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Portion Of Poway Golf Course May Be Developed As Housing

Portion Of Poway Golf Course May Be Developed As Housing

Poway's StoneRidge Country Club owner Michael Schlesinger has offered to give the City of Poway with a nine-hole golf course and possibly other club amenities in exchange for allowing him to develop the other half of the 18-hole golf course property. He is polling city residents to measure their support for this idea before proceeding. Residents who own expensive houses along the fairways are concerned he’ll close down the golf course, which has operated since 1962. A city zoning law, however, prohibits developing the property unless a majority of voters approve the plan, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Schlesinger learned from previous experience the value of securing citizen approval before moving ahead with a development plan. He acquired the struggling Escondido Country Club four years ago and closed its golf course to build new homes on the site, but a nasty fight ensued that involved opposing ballot measures and lawsuits.

Schlesinger purchased the country club in 2013 when it was in foreclosure, but has been trying to sell it for more than a year without success. He recently notified the city in an email: “The current StoneRidge ownership is committed to retaining a golf course on the site. Unfortunately, the reality is that this membership-based course and its clubhouse amenities are no longer viable operations, as currently structured.”

The city commissioned a study last year to determine if it made sense to purchase the property for a municipal golf course. The study found golf courses throughout North County are struggling both due to saturation and dwindling demand by golfers. Over the last few years, courses in Bonsall, Fallbrook, Escondido and Rancho Peñasquitos have closed. [SDUT