Carmel Mountain Ranch residents raise concerns over golf course closure

Posted at 11:18 PM, Jul 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-12 02:30:10-04

San Diego (KGTV)— Hundreds of Carmel Mountain ranch residents are adjusting to life without the Carmel Mountain Ranch Country Club in their backyards. Many came to the Carmel Mountain Ranch Planning Board meeting to address their concerns. 

RELATED: Carmel Mountain Golf Course to close in July 

The Board was not expecting the turn out they got on Wednesday night. 
“There has been a lack of interest over the years in the planning board, that the city deactivated us earlier this year,” Carmel Mountain Ranch Planning Board Chairman, Eric Edelman said. 

Currently, the Planning Board only has five members. They need 15 members to be considered to be reactivated by the city. Today’s meeting was to recruit as many volunteers to be appointed onto the Board. 

If a developer submits a re-zoning or building proposal to the city now, it will go straight to the San Diego Planning Commission and City Council members. But if the Carmel Mountain Ranch Planning Board is reinstated, it will become the first to consider plans. 

Residents who live along the now closed golf course, spilled over the maximum capacity of the Carmel County Recreation Center Wednesday night. They were desperate to know the fate of the golf course that shut down July 8th.

Many of their concerns revolved around over-population. They were worried about high-density residential units being jammed into the skinny fairway. They also said they do not want their local golf course to turn into the Carmel Highland Golf Course, just on the other side of I-15. After it closed in 2015, it became a deserted brushland and a possible fire danger. 

“I think the city has an interest to make sure that danger is lessened, if not totally taken away,” one man said.

The problem is the city of San Diego does not have control over private land.

“There is no mandate the city can do, to mandate that they water the grass or something like that because it’s not city-owned land,” Michael Meram, Representative of San Diego Councilman Mark Kersey, said.

Businessman, Kevin Hwang owns the golf course. He told 10News, he had to shut down due to financial issues. It can cost up to $1 million a year, just to water the course. He said the Clubhouse will remain open for weddings and other events. 

“The owner is a decent person. I know him. I don’t think he’s doing anything wrong, per say. But potentially, profiting at the expense of all these good people,” Edelman said. 

Edelman said they were able to gather enough volunteers at the meeting to move forward with the reactivation process. Once that is done, they hope to add input to future development decisions.