Battle of Normandie

A furious fight erupts to save a storied golf course

Normandie is currently zoned only for a golf course or a cemetery, but the village has hired an urban consulting firm to explore other possibilities for the land. Those findings likely will not be available for several weeks, and city attorney Kevin O'Keefe says it's too early to determine what may happen.

"When the city last looked at its future during its build-up in the '40s and '50s, it was presumed the land would remain a golf course until the village or the landowners saw another use for it," he says. "Now that time has come and we're looking into all alternatives."

O'Keefe's words do little to allay the fears of Filla and the Save Normandie group, who believe the development will decrease property values in the area. The group has retained an attorney and amassed a war chest in excess of $10,000 to fight the development. Still, Filla concedes the odds are great, particularly when taking on the likes of a real-estate giant like Taylor-Morley, which reported revenue of about $100 million in 2003.

"There's going to be a legalistic fight over this, but we feel we have good grounds to fight it," he says. "I'm confident in our outcome."

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