Golf course owners seek to keep referendum off the November ballot.

JACKSON TWP.  The owners of Tam O’Shanter want to block residents from voting on the golf course’s zoning-change request this fall.

In a protest filed late Friday with the Stark County Board of Elections, Tam O’Shanter Co. and Charles Bennell, golf course president, claim the referendum petition is invalid because it omits the names of the property owner and zoning change applicant.

The protest requests an evidentiary hearing on the matter.

Tam O’Shanter’s owners want to rezone 62 acres of the golf course along Fulton Drive and Everhard Road NW to allow for business development. The land is zoned residential.

The owners would sell another 205 acres to Stark Parks and donate 20 acres to the township for athletic fields. Bennell has said the course will be closed in the next two or three years, and without the zoning change, it could be developed with more than 300 houses.

“We think, clearly, that it is something beneficial to the entire township,” said Terry A. Moore, an attorney for Tam O’Shanter.

Township trustees approved the rezoning request in June. But residents who opposed the change circulated petitions, and earlier this month township trustees submitted the referendum for the Nov. 7 general election.

Residents against the zoning change have said they’re concerned new businesses will increase traffic on Everhard and Fulton. They also contend the township has a surplus of business property.

Jenifer Canoles, who helped with the petition drive, said Tam O’Shanter’s protest “tells me they’re afraid of what the voters will decide.”

Her family owns the Carriage Hill apartment complex next to land Tam O’Shanter wants to rezone.

Reach Shane at 330-580-8338 or shane.hoover@cantonrep.com

On Twitter: @shooverREP