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New Article in The Californian

Journalist Sam Campopiano has just released a new article about the San Ramon Golf Club and the developers’ plan to build homes on the 125-acre site.

Mr. Campopiano’s story is accurate and well-written. A couple of excerpts:

If the city of San Ramon does not change the zoning of the San Ramon Golf Course to allow the new owners to build housing on part of the course by the end of the month, the new owners have pledged to close the golf course for good.

This is nothing new. Many are, frankly, surprised that the course is still open.

Richards and Schlesinger want the city to change the zoning from “agricultural” to “residential,” so they can build housing on the golf course. If the city council fails to meet their demands, Richards and Schlesinger pledge [to] chain off and close the course indefinitely.

Many residents are saying, “brown is my new favorite color.”

The article is a must-read for all San Ramon residents, not just those who live close to the golf course. To put this into perspective, there are 26,000 homes in San Ramon. Of these, 18,000 are homeowners. There are 325 homes that look out on the golf course, and twice as many in immediate proximity (across the street). If the site were to be developed, the homeowners whose backyards abut the course would lose value–I would estimate around $20,000 for each home because their neighborhood and views would change (I am speaking as a real estate broker and mortgage lender here). Of greater concern–and this affects everyone in San Ramon–is the effect on traffic and infrastructure. Regardless of any promises the developer might make about schools and parks, the effect on traffic would be significant, especially on Alcosta, San Ramon Valley Boulevard, Broadmoor, Pine Valle Thunderbird and Sedgefield. These are all residential streets that cannot be widened to handle the additional traffic. Ultimately, these effects would extend to ALL San Ramon residents.

The San Ramon Golf Club property is zoned Golf Course/Agricultural. That is written into the General Plan. The only way that could be changed to allow building would be with a 4/5 vote of the City Council AND of the Planning Commission. Failing that, a ballot measure, which would start with a petition. There are no other avenues for these developers to build so much as a doghouse on that land.

It is more important than ever that we all stay aware and involved. You can do your part by urging every other resident of our city to subscribe to this site.

Read Sam Campopiano’s excellent article HERE.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Scott Perkins December 23, 2016, 10:16 am

    Joe,
    Thanks for the link to the article.

    It should be noted that Richards and Schlesinger have made no application to the city to change the land use designation, as far as I know. I can’t imagine the city taking any action without an application.

    I believe that they loose most of their leverage when they close the course. What leverage would they use to convince the Planning Commission and City Council to approve the changes AFTER the closure?

    • Admin December 23, 2016, 11:21 am

      They don’t really have any leverage. Judging from the comments to this blog and the residents I have spoken with, a brown field of weeds is far preferable to houses on that site. The former can be reversed. The latter, not so much.

  • Julius Kahn III December 23, 2016, 10:44 am

    Great article!!! United We Stand to Stay the Course. Merry Christmas to All.

  • Kristen Taylor December 23, 2016, 12:58 pm

    I think 20k depreciation is extremely conservative!

  • Peggie Davis December 23, 2016, 5:04 pm

    Sorry, this is “old” news on the golf course. Most of us residents paying attention have known this for some time.

    • Admin December 24, 2016, 8:10 am

      Yes it is…but people have short memories–and it’s important to keep the very real risk uppermost in everyone’s minds.

  • Jan December 23, 2016, 6:58 pm

    Please allow new owners to make threats. We must not allow them
    to build on our golf course. There is way too much traffic already and
    residential developments being built in every direction around us. Let’s
    stand united and let them gain profits elsewhere… not in my backyard!

  • J. Glabner December 23, 2016, 7:19 pm

    Couple things: In one article about another golf course owned by these people, the city passed laws (ordinances, whatever) that required the owners to keep the course green (for lack of a better word)

    It has been a year now. Why has the City of San Ramon not passed anything like that? Why didn’t they just buy the course in the first place? My guess is because they are pro-development. Just look what’s going on behind Home Depot and that will let you know the City’s mindset. Pro-Growth, Anti Resident’s rights.

    Also, let’s remember that, as far as I know, these folks have bought four or five courses and have yet to build ONE home. Their investors have to be getting pissed off right now which leads to lack of any future funds. Lack of any additional financial input is eventually going to bleed Richardson et al dry.

  • Linda Gow December 23, 2016, 8:16 pm

    Please recommend sign shop have a link to Save the Course signs. I have gone in twice to order but there is no easy way to find or buy the signs to put into the neighborhoods.

  • Scott Perkins December 24, 2016, 8:04 am

    J. Glabner,
    If you could provide more information about the ordinances that were passed and which city passed them, that would be very helpful. If there is such a success I would be very interested in knowing about it.

    As for buying the course, I believe that R&S hope to make many millions of dollars and wouldn’t sell even for what they paid for it. Why should they if there is millions more to be made?

  • Scott Perkins December 24, 2016, 2:58 pm

    J. Glabner,
    You should also know that the voters approved the development behind Home Depot by over 70% in March of 2002. The council had no authority to not allow development on that land.

    Also, buying properties over appraised value could be considered a “gift of public funds” which is against the law.

  • David Ernest December 25, 2016, 4:22 pm

    Good follow up comments.

  • Jeff December 26, 2016, 12:30 pm

    The article states: “We have had three monthly meetings, in which 300-350 people showed up,” said Joe Parsons, a member of Stay the Course San Ramon. “We have elected a committee of nine representatives to be the voice of the people.”

    Can someone on the committee please clarify what this means exactly? It is my understanding that the committee has no authority to ‘represent’, to speak for or act on behalf of any individual homeowners behalf.

    • john adams December 27, 2016, 8:55 am

      After a few general meetings of the Stay The Course community, it became apparent that having 350 residents express individual opinions was not productive. A motion was raised and seconded to develop a Steering Committee to represent the Stay The Course community. At this point, nominations were requested for members of the Steering Committee. Nineteen people were nominated and at the next meeting all were appointed to represent the Stay The Course community.

      The committee is charged with developing plans to defend the community’s best interest as it relates to the golf course residential development. The committee is also responsible for representing community to the San Ramon City Council. The charge of negotiation and determination of any zoning changes lies strictly with the City Council and the City Planning Commission.

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