents will be able to make public comments at this meeting, similarly to Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting. We know that the Board of Supervisors took us seriously because of our presence. Let’s make sure the County does the same!

3. Get a Yard Sign: Third, contact Mary at to get a yard sign that you can stick alongthe road to show your support for our effort! You can get one on Sunday as well. We’re asking for a small donation ($10) for each sign to cover the cost of the sign and other incidental costs like running off copies of Township/County documents, etc.

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VGRO Members To Speak At Supervisors Meeting – JOIN US!

At 5:30 p.m. this evening, members of the Valley Green Residents Organization (“VGRO”) will take part in the public comment portion of the Newberry Township Board of Supervisors meeting, taking place at the Township Municipal Building, 1915 Old Trail Road in Etters. We plan to publically outline many of our concerns regarding a plan submitted by McNaughton Homes to destroy the Valley Green Golf Course in order to pack over 330 new housing units on the only designated Open Space in Newberry Township.

We invite all interested Newberry Township residents to join us at the meeting to show their support for our effort to “Keep The Course” by wearing a green shirt (if you have one that’s clean) and letting the Supervisors know of your concerns. There will be an opportunity for public comment at the beginning of the meeting, according to the

posted Agenda. If you plan on making comments, please be polite,

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professional and to-the-point–Valley Green residents are passionate about our community, but we also believe that yelling and screaming isn’t necessary to get our point across. But by all means, explain how concerned you are with McNaughton’s plan!


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also have yard signs available, that look like the image above, which you may have already seen posted around Valley Green. Because we purchased these signs out of our own pocketbooks, we’re asking for a small donation to cover the costs. Mary Miller should have a few of these signs with her this evening if you would like to stick one on your property and tell Newberry Township to “KEEP THE COURSE!”

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