A BIG THANK YOU to Fallbrook for showing up in force at Fallbrook Library on Jan. 30 where we all began learning about the threats to life in Gird Valley! And thank you for attending or speaking during the Open Forum of Fallbrook Community Planning Group’s meeting on Feb. 15.
Oral presentations re: Fallbrook Golf Course were made, in order of appearance, by Teresa Platt, Dolly Harty, Sue Thorne, Bob Lindner, Larry Mitzner, Ed Erse, Judy Hughes, Brad Jordan and Bill Geffeney. Following are the prepared texts of oral presentations by Teresa Platt, Dolly Harty, Sue Thorne, Larry Mitzner, Judy Hughes and Bill Geffeney. If you would like your presentation to be included, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teresa Platt (2915 Lakemont Drive)
Good evening. My name is Teresa Platt and my home overlooks Fallbrook Golf Course’s third tee.
I share the concerns of my Gird Valley neighbors about the possible sale of any portion of the course to a developer seeking to fill the fairways with houses or to a mitigation land banker closing the area to public access.
In the 1960s, San Diego County granted Special Use Permits for this Agriculturally-zoned farmland—two parcels in all—converting it to a public Golf Course with Recreational/Open Space. By 1998, visitors and locals alike enjoyed 65,000 rounds of golf a year and we continue to love the course.
The Community holds the ultimate power over any land use so any attempt to modify the Special Use Permits on this 54-year-old course must earn our approval via Coordination with our elected representatives on the Fallbrook Community Planning Group.
North San Diego County’s growth is spiking mitigation land prices to almost $400,000 per acre. Speculators are eying and buying undeveloped and developed recreational land, golf courses, wineries and productive farmland in pursuit of this mitigation lands gold rush.
But Gird Valley residents are not willing to live for even six months with the disgraceful conditions seen at San Luis Rey Downs—never mind the decade required to navigate, at a glacial pace, a paperwork maze at multiple federal agencies, the local land permit process and the final transformation of the course into mitigation land—an often-dry marshland surrounded by a fence keeping the public out.
San Luis Rey Downs is now a weed patch and garbage dump, defaced by graffiti, bedeviled by vandalism. Lack of water has taken a toll on its wildlife. Only a program designed in DC to create wetlands could kill a golf course, along with its frogs!
The San Luis Rey Downs project managers should be held accountable for this debacle, not rewarded with another property to destroy. So we are working with our representatives in DC to shine the spotlight on the Clean Water Act and to restrict mitigation land banking to undeveloped land only.
The solution to Fallbrook Golf Course’s current woes is simple: a new and engaged owner operating under the Special Use Permits granted in the 1960s. Change is good but so is tradition.
Let us work together to avoid a future where we stand up and sadly say:
“Welcome to Fallbrook, the Friendly Village. Sorry, we have no public golf course. We had one, a good one. But we destroyed it. We once enjoyed blissful days chasing a little white ball around the cool green grass. We relaxed under magnificent oaks and towering sycamores. No more. We paved paradise and put in another housing development. Millions of dollars and a decade were squandered converting a small slice of the course to a sometimes-marshy spot along the back creek. You can see where the Fallbrook Golf Course once was—take a peek through the chain link fence behind the parking lot on the hill.”
I hope we never have to say this. Thank you and Save Fallbrook Golf Course and beautiful Gird Valley!
Dolly Harty (3502 Oak Cliff Drive)
My name is Dolly Harty, my husband Larry and I moved to Fallbrook 15 years ago. We live on the 6th fairway, a fairway that is sadly degrading.
We were lured to Fallbrook by the beauty and peacefulness of Gird Valley and the Fallbrook golf course and are shocked at the current state of the course.
Due to these concerns, we helped establish SaveFallbrookGolfCourse.com with neighbors gathered around our kitchen table on Thursday, January 21st.
I joined the Fallbrook Women Golfers 18-hole golf club the year we moved to Fallbrook and have treasured my time on the course. The members of the Fallbrook Women Golfers have supported Fallbrook Golf Course for 54 years! But recently, the current course owners announced the closure of the back nine. Now we are forced to leave this golf course we love so much because we must belong to a regulation 18-hole course in order to continue our participation in county wide tournaments.
Recently I went over to hole #14 as it is the most beautiful part of the back nine to take some pictures so I would always remember this special course. I recalled a story about the previous owner who invited pro golfer Jack Nicklaus to visit. After they toured the course, the owner asked what he would do to improve it.
Jack’s comment was, “Nothing, they don’t make golf courses like this any more.”
Jack Nicklaus was right. Fallbrook Golf Course is a Southern California gem. Gird Valley is blessed with wonderful weather and treasures like Live Oak Park, the Small dog park and Myrtle Creek Botanical Garden. Even today, after 15 years living here, the serene drive down tree-lined Gird Road always makes my heart skip a beat.
Please! I urge you to oppose any land use change for this property that comes before you. I also ask any potential buyer to recognize that Fallbrook will wholeheartedly support new management committed to improving Fallbrook Golf Course for the benefit of the community, enhancing and preserving beautiful Gird Valley forever. But we are all united in our opposition to land use changes that do not benefit Fallbrook and Gird Valley!
Thank you for listening!
Good evening. My name is Sue Thorne and I have lived in Fallbrook since 1985. My home overlooks the Fallbrook Golf Course and I have watched, in frustration, as its current owner abuses this course.
It is vitally important for Fallbrook golfers, Gird Valley homeowners and Fallbrook’s reputation, that Fallbrook Golf Course be saved in its entirety as an 18-hole public course. Do not allow the current owner (who has done far too much damage to the Golf course and Club facilities already) to sell off this course piecemeal!
The current owner’s suggestion that golfers and the general public do not appreciate the hard work of the course’s staff is wrong, wrong, wrong. Unfortunately, any improvements claimed to have been made are now far outweighed by his deliberate downgrading of services in the clubhouse and lack of golf course management know-how.
The golfers do support the course and even with the threat of closure hanging over their heads, the men’s and ladies’ groups have voted to remain loyal to Fallbrook Golf Course as long as they possibly can. However, if it was reduced to 9-holes, they would be forced to move elsewhere. The question again is Where?
Where else in North County can they find an 18-hole course that welcomes the public, and is walkable and affordable?
Fallbrook Golf Club is a well-established 18-hole public golf course in a natural valley setting–not an architecturally designed country club that mandates the use of a cart to drive through gated communities from greens to tees. My husband and I fell in love with the course (and the friendly village of Fallbrook) in the 60’s when we were living in Los Angeles. It reminded us of the layout of many a British golf links. That’s why we chose to build our house on the last remaining lot overlooking the 2nd green.
Fallbrook Golf Course is one of the very special green attractions on the Fallbrook map, neighborhood friendly and a perfect match for the Fallbrook community as it appeals to families and retirees alike. Juniors enjoy clinics on the driving range, Fallbrook high school students use the course as their practice and match venue, and retirees enjoy midweek play at affordable rates.
It may not look at its best right now (thanks to drought conditions and mismanagement by the current owner) but this course is a survivor–54 years strong! With a firm community commitment to its future and a new and engaged owner, Fallbrook Golf course will see its 55th birthday and many, many more after that!
Let’s do everything in our power to free the Fallbrook Golf Course from its current owner and save it from anyone else who wants to destroy it via a land use change.
Let’s find that new, engaged owner — an experienced, Fallbrook-friendly golf operator. We will all support that owner fully!
Larry Mitzner (Northcliff Drive)
My name is Larry Mitzner and I live on Northcliff Drive in Fallbrook.
I am a member of the Fallbrook Senior Golf group and the Men’s Club at Fallbrook Golf Course. Up until recently, we played at Fallbrook Golf Course 2 to 3 days a week. My wife is a member of the Fallbrook Niners who play the course weekly.
I have been coming to the Fallbrook area and playing golf since 1972. We would regularly join groups of our friends and stay at local hotels and play the Fallbrook, San Luis Rey Downs and Pala Mesa golf courses.
In 1992 we moved here to enjoy the beautiful area and the golf courses we love. After 33 years as a Los Angeles County fireman, I retired and, we moved to a house in a neighborhood next to the Fallbrook Golf Course where I could enjoy my #1 passion: Golf.
Fallbrook Golf Course provides great defensible space for the home owners who live on the golf course but, with the potential sale of the golf course to a mitigation land bank, my greatest fear is that Fallbrook Golf Course will turn into a weed field which will leave all the houses in the area in grave fire danger.
If Fallbrook Golf Course becomes another San Luis Rey Downs, our homes will be in great jeopardy when the next firestorm comes to Fallbrook. That is not IF but WHEN the next fires come to the area!
Keeping an irrigated and manicured space, the golf course, will help reduce potential loss of homes when the next fires come.
I strongly urge the planning group consider what beautiful Gird Valley will look like if it is allowed to become another San Luis Rey Downs disaster.
Fallbrook needs the golf course and parks for the community to enjoy forever.
After all, recreation land, golf courses included, are considered a vital part of your very own Fallbrook Community Planning Group’s Fallbrook Community Plan, as incorporated into San Diego County’s General Plan!
- Worked in Fallbrook/Bonsall since – 2008
- Lived in Temecula from 2001 until we recently moved to Fallbrook
We chose Fallbrook for our Home and particularly Gird Valley because of its…
- Local Charm
- Sense of Community
- Beautiful Scenery
- Country in the City
We moved into our beautiful home only 3 months ago. Overlooking golf course, beautiful views, tranquility.
Hoping to enjoy amenities…golf, local restaurant, afterwork drinks
Then only two weeks ago became aware of golf course is in jeopardy, with overall reports of neglect over the last couple of years including…
- Reduction of overall staff
- Restaurant shrinking
- Disrepair of golf greens, surrounding buildings & overall infrastructure
I believe that the Fallbrook Golf Course can once again be a thriving business in Gird Valley.
A Perfect Example – Myrtle Creek Botanical Gardens, which we’ve enjoyed their…
- Restored Plantation House
- Wonderful Valentines Day Dinner
- Friendly Staff – Always asking for feedback – “Tell us how it went?”
- Beautiful Grounds
A joy to be there
I have experienced this at MANY local business like Joes Hardware, Scrappy’s Tires, European Auto, Grand Tradition.
The People of Fallbrook – they TRULY care about their neighbors and have a great love of community, and tradition
FALLBROOK GOLF COURSE
Their Current Advertisement:
“Since 1962, Fallbrook Golf Course has been a family-friendly green destination for North San Diego County golfers and beyond, with strategically placed native live oak, sycamore and eucalyptus trees providing arresting foliage, against a backdrop of lush rolling green on the regulation-length course. Pristinely manicured with sand and water features on many holes, it’s an impeccable place to spend an afternoon or early evening.”
The current owner, Jack Lamberson, is anxious to sell off the business as his recent letters to the neighborhood have clearly stated. Unfortunately, he first intends to divide the course in half. Selling the back 9 holes to a mitigation bank, which would make it impossible for the 18 hole Fallbrook Golf Course to ever regain its former glory.
I ask that the current designation of this property, allowing it to be operated as an 18 hole, regulation-length golf course, be kept firmly in place. This would require that the back half of the course, which is currently in the process of an attempted mitigation bank sale, be allowed to remain intact.
Bill Geffeney (3598 Oak Cliff Drive)
My name is Bill Geffeney. I live at 3598 Oak Cliff Drive. A new resident to Fallbrook, I bought my house in December of 2013. It is located on the remains of the sixth hole of the Fallbrook Golf Course. Professionally, I am an Enrolled Agent and a licensed real estate broker.
Personally, I cannot fault the owner for trying to maximize his investment in the golf course. He alleges that he has made a substantial investment in the property. Unfortunately, He just has not been very successful financially and he wants out. I do not blame him for that.
My beef is not with the seller. I heartily support property rights. I think we all do. We should not dictate what someone can or cannot do with their property. As long as their actions or lack thereof do not threaten the property rights or lives of others let them use the property as they choose as long as it conforms to accepted local land use regulations and zoning restrictions.
My beef is with a system of federal property incentives so perverse that an owner can run his property straight into the ground, through mismanagement, incompetence or indifference and can still look forward to being approached by a “mitigation land” broker offering him a financial incentive that exceeds the fair market value of the property per its highest and best use.
The reality of “mitigation” is that the federal government inspires with its lavish payments for mitigation credits a scheme that encourages owners of recreational land to abuse and degrade their properties by doing nothing to care for them and then when the time is right allows through mitigation a de facto conversion the property to another use.
In a sense this policy encourages the recipient not to compete in the marketplace. Quite the opposite, it encourages the landowner to “game” the system. Is this the intent of this unlegislated land use scheme? If so, isn’t it time that we demand changes in its administration from federal authorities? Likewise, local authorities must be aware of the potential abuses inherent in this system.
You, the Fallbrook Community Planning Group are elected to represent us in making decisions regarding the preservation and development of local lands. You are charged with coordinating with federal agencies, making sure that local land use plans are not ignored.
One of the obvious shortcomings of the “mitigation” process is that it does not discriminate between lands that are being utilized, (developed recreational land, for instance), and those that are not developed. Appropriate vacant lands could easily be substituted for land that has a current and accepted community use. In this case the Fallbrook Golf Course has long been zoned for recreational usage. It also extends an historical and emotional tie to the beautiful Gird Valley and its inhabitants.
Should a permit for a land use change on this property be brought before you, I urge you to preserve this treasured gem for all us.