The owners of the two Brentwood, Calif. properties would merge two courses into one 18-hole layout and develop senior living facilities where golf holes and a clubhouse currently exist. Residents acknowledge that support has not been evident for two courses, with Shadow Lakes closing earlier this summer. But exploration of other uses for the holes that would be closed are being encouraged, including vineyards, playgrounds or walking trails.
The owners of the Shadow Lakes and Deer Ridge golf clubs in Brentwood, Calif. are considering the consolidation of the two golf courses and the development of two senior living facilities where holes and a clubhouse currently exist, the East Bay Times of Walnut Creek, Calif. reported.
One of the proposed senior living facilities would be located where the Deer Ridge clubhouse and parking lot sit today, the East Bay Times reported, and the other would be in Shadow Lakes at the current location of the course’s 10 and 18 holes.
The Shadow Lakes golf course has been closed since earlier this year, and some residents claim that the fairways are not being properly maintained, the East Bay Times reported. C&RB reported at the end of 2015 on how a drought and other conditions led to a reduction of play that eventually led to Shadow Lakes’ closing (http://clubandresortbusiness.com/2015/12/drought-low-demand-force-temporary-halt-of-daily-play-at-shadow-lakes-gc/).
“The plan is to consolidate the existing two courses into one course. This means the closing of eight holes at Shadow Lakes and 10 holes at Deer Ridge,” spokesman Taylor Canfield of Davies Consulting, which represents property owner SunCoast Properties, told the East Bay Times. “We have had 11 years of losses, and we are looking at golf trends nationally and locally, which support our findings that two golf courses just are not sustainable.”
With concerns about high-density housing, lowered property values and quality-of-life changes, a few hundred residents of West Brentwood, including Shadow Lakes and Deer Ridge homeowners, have been signing a petition, the East Bay Times reported, because they fear that SunCoast is not acting in their best interests.
“People are not quite sure of their motives,” said area resident Rod Flohr. “People just don’t want these senior centers. They want to find another solution. Half of the fairways will close under their plan.”
SunCoast held a total of 12 meetings this spring with more than 350 area residents, according to Canfield. Under SunCoast’s plan, the East Bay Times reported, the two golf courses would be merged with a bridge constructed to connect the properties, and assessments from the proposed senior living communities would fund the maintenance and operation of the consolidated course.
“Input from the residents is one of the most important things to us in this process,” said Canfield. “We feel that being open and transparent about the situation we are in, as well as possible future plans, will get everyone involved in the process.”
Shadow Lakes resident Mark Anderson told the East Bay Times that the current plan is fair, as SunCoast has incurred about $10 million in debt from the courses because Brentwood is not a golf destination. The economics of golf have changed nationwide, Anderson added.
“If they don’t get something happening, they will close Deer Ridge next,” Anderson said. “Having a course is better than having no course.”
Currently, about 115 to 120 golfers use Deer Ridge’s course daily, Canfield told the East Bay Times.
Before plans can move forward, SunCoast must obtain approval from the city and have environmental reports completed, which Canfield said could happen as soon as early 2018 with resident support.
“We’ve looked at many different options over the years, and we believe this is the best option for Shadow Lakes and Deer Ridge residents, as well as ownership,” Canfield said. “We consider other options, like closing just one of the courses or completely closing both, a ‘lose-lose,’ and liquidating to a developer who wants to come in and develop the whole area would certainly be a loss for everyone.”
Other options that residents are more supportive of, the East Bay Times reported, include vineyards, playgrounds or walking trails on the fairways. The issue has been heavily debated on social media, and there are fears that the senior living centers could someday be converted to regular, high-density housing units.
“I think people need to take a wait-and-see attitude on this. It is very emotional for many people,” Deer Ridge resident Bill Murphy told the East Bay Times. “You can’t force them to run the golf course if they can’t afford it.”
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