Legal Snag Trips Up Black Rock

In January 2001 developer Marshall Chesrown decided to halt his multi-million-dollar golf development near Rockford Bay on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Chesrown was in the process of building his Club at Black Rock, a golf-residential project that involves a championship-quality 18-hole course and 381 homes. But the Kootenai County Commission may have effectively halted the project by citing a 1974 rule that stipulates lot sales can commence only after work is completed on road, sewer and water systems.

Chesrown was not happy with the news, telling Spokane’s Spokesman Review, “(The project’s) on hold until we get this resolved. I can assure you, if I can’t develop it, nobody will. It just shows the Mayberry RFD mentality that we have been dealing with since day one.”

The Kootenai County Planning Commission voted January 17 to uphold the ordinance that requires all infrastructure work to be completed before lots can be sold. The following day, Chesrown requested a public hearing before the Kootenai County Commissioners to plead his case for the development, which would become the largest community between Coeur d’Alene and Moscow in northern Idaho.

It’s interesting that the ordinance was not cited during the earlier stages of construction. The reason cited was that the county had forgotten about the rule for 24 years. The rules were rediscovered three years ago when another local developer had begun selling lots without building the project’s infrastructure. Chesrown was incredulous with the county’s action. “Why hasn’t this ordinance ever been enforced until Black Rock?” he asked.

Chesrown’s plans to build the resort-residential community in tandem with lot sales is now on hold, and it may be permanently put to pasture unless he gets a change of heart among Kootenai County officials. For additional information on this project as well as hundreds of others, click on, Cybergolf’s sister publication for the golf industry.