By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Several new reports of golf course closures and plans for redevelopment. Easton Club, MD; Royal Oaks (TN); River Valley Ranch (CO); Vellano of Chino Hills (CA); St. Andrews (MS); Escondido Country Club (CA).
Easton Club assoc. sues golf course owner (MD)
Dec 14, 2018 The Star Democrat
EASTON — The Easton Club Community Association and one of its members are asking a court to order Maryland Health Clubs LLC — owner of the golf course and club house in the midst of the Easton Club community — to operate and maintain the course, club house and related facilities and structures.
The association filed suit Nov. 30 in Talbot County Circuit Court against Maryland Health Clubs, a Maryland limited liability company whose principals and representatives are California residents, according to a press release from the community association.
It has been three years since Easton Club golf course closed, and more than two years under new ownership by Maryland Health Clubs LLC. But, during that time, the golf course owner has made no moves to maintain or reopen the course or club house, and hasn’t paid $100,000 in property taxes. The HOA is suing in an attempt to force the owner to maintain the golf course.
Royal Oaks Golf Course to close forever (TN)
By Corey Roepken email@example.com Nov 29, 2018
Marnice Richmond knew what she was getting into when she took over ownership of Royal Oaks Golf Course, but she also knew she had the support of her father, Tinker, and that their combined energy could be enough to breathe life into the often-moribund business.
After more than six years of effort, too many matches of tug-of-war with the Royal Oaks Property Owners Association and an extensive amount of the Richmonds’ own money, however, Royal Oaks as Maryville residents have known it since 1993 will take its final breath on Saturday when it closes forever.
Back-and-forth with residents: Saturday’s closing marks the end of a frustrating and often strenuous relationship between the Richmonds and ROPOA, the homeowners’ association. Marnice Richmond said the two sides worked in harmony for the first year before the board was overhauled. That’s when, she said, the relationship went south. That there have been four boards since she took over did not help communication, she added.
The past five years have been full of ‘he said-she said’ arguments during which neither side wanted to budge. At the heart of the struggle was Richmond’s effort to get the residents to put up more money to help keep the course alive.
According to this report, the golf club has only 10 members in a 500+ home community. The HOA protested against a zoning change to add a Chick-Fil-A on highway frontage, to help extend the life of the golf business. The land is currently for sale, and will most likely be rezoned for housing.
River Valley Ranch Golf Club headed into the rough (CO)
Rifle Citizen Telegram
November 30, 2018
The River Valley Ranch Golf Club in Carbondale may have to close at the end of the current golf season unless a resolution comes forward in the meantime, according to reports from a recent meeting of the RVR Homeowners Association
HOA President Scott Darling confirmed the issue was brought forward to homeowners by golf course owner Dale Rands, and said the gist is that the golf course may have to shut down if something can’t be worked out with homeowners or some other entity.
RVR golf course sale still concern for community
December 3, 2018
The River Valley Ranch golf course has a new owner, but neighbors are still concerned about the future of the site.
The former owner, River Valley Ranch Golf LLC, managed by Dale Rands, bought the golf course for $1.2 million in 2012, according to county records. When Crystal Outdoors LLC bought the golf course Nov. 13, the value was recorded in county records as $3.5 million, more than double what was paid six years earlier.
However, the promissory note included in the documents shows that Crystal Outdoors only paid $1.7 million upfront, with the remainder covered by a loan from the seller, conditional to an appraisal of the property.
According to a loan agreement between RVR Golf LLC and Crystal Outdoors, the new owner does intend to seek development of portions of the property, which is a matter for concern to the neighborhood.
The River Valley Golf course is separately owned and operated. The HOA of the 565-home community will consider options, as plans for redevelopment and zoning changes are on the horizon. Homeowners previously rejected the HOA’s option to purchase the course for $3.5 million, or raising assessments to support keeping the course open. The City rejected change requests for development of dense housing on the site.
Vellano hits commission with 440-page appeal letter (CA)
By Marianne Napoles Dec 1, 2018
The attorney for the Vellano Golf Course was scolded by residents and the Chino Hills Planning Commission for submitting a 440-page letter the night before an appeal hearing Tuesday, Nov. 20.
WGP-Vellano LLC requested the hearing to appeal the city’s denial of its request to retain a chain-link fence it installed around the golf course without permits.
Commissioner Adam Eliason expressed concern that the city was not given the opportunity to absorb the information before the meeting and held up the voluminous document to show the audience.
In an apparent delay tactic, the owner of now-defunct Vellano Golf Course dumped a 440-page appeal on the Planning Commission at the last minute. Homeowners in the Chino Hills community are stuck looking at an overgrown golf course surrounded by the unsightly chain link fence.
St. Andrews homeowners fed up over potential plans to build on golf course (MS)
HOA says it will hire an attorney to fight any development on the course (MS)
By Taren Reed | November 7, 2018 at 9:05 PM CST – Updated November 8 at 6:07 AM
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) – St. Andrews homeowners said they are fed up over potential plans to build on their community golf course. Now, they are preparing to take legal action to stop development in their neighborhood.
The course has been vacant since 2010, when the private developers who owned the property filed bankruptcy. Before that, the course took a beating from Hurricane Katrina and had a hard time recovering.
Following those events, homeowners said their property values took a beating too.
“Our housing value dropped at least 20, 30 percent,” said Alan Doyle, acting Homeowners Association president.
“So, for those of us, especially people like me who had our houses put together with scotch tape and whatever you could get, it’s hard to get refinancing to go back in and fix your house properly because the property values are so low,” added St. Andrews homeowner Monica Schroeder-Lanoux.
Hurricane Katrina destroyed St. Andrews golf course in 2005, and the course has been shut down since 2010. A developer wants to build on part of the former golf course, but, as usual, homeowners protest. They blame the golf course closure for a 20-30% drop in their property values, despite and HOA to “protect” them. Most of the homes were also damaged by Hurricane Katrina, too, so it’s hard to say that being in a hurricane flood zone isn’t responsible for drop in home values at St. Andrews.
Escondido Country Club lawsuit thrown out of court (CA)
By J. Harry JonesContact Reporter, San Diego Tribune
November 14, 2018 5:00 PM
A lawsuit challenging last year’s approval by the Escondido City Council of a 380-home development on the grounds of the former Escondido Country Club has been thrown out of court.
Pending appeal, the decision means developer New Urban West should now be free to purchase the 109-acre country club property from owner Michael Schlesinger and commence construction.
After hearing arguments on Friday, Vista Superior Court Judge Ronald F. Frazier reversed a tentative ruling he had made and rejected arguments made by homeowners in the neighborhood contending the environmental report that the council based its approval on was deficient and should be recirculated.
ECCHO has been battling development plans ever since the golf course was closed in early 2013 and the future of the 109-acre property has been debated, in the courts and even at the ballot box, ever since.
The Escondido City Council approved the project by a 3-2 vote on Nov. 15, 2017, with Mayor Sam Abed and Councilman John Masson opposed. A few weeks later, the largest building on the property, which used to house a restaurant and clubhouse, and which had been shuttered for years, burned to the ground. The cause of the blaze has not been determined.
The homeowners’ association has fought against development of the golf course since 2013. In 2017, the HOA filed a lawsuit against City Council for its approval of a condominium development on the site. Last month, a judge threw the case out. No word yet on whether the HOA will appeal.
Developers plan to move forward with their construction project. They won’t have to remove the old clubhouse, though, because that mysteriously burned to the ground last year.
HOA conflict in golf communities becoming the norm