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.”


  1. Check out the UT article at

    Recent California law (in effect next year) allows developers who earmark at least 11 percent of any residential project for very low-income homes to increase the density of the project by 35 percent.

    Without allowing the zoning change to residential, it appears there can be no increase in the density (i.e. 35% increase of zero residential) based on the new CA law. However IF the zoning IS changed, Poway may be in the same predicament as Escondido regarding higher housing density due to the new state law. No Zoning change may be the only protection from potentially even higher density.


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