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Potential golf course acquisition would provide critical connection to City’s core and preserve 108 acres of open space

casta del sol golf course

If the Mission Viejo City Council votes to acquire the Casta Del Sol public golf course on October 8, more than 100 acres of open space will be preserved and the heart of the City will be connected, essentially providing the community with convenient access and a one-of-a-kind walking and biking amenity (see a map of the connectivity here).

The golf course property and open space behind it (totaling 108 acres) would provide a critical link to the Oso Creek Trail and well beyond. Residents would reap the benefits of the connection from as far south as Marguerite Parkway/Estanciero to the Civic Core (Mission Viejo Library, City Hall); Norman P. Murray Community Center, Potocki Center for the Arts, soccer fields, Marguerite Aquatics Center, YMCA, Tennis Pavilion, Casta Del Sol golf course and eventually Lake Mission Viejo. With such an extensive internal trail, people could walk or bicycle to their preferred destination without ever having to hop behind the wheel of a car.

Designed in 1970, the Casta Del Sol course has long been a significant community-oriented property with an emphasis on benefiting residents and guests as well as the entire Mission Viejo community.

Along with reducing carbon emissions from vehicle trips, the connection to the City’s trail system, open space and vast facilities would encourage a more active, healthy community through walking, biking and recreational activities that would complement the City’s longtime designation as a Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) city.

The Council’s October 8 meeting starts at 6:00 pm in the Council Chamber at 200 Civic Center Drive.

Comments

Submitted by Elizabeth Kramer on Thu, 10/03/2019 - 8:35 pm

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i am very much in favor of this acquisition. One question. could you walk around the Gold Course or THRU IT ?

Submitted by Sarah Van Tilborg on Thu, 10/03/2019 - 10:19 pm

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Please preserve this open space! It’s why I moved here 15 years ago from LA. OC is only going to get more congested. We need to preserve the beauty of this area. It’s good for our souls, our community, our real estate values, and keeps this area special from all the other areas that our becoming condos and concrete.

Submitted by City Staff on Fri, 10/04/2019 - 9:19 am

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In answer to Ms. Kramer's question, the plan is to extend the Oso Creek Trail under Casta Del Sol Road and along the western edge of the golf course. It would be a protected trail that goes up to Alicia Parkway and connects the trail to the Oso Creek Lake Loop Trail around Lake Mission Viejo.

Submitted by Trudy Burrus on Fri, 10/04/2019 - 9:28 am

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KEEP IT AS A PUBLIC GOLF COURSE! As a golf course, that property uniquely serves specific groups within the City demographics: all seniors, women, teens. Mission Viejo clearly prides itself as a sports & fitness oriented city, and it has dedicated considerable space to fitness and team activities. Leaving this as a public course, would serve the golfing seniors, women and the teen population with an activity that fosters unorchestrated generational interaction; an opportunity to participate in an individual or small-group sport; and, within a single personal activity, models and encourages some highly desirable social and cultural characteristics shared by those who enjoy the game.

Submitted by Joyce Parlin on Fri, 10/04/2019 - 9:40 am

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Please preserve this beautiful open space. This acquisition would be a win/win for Mission Viejo, its residents and all who visit our city for recreational activities. I cannot think of one negative aspect.

Submitted by Kraig Erickson on Fri, 10/04/2019 - 10:04 am

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Impact to City projects and reserves? While I am for preserving the area as open space and connectivity of the Oso Trail, at what cost does it come and impact to other planned City projects?
Spending the $15+ million will dip heavily into City reserves which Council has been against in the past to complete needed existing facility upgrades. The Community Services Commission has prioritized a list of recommended projects that need funding as well. Please make this spending does not impact the timing of these other crucial projects that staff and residences have worked so hard to get prioritized. See Item #10 from Council mtg on 4/9/2019. https://dms.cityofmissionviejo.org/OnBaseAgendaOnline/Documents/ViewDoc…
Dipping into City reserves may ultimately delay these other projects indefinitely.

Submitted by Rita Tayenaka on Fri, 10/04/2019 - 10:13 am

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I like the idea of connecting the trails- but worry when I see outside consultants saying a possible loss of $300k a year yet city numbers show a possible profit of $100k not sure how the spread can be so large.

Submitted by Anna Hogan on Fri, 10/04/2019 - 10:29 am

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I really like the idea. I think golf courses are great but they are not super sustainable with all the watering. I also think the City should refrain from having RJM Design Group work on this possible project. They have too much of a monopoly on the parks, medians, tennis centers, aquatic centers, etc. It would be nice to have a fresher perspective.

Submitted by Teri Licudine on Fri, 10/04/2019 - 10:41 am

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I would want it to remain a public golf course that will allow our children, seniors and young adults a place to have recreation and social activities that is healthy and beautiful.

Submitted by Colleen on Fri, 10/04/2019 - 11:53 am

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I think it’s a great idea to incorporate a park and safer walking/ biking trails to get those off the streets. Creating safer transit options and recreational options as opposed to that a golf course doesn’t offer to a wider range of possibilities to most people, and sustainability landscaped would a great improvement.
Please do this for the benefit of residents now and well into the future.

Submitted by KN on Fri, 10/04/2019 - 1:01 pm

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There are FEW choices for low income housing in the city of Mission Viejo. If you have a Section 8 voucher there maybe two communities that will accept it. The wait list on several low income properties are indefinate and it's rare to find affordable housing. That being said, this land is a space many developers would find appropriate to build affordable housing units. If you have a bias about low income then know you are considered low income if in fact you are not earning $84k a year in Orange County which is the income needed to afford a 2/2 unit.
I vote for affordable housing for this property use.

Submitted by Susan Delozier on Fri, 10/04/2019 - 2:37 pm

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I’m conflicted in that I definitely like the idea of an open space preservation but I also think a revamped golf course would be a city asset. I definitely don’t want to see any building developments going in. From what I understand, this area is considered a potential flood zone, so I don’t believe it can be sold to developers anyway!

Submitted by Steve Deering on Fri, 10/04/2019 - 2:41 pm

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Purchasing the Casta del Sol golf course is one of the best investments the city could make. The land will remain a valuable asset for the city of Mission Viejo forever. I support this purchase 100%.

Submitted by Bill Garrett on Fri, 10/04/2019 - 3:29 pm

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I feel that maintaining the character of Mission Viejo as it was designed is far more desirable than turning the city into a high density housing project. Let's not trash our city.

Submitted by Richard Blumenthal on Sat, 10/05/2019 - 10:22 pm

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I'm very nervous this multimillion dollar purchase is being sold as a way to preserve green space but sooner or later City Council will cave in to the temptation of rezoning it for high density housing to expand the tax base. Think of what this does to traffic which is already a problem at busy times of day. Also the water district has only so much water to go around and adding hundreds or thousands of housing units means the rest of us will be faced with reduced water supplies and price hikes. The city of MV needs to find a way to assure residents that housing will NEVER occupy the green space funded by tax payers.

Submitted by Cathy Schlicht on Mon, 10/07/2019 - 10:32 am

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In his verbal reports, the City Attorney has been less than forthcoming in describing the seriousness of the decline of the golf property.

The citizens of Mission Viejo deserve to understand the issues facing the golf course and the financial commitment required.

How is the City going to maintain the golf course in good health in perpetuity?

If the golf course fails, the first losers will be the homeowners who paid a premium to live in a golf course residential neighborhood. They did not buy into a community park with trails in their backyard.

Submitted by Maury Swoveland on Tue, 10/08/2019 - 12:18 pm

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We have the opportunity to purchase open space for a very reasonable cost. Green-space is an asset that we can pass on to our children, to fill the open space with housing would take that away forever. We need to make this purchase for future generations and for our enjoyment today.

Submitted by Ingmar Forster on Tue, 10/08/2019 - 3:38 pm

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Keep the golf course a recreational area by zoning it as one. Don't buy the golf course for $13 million plus another $8 million identified as needed improvements just for the course (not including additional millions identified as needing to be spent on the facilities and grounds, per the NGF report) to keep it as open space, just control the land usage through zoning. Zoning costs the city taxpayer nothing. 2 financial analyses conducted on the golf course show it losing money for years, never repaying the cost to buy it, and never recovering additional monies put into it to renovate it. Where are the appraisals on the course? None have been provided. Taxpayers are being told to buy an asset for over $21 million, commit to funding years of losses, with no appraisals. The land sits below the earthen dam holding up Lake Mission Viejo, and is a natural drainage basin, not suitable for building housing. Mission Viejo is rushing into an ill thought out and poorly supported major purchase of a declining, and expensive, asset. Don't buy the golf course.

Submitted by Cathy Schlicht on Wed, 10/09/2019 - 1:16 pm

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I find it interesting that the City is encouraging its citizens to view the council meetings instead of reading the lengthy reports.

The Council meetings have been held in a manner to sway public opinion and not to educate.

The City's press releases do not alert its citizenry about the extreme deteriorating conditions of both the property and the infrastructure as well the needed annual $1.3 million subsidy to keep the operation afloat.

Is the City's purpose to generate support the purchase from its citizens who either don't care about the financial ramifications or is the City reaching out only to the uninformed opinions?

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