Gird Valley residents address FCPG, stating “We need to save Fallbrook Golf Course and the Gird Valley”

Gird Valley residents made sure members of the Fallbrook Community Planning Group (FCPG) heard their opinion regarding any potential change to their neighborhood at the panel’s Feb. 15 meeting held at Live Oak Elementary School.

During the meeting’s Public Comment period, Teresa Platt told FCPG members, “We need to save Fallbrook Golf Course and the Gird Valley.”

Approximately 160 residents of the picturesque area filled the meeting room in a show of solidarity to demonstrate their opposition to any change of use regarding the 18-hole golf course, although there are no current proposals before the FCPG for its review.

FCPG chairman Jim Russell clarified for the crowd, “We understand most of you are here to find out what may or may not be going on at the golf course, however, right now there is no project being [officially] considered [by the FCPG]; there is no action for us to take at this time.”

The property has been owned and operated by Fallbrook Golf Course Inc. since 2012. Jack Lamberson, the corporate comptroller and chairman of the board, told this newspaper he has lost $250,000 per year since purchasing the property and had invested $1.6 million in improvements into it.

Recently, word leaked out that the company had put the back nine holes (36 to 42 acres) of the course in escrow with what is believed to be a conservation company, possibly to be established as a mitigation bank.

In a previous interview with the Village News, Lamberson claimed, “People do not have the complete and accurate information. People are just blowing smoke and making exaggerated claims.”

However, Lamberson has been less than forthcoming about who the buyer is of the back nine parcel, and what that individual or company plans to do with it.

Lamberson has claimed that he intends to convert the remainder of the course to a nine-hole format, retaining the front nine and clubhouse facility, or selling it to an individual or company who will do that.

In what could be perceived as an aggressive reply to neighboring property owners, upon hearing their complaints about his plans, Lamberson said, “If the golfers don’t support [the plan], that could lead to a sale to a developer or land mitigator.”

In the climate of uncertainty, residents around the course have organized themselves and appear to be prepared to wage a fight against anything they see as potentially detrimental to the appeal of the Gird Valley, their lifestyle, and property values.

Worry is prevalent that the course will go the same route as San Luis Rey and become a weed-filled landscape as investors work a multi-year path to potentially develop a mitigation bank. The prospect of using the land to build more homes also has low appeal to neighbors.

Speakers also repeatedly criticized Lamberson’s operation of the facility.

“I have watched in frustration as the current owner abuses this course,” said Sue Thorne, whose home overlooks the second green.

“[The facility] has one great layout, but it is totally mismanaged,” said Ed Erzen. “The current owner has just run it into the ground. The place is an absolute morgue and has gone from 44 employees when [Lamberson] bought it, to nine today.”

The majority of speakers suggested that what was needed was a new owner/operator that could restore the facility to a more acceptable state.

“What we need is a new, engaged owner who can successfully operate it under the same use permit that was issued in the 1960s,” Platt said.

Several residents added their concerns to Platt’s and plead with the planning group not to approve any use change for the property in the future.

“I urge [members of the FCPG] to oppose any [future] land use change for this property,” said Dolly Harty.

 

To read earlier articles on this topic, access:

Fallbrook Golf Club owner talks about potential sale, possible redesign to nine-hole operation

Hoping for positive change: Residents in vicinity of Fallbrook Golf Club organize themselves as owner contemplates options

 

 

7 Responses to "Gird Valley residents address FCPG, stating “We need to save Fallbrook Golf Course and the Gird Valley”"

  1. David Green   February 19, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Warning to Fallbrook residents interested in the future of the Fallbrook Golf Club; do not depend upon the FCPG to support your position! If the residents had stayed for the remainder of the FCPG meeting, they would have heard several objections to the Pacifica Estates development which were founded in both common sense and policy guidance guiding physical development in the San Diego County General Plan and Fallbrook Community Plan. During the deliberation phase, some FCPG members essentially discounted concerns expressed by residents of the three adjoining neighborhoods and waxed eloquently about how owners have the right to do what they want with their property. If those concerned about the future of the Fallbrook Golf Club are putting their faith in the FCPG, my one caution would be prepared to look beyond the FCPG if they disappoint you as much as they did us.

    Reply
  2. Teresa Platt   February 19, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Thank you, Mr. Green, for the heads up about your concerns over Fallbrook’s future and lack of adherence to its own Community Plan. For more about the golf course, visit SaveFallbrookGolfCourse (dot) com!

    Reply
  3. BGG   February 19, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    As a suggestion, would it be possible in the future for your reporters to list the way each member of our local planning groups vote on these matters? As you know the Village News has several different planning groups (Fallbrook, Bonsall, Rainbow, DeLuz etc) operating in your coverage area. The members of these groups are public officials who are elected on a public ballot. It would benefit the voter enormously to know individual positions and voting records on issues that come before them so citizens can make informed choices at the polls. Despite the fact these groups are only advisory in nature, they often times represent the best chance for residents to be heard on land use decisions which can greatly impact the livability of our communities. Thank you!

    Reply
  4. Jeff   February 21, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    If I had to choose the best of two distasteful options: new housing development with resulting traffic, crime, and so on, or allowing land to return to it’s original state–I’d take the latter option.

    Reply
    • Save Fallbrook Golf Course   February 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

      Agreed. But the local example of a golf course underling “mitigation” transformation is the San Luis Rey Downs in Bonsall just a few miles south. Go and take a look. The San Luis Rey Downs “mitigation” project is an unmitigated disaster. Its neighbors, who once loved that course, now must endure garbage, weeds, lack of water resulting in loss of amphibians, insects, birds and wildlife, a growing fire hazard, plus graffiti and vandalism (see pix at SaveFallbrookGolfCourse (dot) com). A repeat of the San Luis Rey Downs fiasco must never happen in Fallbrook or anywhere!

      Reply
  5. David Green   February 22, 2016 at 8:08 am

    The land isn’t just allowed to return to nature. All traces of development and non-native plants will be removed, then the land fenced off so no law-abiding person can access it. I recall the discussion on what would happen to San Luis Rey Downs if it ended up in the hands of a land mitigation bank. To restore that land to what the Army Corps of Engineers said was a natural riverbed, approximately 300,000 cubic yards of dirt was expected to be removed from the site as well as all non-native plants. Bonsall residents were told the land would be locked up and fenced off so as to prevent human access or interference with the land going back to its natural state…no walking trails, biking trails, or any other access allowed to residents.

    Reply
  6. JD   February 22, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    The current owner, “Jack” has lost money because he did not manage the opportunity he bought. Lots of privately owned local courses survive by spending money smartly; On the course, and for better food. $1.6m is nothing. A real investor would have known that the property needs more like $5m spent, including a new facility and restaurant. ( or at least a major remodel ) The income would come in the form of much higher traffic, as patrons would gladly pay $50 green fees for a good course that had good food. Heck, a good bar would make money. This course could have been brought back to the gem it once was, but he blew it!

    Reply

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