Lester George, ASGCA, and George Golf Design president, will coordinate the campus master plan of the new Fones Cliffs Resort property, a 1,000-acre tract of land in Richmond County, Virginia. The site inlcudes cliffs rising more than 120 feet above the Rappahannock River. The property is part of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, the nation’s first national watertrail.
In November 2015, the Richmond County Board of Supervisors approved the zoning of a resort development that will include a 116-room lodge, 200 single-family residential lots, 500 medium-density residential units, equestrian facilities, shooting sports, mixed-use commercial and retail space, and a championship golf course. The setting is only 75 miles south of Washington, D.C., 60 miles east of Richmond, and 95 miles north of Hampton Roads. George is coordinating the efforts of a highly-specified group of consultants to assist the owner with the campus plan.
“This site is one of the most unique landforms in Virginia, and the campus will be designed to advance a living history narrative and will include an education center that will attract national scholars and speakers to Fones Cliffs,” said Robert Coleman Smith, Fones Cliffs project coordinator. “A world-class golf resort will be an integral component of this experience.
“Having worked extensively in the environmentally-sensitive Chesapeake Bay Watershed for the past 25 years, we understand the requirements of projects like this,” George said. “Fones Cliffs is one of the most fascinating and beautiful sites I have ever seen, and I speak for the team when I say we will approach this property with a very soft hand. We will design the golf course with a goal of minimal land disturbance, earth moving, and impacts to the natural habitat in an effort to produce an environmentally sustainable resort.”
The team of consultants George has assembled includes Craig Balzer of Balzer & Associates, who will offer conceptual design for the building structures, including the clubhouse, lodge, and cottages; Jeff Staub of SilverCore, who will provide land planning for the entire campus; Mike Jenkins of Landscapes Golf Group to create business and commercial financial modeling, club development consulting, and marketing for the golf course, lodge, residential, and other facilities; and Jeff Howeth of J.L. Howeth Engineering who has been working with Diatomite Corporation of America and the property’s neighbors to provide engineering and environmental services for the development.