Trudy Morron said she was pleased last week when two holes were eliminated from the Waneka Lake disc golf course after she felt like she'd been "under siege."
Morron, whose Zenith Avenue home is just east of the first three holes of the formerly nine-hole course, said one of her 18 west-facing windows was broken in the first week of disc golfing at Waneka Lake Park.
In the weeks since, she has lived with nearly constant "ding, ding, dinging" in the afternoons as players deposit their discs in the nearby pin basket for the second hole.
So when she looked out past her 6-foot fence early last week to see landscaping equipment in the park, Morron, 84, feared the worst.
"I was terrified they were maybe pulling something out and putting in twice as many," she said.
Instead of adding to the course, Lafayette city crews, following repeated complaints from park neighbors and citing "negligent behavior" by some course users, yanked out the tee pads and pins for the third and ninth holes and moved the pin for the second hole away from Morron's fence and closer to the lake.
"Since then, blessed peace has reigned, and I'm thrilled," said Morron, adding that a Lafayette recreation employee stopped by her home Friday to give her a letter informing her of the changes with four free rec center passes tucked inside. "I really don't feel they are in my backyard as I did before."
A notice posted on the main course map near Waneka Lake's east parking lot says the "modifications were required due to negligent behavior by disc golf users." The notice says two new holes will soon be installed south of the park's west parking lot.
"In order to keep this course at Waneka Lake, please be respectful to all park users and neighboring property owners," the notice states.
'We've rectified the problem'
Curt Cheesman, Lafayette's recreation director, said the changes were primarily motivated by safety.
"I don't think it was a lot of people jumping fences, but it was enough to be intrusive, and we want to be respectful," he said, adding that Morron was among eight Zenith Avenue residents given rec passes last week. "We wanted to say, 'Thank you for your patience. We've rectified the problem.' "
The course has been well received by disc golfers, Cheesman said, but following the negative feedback from neighbors, construction of the originally proposed back nine has been put on hold for now.
"There is a balance between citizens who live near the park and users, so we're going to continue to watch it," he said. "I'm really going to be sensitive on the next nine."
Broomfield resident Jeremy Ellis, a longtime disc golfer, played the course's remaining seven holes Thursday afternoon, saying he really enjoys the course and especially appreciates the concrete tee pads, which provide players with a sturdy platform for launching throws.
"It only takes one bad apple to ruin it for everybody," Ellis said. "I hope the course stays, because it's really nice. It's a beautiful setting."
Though the ninth hole has been removed from behind their properties, residents on Sparta Drive, which borders the park to the south, continued last week to push for the complete removal of the course.
'Put it somewhere where there is room'
Steve Kane, who for 10 years has lived in the 1100 block of Sparta Drive, said the course has caused a host of issues in the neighborhood, even beyond the disc-chasing players who prompted him to put a padlock on his back gate.
He said creating fairways for the course has led to killing off vegetation that is crucial because of the high water table around the lake. He said diminished vegetation also has forced more wildlife into the surrounding neighborhood, including raptors, such as eagles and Cooper's hawks.
Worse yet, course users often leave cigarette butts, beer bottles and trash around the holes, and Kane said he has seen golfers smoking marijuana in the park, as well as relieving themselves on his and neighbors' fences. He said by installing the course, the city has allowed the balance at the park to swing well in favor of recreational users at the expense of property owners' quality of life.
"This green area was supposed to be the buffer between the recreation and the neighborhoods, and what they have done is put recreation in the buffer," Kane said. "The golf course is fine. Just put it somewhere where there is room."
Contact Camera Staff Writer Joe Rubino at 303-473-1328 or email@example.com.