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Poway neighbors say defunct golf course turning in a 'zoo'

Posted at 5:31 PM, Aug 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-06 21:25:56-04

POWAY, Calif. (KGTV) - Poway homeowners say what once was a pristine golf course has now become an overgrown zoo.

StoneRidge Country Club closed after voters defeated a previous development plan in 2017.

Since the closure neighbors who live along the forlorn course say, little has been done to clear out brush and preserve the once lush golf course.

"Absolutely nothing has been done on the course to maintain any sense of beauty. It's been a hazard with the bees, the snakes, the scorpions, gopher holes, you name it," said Rosalind Duddy, who's lived along the golf course since 1991.

A crusader for her community, Duddy now goes on the course several times a month with a week whacker, clearing out dry brush.

"Considering that we were here in '07 fires, and ultimately had to evacuate, 20-some homes were burned to the ground, brings back really, really incredible memories, and certainly I wouldn't want to have to have that experience again," said Duddy.

The property is currently owned by Michael Schlesinger, who city officials say has completed the weed clearing around the perimeter of the property, consistent with the requirements for fire fuel management. This includes the clearing of weeds within 100 feet of structures. However, he has not yet completed the clearing around the clubhouse building.

City officials say the weed abatement (wildfire defensible space) requirements are 100 feet from structures and 10 feet from roadways that are in the high fire hazard areas. Only the northeastern portion of the Stoneridge property is in the high fire hazard area. There are a few additional sections the city is planning to ask Schlesinger to clear 10 feet along.

The city also adds that complaints about the property's appearance fronting Espola Road are based on aesthetics and since this is not in the high fire hazard area they have not asked for this to be cleared.

Poway developer Kevin McNamara hopes neighbors will support his plan for the defunct golf course.

McNamara calls his development "The Farms at Stoneridge." It has an agricultural theme, including hiking trails, parks, community gardens, and a butterfly farm. It would also bring 160 homes to the area.

Voters will get a chance to vote on the plan in 2020.

A community workshop will be held in September and McNamara urges people with questions or suggestions to email him at