A section of Mission Viejo Country Club may soon be sold

After its grand opening 40 years ago professional golfers labeled the private Mission Viejo Country Club course “Mission Impossible.” I am told that this prestigious 18 hole, 6,814 yard championship course, designed by Robert Trent, Sr., is not for beginners.

Unnamed sources have informed my that the club members have received Ballots for the possible sale of seven acres of this private championship course for future development of housing. That development would be impact their lower parking lot, cart barn and an irrigation lake that would need to be relocated. The 500 members will cast their votes by Nov 3rd to see if the majority support this $19.6 million dollar transaction. If this sale is approved they have been told that construction would not commence until sometime after 2010. Members have been advised that the developer may construct up to 31 residences which could include affordable units.

Without seeing tentative sketches it is still up in the air as to whether or not this sale would necessitate relocation of the clubhouse. There has been discussion of renovating the clubhouse which hosts the annual Mission Viejo Mayor’s prayer breakfast. Based on the area in question they will probably lose their current exit road.

This pending vote is rather timely in that another of our city golf courses, Casta del Sol, is up for sale. The Casta course is open to the public and is surrounded by one of our gated retirement communities. Sunrise Senior Living, the potential buyers, have proposed constructing homes on 10 of the 74 acres of this 33 year old golf course and gifting the remainder to the city for use as a park. They recently held a public information meeting to get community feedback. I will cover the possible obstacles to that transaction in a future post.

While we have a serious problem that man alone cannot fix, we continue to build, build, build. Hello. There may be a day when you turn on the tap and no water comes out. While we can live with gridlock on our roads and suffer through brown outs or black outs, a continuous supply of water is not to be taken for granted.
Although I am no environmentalist one of the reasons we moved to Mission Viejo is all of the open space and city parks. While the golf courses are watered they are using recycled water not consumable for us today. In time I may feel that we are back in the New York area with high rises cluttering the skyline where there once was open space.

Obviously we will need to see how our city council responds to each of these possible transactions. We would need to alter the zoning of either property before any housing can be constructed.

The one positive in this story is that both property owners are not losing their land due to any eminent domain taking. We allowed that power to cease two years ago.

About Larry Gilbert