Houses are set to replace the Carmel Mountain Ranch golf course after the course closed a year ago. But, residents say they don’t want more homes.
The Carmel Mountain Ranch golf course dried out after the owner of the property decided to close it. The city of San Diego’s Planning Commission gave a 5 to 1 vote to a development company called New Urban West Inc. to start the planning phases for the housing project.
“The planning commission made the decision to allow the developer, New Urban West Inc., to continue to study the viability of housing in our golf course property,” said Troy Daum, founder of Carmel Mountain Ranch United.“It’s the first step in a rather long process.”
Carmel Mountain Ranch United is a group that started to help decide the future of the golf course, even though it’s private property and not affiliated with the homeowners association.
“I don't think anybody thought we'd be where we're at now. It's a masterplan community. And the open space of the golf course is an integral part of the plan," Daum said.
Residents living along the course say they moved to the community with an understanding that the land was protected under a zoning ordinance.
“We were hoping we’d be able to preserve the AR-1-1 zoning which would not allow building on the golf course. That zoning allows for one home every 10 acres. This is a step they’re trying to take to change that to residential development,” said Daum. “We paid a premium of 30,000 dollars to be on the golf course and have an open space and now the possibility remains that we lose that investment and now have neighbors looking in our backyard.”
Daum is proposing a different location for the project.
"We have an example of a couple of properties that are right next to the movie theatre that has been vacant for five years. Smart growth should entail developing shopping malls," Daum said.
A specific drafted map of the project has not been proposed yet.
New Urban West Inc. sent NBC 7 the following statement:
“This is the first step in what will be a very lengthy community-focused effort. Our goal is to create a balanced plan that reflects the character of Carmel Mountain Ranch, preserves much of the course as open space and includes housing options for San Diego’s families, all conveniently located near major employment centers and transit.”