Otay Water District to Evaluate Next Steps Regarding Former Golf Course Property
On May 2, 2018 the Board reviewed the next steps in evaluating options for the former Salt Creek Golf Course property, which is owned by the District. The Board will evaluate all options for the property using a transparent and fair approach to determine the best long-term use of the property for the District and its ratepayers.
The Board is required to explore different options for the property because Highlands Link Golf Group LLC and its predecessors failed to maintain financially viable golf operations on the property.
One such option is for the District to determine an interim use, which may include seeking proposals from experienced golf course operators to lease the property and maintain it as a golf course. If the District seeks such proposals, the law requires it to follow specific procedures that would take up to nine-months to complete.
Another option the District could consider is to dispose of the property, pursuant to the Surplus Land Act, Government Code §§ 54220 et. seq. (the “Surplus Land Act”) that would result in a lengthy public process. If the District determines that it no longer needs the property, following an inventory of all the land it owns, then the District must follow procedures mandated by the Surplus Land Act that will likely take many months.
“By exploring all of our options and evaluating what is in the best interest of the District, we will continue to provide exceptional water, recycled water, and sewer service, and minimize costs to our ratepayers,” says Board President Tim Smith.
In April 2018, the Board voted unanimously to protect its ratepayers from the immediate costs of maintaining the former Salt Creek Golf Course. The Board made this decision after reviewing the findings of an agronomy study, which was commissioned by the District. The study determined that the costs of continuing to irrigate and maintain the 239-acre former golf course are greater to the ratepayers than the long-range costs of not irrigating or maintaining the former golf course and repairing the turf at a later date, if it is needed.