Thursday, September 28, 2017

Insights from other Golf Courses acquired by Mr. Schlesinger

Escondido Country Club

Here’s the opening paragraph of the of ballot argument against Proposition H:

It will cram a 430-unit subdivision down the throats of local residents by overriding the General Plan approved by Escondido voters. A Beverly Hills developer, using money and his well-oiled political machine, created the proposition so he can ignore history and bypass local planning standards and state environmental laws.

“Michael Schlesinger along with New Urban West continue to let the property go downhill and then they have the audacity to say they will be the white knight and make the place beautiful again and we only have to allow them to build 392 homes,” said ECCHO President Mike Slater during a community meeting this week. “Chicken manure, I say.”

Rancho Mirage Country Club

  •       The owners do not care about zoning
  •        In approximately one year the [HOA] legal bill is already up to $400,000

A group of Rancho Mirage, California homeowners filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court against real estate developers, Ronald Richards, alleging that the defendants bullied elderly homeowners and depressed their property values in order to make them relinquish their rights to the neighboring golf course.

The complaint, filed by the Los Angeles branch of nationwide class-action firm, Hagens Berman, details the aggressively bad faith, retaliation tactics taken by Richards in multiple communities, including dumping five tons of raw manure next to the homes of residents who resisted their development project in Escondido, California.

It alleges that Richards routinely purchases golf courses inside residential communities and then destroy the courses in order to drive down surrounding property values.

San Ramon Golf Course

One Council member very recently spoke with city staff and land use experts who say the same thing; appeasement is never enough. You could agree to develop units and keep the course open but in two years the course can be closed again for being “financially unviable”. Eventually they kill the golf course completely.

"It is time to stand up to developers who lack ethics or disrespect our community values."

Silverstone Golf Course

In December [2015], U.S. District Judge Richard Boulware held Desert Lifestyles LLC in contempt of court for failing to turn over all communication related to its recent sale of the property.  He gave the company two days to comply with his order of face daily $10,000 fines. 

In late 2015, Desert Lifestyles sold the course to Stoneridge Parkway LLC.  That LLC declared bankruptcy two days later and stopped maintaining the course.  Then in March 2017:

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Bruce Beesley said in a hearing last week he intends to dismiss the Stoneridge Parkway LLC bankruptcy case, according to a court transcript.

The California-based limited liability company bought the northwest Las Vegas golf course in late 2015. An agreement stipulates the land must continue to be an operational golf course.

Quote by Schlesinger partner Ronald Richards:

“We are not in the golf course operations business. We have no set agenda and are open to numerous avenues of use, other than requiring us to subsidize someone else’s golf game or operate an asset that has no economically viable use to anyone except a privileged few.”

Sunday, September 24, 2017

"No on A" yard signs appearing around Poway.  The opposition is gaining momentum!  Please email us at if you live in Poway and would also like a sign for your yard - particularly if you are on a busy street...

Friday, September 22, 2017

Vote NO! on A

Facts About Measure A
  • Stoneridge country club is currently zoned as open space recreational. Therefore, it is already “permanent” and “protected” open space.
  • Measure A eliminates the open space protections that exist for the southern half of Stoneridge. In particular, Measure A changes the zoning to allow 180 condominiums to be built on 25 acres of Stoneridge.  
  • Measure A provides no additional protections in exchange for the highly valuable zoning change.  Nor does Measure A grant any land back to the City of Poway of the Poway or the neighborhood.
  • Any claim that Measure A will “protect” Stoneridge as open space is false.  Such a claim is based on a private agreement between the owner of Stoneridge and Poway Open Space, LLC.  The agreement proposes that a deed restriction be submitted for the remaining portion of the Stoneridge after all the development is complete.
  • The City of Poway will not be able to enforce the deed restrictions that apply to Stoneridge.
  • Poway homeowners will not be able to enforce the deed restrictions that apply to Stoneridge.
  • The future viability and ownership of Poway Open Space, LLC is unknown and uncertain. The organization consists of a number of individual board members who can change over time. It is possible the corporation will not even exist in 5-10 years. This agreement gives no certainty to Poway or Poway homeowners.
  • The claimed “protections” from Measure A are therefore illusory.  The protections are just a “gimmick” to get people to vote for a zoning change that will cause more crowding and congestion and that will change the character of our city.
  • Measure A will also make tens of millions of dollars for the Beverly Hills developer that currently owns Stoneridge, all for nothing in return.
  • Poway voters have already rejected less radical zoning changes.  For example, Poway recently rejected a zoning change to allow a 200-room hotel to be constructed on Maderas Golf Course.  A 200-room hotel is much less disruptive than 180 condominiums.
  • The public will not be provided with a copy of any deed restrictions prior to the vote, so it is impossible to vote knowledgably on Measure A.
  • So, urges you to Vote NO on measure A.  Please reject this unreasonable zoning change that will transform the special character of our “city in the country.”  Don’t be fooled by false claims of open space protection. Measure A does not protect open space -- it destroys it.

So that voters have all the information they need to make an informed vote, below is the final, signed copy of the side agreement between Mr. Schlesinger and Poway Open Space.   

Saturday, September 16, 2017

No On Poway Measure A has obtained the detailed drawing of the proposed location of the new condominiums at StoneRidge.  Some of these new homes will be built directly behind existing homes on St. Andrews and Cloudcroft.  The impacted homeowners have not been contacted by Mr. Schlesinger or his representatives to discuss any sort of compensation for the loss of view and privacy.

This drawing confirms that the proposed development will include a new entrance road to StoneRidge, at the current traffic signal at Martincoit.

Please contact us at if you are in Poway or live nearby and are willing to put up a "No on Measure A" sign (especially if you have a high visibility property on a well-travelled street!).  Thanks for your assistance!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Links to factual and background information regarding the proposed Stoneridge re-development

Please be sure to fully understand what your "yes" or "no" vote means in November.  Mr. Schlesinger has never been "homeowner friendly," he's a business person and it's all about his profits.  If he gets a favorable vote from Poway, he has the deep pockets to create legal gridlock and bring pressure to the city to ultimately re-craft the project into something larger and more profitable.  See two very well researched posts below, originally posted on by Phil Maoirca.  Links to the original posts (more readable if you have access) are at the bottom...

Some important issues to Consider for MEASURE A: STONERIDGE DEVELOPMENT

SUBJECTING MORE RC ZONING THAN 25 ACRES AND EFFECTS OF SUCH ACTION There are a misconceptions as to the amount of Development Acreage within the Prop FF for Stoneridge. The measure claims that only 25 acres would be used for Development but REZONES much more Acreage into RC from OS-R. The “guarantee” of the remaining acreage, outside of the 25 acre development, is said to be protected through a Conservation Easement. A Conservation Easement is a PRIVATE Agreement, in this case between the Owner and OPENSPACE LLC. A Conservation Easement is an agreement that a Portion of Private Land be use for Environmental Protection, the Owner entrusts this Land to the Land Trust, in this case OPENSPACE LLC. IT IS THE ENFORCEMENT, OVER TIME, OF THIS EASEMENT, WHICH PRODUCES AN EXTREME DANGER. OPENSPACE LLC will be TOTALLY responsible for insuring the remaining RC Zoned Land be maintained as a Golf Course as per the PRIVATE agreement. This places OPENSPACE LLC in the Position of actually forcing the Owner to Operate the Course, which is highly unlikely that the Owner would agree, or OPENSPACE LLC to take over operation. HOWEVER, to OPENSPACE LLC’s own admission, the Golf Course is Financially unfeasible; which is the motivation for the Proposition in the first place: these are CONTRADICTORY STATEMENTS and should raise an abundance of caution on other issues. It gets worse. It is important to realize that an Open Space by Conservation Easement is a Private agreement which could be challenged at any time, as this Conservation Easement, which is said to protect the Open Space is a Private Civil matter which is highly vulnerable to litigation. The could easily place the remaining RC Zoned land for use for Development if litigation was favorable to the Owner. The Owners penchant for litigation is well documented. An OS-R Zoned Open Space is a Public/Government guarantee which is subject to Prop FF and, thus, places the protection of Open Space IN THE HAND OF THE PEOPLE AND GOVERNMENT, NOT PRIVATE PARTIES. When the land outside of the 25 acres is changed to RC, what do you think the Owner is going to do? Just look at his past actions. In short, this Proposition exposes 80% of the Course to future Development. To better understand a Conservation Easement, I encourage all people concerned with this Proposition to simply look up CONSERVATION EASEMENT or CONSERVATION COVENANT on the Internet; there are many Legal Resources to define these agreements in detail. At least understand for what you are Voting and what protections would be in place for Open Space.


Since one of the Main Factors concerning Measure A [Prop FF name for rezoning Stoneridge] is the condition of the Course, if closed, I have, for the past 9 months, collected factual data, analyzed the data , documented and synthesized into a Summary Document of Information. These Facts will allow Voters to make realizations as to what the Course could become if “shut down”. The exaggerations, presented so far, are quite “non-factual”. I hope that this actual data and information will help people realize the truth for themselves. CLOSING THE COURSE EXAGGERATIONS: The misinformation concerning the Closing of the Course is meaningless and misleading. The Pictures and Dialogue being Posted of Escondido is a needless use of “Fear Mongering”. Real Facts are important. The responsibility of the Owner for a Closed Course is dictated by State Laws, Cal Fire Laws and Local Laws which were updated several times due to the Witch Creek/Cedar Fires, which severely impacted the Stoneridge Area. [20+ Home lost] If the owner closed the course, he will own and be essentially responsible for a OS-R Private 117 Acre “Backyard”, just like any of the larger Acre Lots in Poway. In addition, due to his “Backyard” being Zoned OS-R in the middle of Fire Country, the Laws are more stringent than has been represented. THE SITUATION IN ESCONDIDO IS SIMPLY NOT RELATED TO POWAY AS ESCONDIDO WAS ZONE RESDENTIAL WHEN THE OWNER PURCHASED THE LAND. THE LAND COULD HAVE BEEN PURCHASED AND DEVELOPED ANY TIME IN THE LAST 50 YEARS DUE TO THE RESIDENTIAL ZONING. STONERIDGE IS ENTIRELY DIFFERENT: STONERIDGE IS ZONED OS-R AND IS UNDER THE CONTROL OF PROP. FF, WHICH HAS CITIZEN POWER THAT ESCONDIDO IS NOT ABLE TO EMPLOY AGAINST THE OWNER. Read all of the Laws, as I have researched, to understand the Owner’s responsibilities [ No “chicken manure” or “Extreme Browning out” would be allowed by these Laws; return to natural habitat without fire hazards is the worst case]. (References are included at the end of this post) Consider, as well, that the Owner would lose Revenue from the Membership, Property Tax, as well as Maintenance. [Approximately $2 MILLION PER YEAR . (This is verifiable with some very easy Math) If Prop FF fails, the Owner CANNOT attempt any New Development Proposition for a minimum of two years, as Initiatives must wait at least one Election Cycle before being reintroduce [California Law on Direct Democracy Initiatives, like Prop FF]. Thus, “arm twisting into submission” after a short time, cannot be used by the owners, Tactics to “bully” and “place fear” into people are not necessary if the facts are considered. Let us look at this portion of the issue with clarity, not illogical supposition and false equivalencies. References for your review [Take note of the Dates of these Documents. These Law were updated after the Witch Creek and Cedar Fires, in which this area was severely affected, as mentioned above]: 1. Read: Section 15.24.110 2. City of Poway>Our Community> “Unkept Yards” Read Sections: 8.76.030 and 8.76.035 3. Use your Browser and type: Defensible Space Guidelines - Board of Forestry Read pdf: This Document deals with maintenance of Trees, Bushes, Brush, Grass, Chaparral Vegetation Types, which the Course presently contains.