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Notes from Scott Holder

(I’m posting this here at Scot Holder’s request…Joe Parsons)

As you know the San Ramon Golf Course was purchased in December by Tree City LLC out of Beverly Hills

As a San Ramon and golf course resident, I and many others have concerns over the potential changes to the property and the impact those changes will have on our community.

I traveled to Los Angeles last week and met with the Tree City LLC Principal.

Past actions on the part of the property owners in other communities lead us to fear the same negativity has a high probability of occurring in San Ramon

We need to take action to attempt to avoid the disruption created in Escondido, Rancho Mirage and Las Vegas.

Unfortunately, no one has fared well….not the residents, not the cities and not the owners.

We have already received a telephone survey related to housing on the property.

Then the owners made their first statement as to their intent with the abrupt closing of the pool two days prior to its scheduled opening and the beginning of the Aqua Bears Swim Team season.

A letter from the golf course management company Western Golf Properties as to why the pool closed is so full of misinformation I could not begin to address any of this within a three minute window this evening.

It is obvious the owners have no emotional ties to the San Ramon community nor did they have any emotional ties to the communities which preceded ours.

The bottom line is the ownership chose to ignore the obvious when they purchased the property knowing full well it was zoned in our General Plan as “Golf Course.”

Why would they make what I and others would deem a reckless purchase?

The answer is simple….they have the funding and capital to wait for many years for a return on their investment.

In return our community stands to lose what we have enjoyed for over 50 years.

I believe the owners will close the golf course and sit on the property as long as it takes to obtain the a housing deal.

Currently the course is open; however, it is my belief the course would already be closed had the sale agreement not called for the course to be open for one year following the sale.

We have choices…

We can wait until the course is closed, fenced off and not maintained as has been the case in the other cities.

If this occurs there are actions the City could take should the neglect of the property become a nuisance to our community.

At that point it’s too late…the damage is done.

I view our city as one which can handle this in a different manner than the other cities.

How is this?.

I am formally asking the Council and City Manager to allow members of our group…..Stay the Course San Ramon, to partner together with city staff to include representation from the Planning and Engineering Departments and any other staff members the city deems appropriate to meet with the golf course ownership.

No one has seen any plans either “conceptual” or “actual” related to their intent.

Waiting until the course is closed will be too late.

We need to take the lead and invite the owners to meet prior to any further negative actions similar to closing the pool taking place.

I am willing to facilitate this effort I only ask for your approval and participation to allow us to make every effort to come out of this unfortunate situation with some positive impact for San Ramon.

–Scott Holder
June 23, 2006

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Jeff Gerbracht June 23, 2016, 4:43 pm

    Chief Holder,

    I’m not sure what level of participation you’re asking for, but you can include me in whatever you’re proposing. Let’s get this done.

    Jeff Gerbracht

  • Richard Silletto June 23, 2016, 4:53 pm

    I think this is an excellent idea. It is much better to be proactive than waiting to see what their next move is. I’m not sure what I could add to such a meeting but am happy to participate if needed.

  • Larisa Somsel June 23, 2016, 4:55 pm

    What was the content of your meeting with the principal?

    • Admin June 23, 2016, 6:01 pm

      There is a blog post from about two weeks ago talking about that.

  • Jodi Weyandt June 23, 2016, 4:57 pm

    I’m in favor of this approach.

  • Mike Harkleroad June 23, 2016, 5:18 pm

    I live near the back entrance off of Olympia Fields so this is deeply concerning to my family. I’m willing to assist you in any way I can.

  • Caryll Southland June 23, 2016, 6:18 pm

    Unfortunately my husband & I cannot make the June 30th meeting, but we are very concerned. Please keep us informed as to what we need to do to help.

  • Thomas F. Mullican June 23, 2016, 7:48 pm

    Thank you Scott for taking this lead. As residents of the golf course for fifty years we are appreciative of what you intend to do!! You have our full
    support. We will attend all meetings and help in other ways as much as possible. Please feel free to call on us.
    Tom and Dolores Mullican

  • Sharon Glover June 23, 2016, 10:30 pm

    My backyard is the 16th hole fairway.
    You have done your homework and this seems reasonable. Looking forward to upcoming meetings so we can be informed of your progress…and discuss our options.
    Thanks Scott

  • Laura June 24, 2016, 5:36 am

    It would be nice and try to work with them before they shut down the golf course and stop taking care of it.
    I appreciate all of you who are making the effort to make this right for the residents who live around the golf course and for the city.
    Have the deeds on the properties around the golf course been examined to see if there were any restrictions/limitations associated with the lots being on the gold course when the development began? What can and can’t be done with the properties. The original deed on the golf course. Were there stipulations/requirements listed in the sales contract with the new owner; what he could and could not do with the premises?
    Has anyone seen this outcome with a golf course? A federal judge ruled homeowners suffered irreparable harm because the new golf course owners willfully let the course go; stopped watering, caring, maintaining.
    They were ordered to restore the golf course to conditions outlined under land use covenants & other documents attached to the sale. Basically,
    they would order to make it look like a golf course.


  • Chris Crowley June 24, 2016, 6:17 am

    You have our full support to take whatever action you deem necessary.

  • Steve and Kathy Roebuck June 27, 2016, 2:58 pm

    Your have our full support. Thank you for all you are doing.

  • Joe Appleby June 27, 2016, 8:43 pm

    Great job getting the pool re-opened for the kids!

  • Thomas F. Mullican June 28, 2016, 8:46 pm

    Mu husband took 100 flyers door to door to try to get a good turnout for the meeting on the 30th. We know we needed many more but that is all the time he had before Thursday…Maybe in the future we can get some others to do other areas on the golf course. Many people do not do websites, etc. and a flyer will do it!

    Dolores Mullican

  • Sandor Verstrepen July 11, 2016, 8:11 pm

    Thank you to everyone for your efforts! Count me in to help in any way I can.

  • Julius Kahn III October 3, 2016, 2:35 pm

    The owners need to submit a specific plan and and during negotiations. The plan must include an agreement keeping the golf course maintained and opened during the course of negotiations. The plan must be approved by the majority of the residence whose homes abut the course. If they arbitrarily close the golf course or let it fall into disrepair then as far as I am concerned they can wait “until hell freezes over” before even one house is allowed to be built on the golf course.

    • Admin October 3, 2016, 4:17 pm

      The owners have not even taken the first step to try for a rezone of the property. In order to do that, they have to make a formal application, together with an EIR and CEQA reports. Having done that, four out of four City Council members must approve it AND 4 out of 5 members of the planning commission. Council member Dave Hudson lives on the golf course, so he must recuse himself from voting. At present, there is no support among the city council members (or, apparently among the two challengers for the two seats up for reelection). The developers could get a measure on the ballot in 2017 if they were to gather enough signatures. If that were to happen, the sizeable community we have all brought together would be able to mobilize and prevent any cahnge to the zoning.

      There is no way to force them to continue operating the golf course. It is highly likely that they will close it in January, once their contractual obligation to operate it for a year has ended.

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