Attention: Future Fallbrook Golf Course Owner!

Mar20
El Nino greened up Fallbrook Golf Course’s back nine in March. Photo: Ken Seals.

Dear Future Fallbrook Golf Course Owner:

We know you’re out there, taking a serious look at Fallbrook Golf Course, shaking the bushes and kicking the tires! With gorgeous trees, fabulous weather, and a community that will enthusiastically welcome and support you, this course is poised for a new beginning and we wish you the best of luck.

When neighbors in Gird Valley learned in January that Fallbrook Golf Course was in serious jeopardy of being lost forever, we quickly mobilized our time, energy and resources to form SaveFallbrookGolfCourse.com. Hundreds of people joined us and numerous press reports carried our message far and wide.

Nestled in beautiful Gird Valley, this golf course has been much loved by Fallbrook residents, golfers and non-golfers alike, for over 50 years. Unfortunately, over the last two years, the course lost much of its vitality, direction and appeal and customers drifted away.

SaveFallbrookGolfCourse.com’s original purpose was to defend rural Gird Valley from proposals to convert the golf course to a housing development or to a fenced/closed area (mitigation land). Either of these options would result in the tragic loss of community recreational open space.

After much research we learned that such options are virtually impossible. We are very relieved because we believe that, under new ownership, this golf course will be revitalized.

As we are turning a corner, with several experienced golf course operators interested in a purchase and restoration of the course, we offer our group’s wholehearted support.

SaveFallbrookGolfCourse.com is now working to create a new future where the golf course, the restaurant and our neighborhood bar, are brought back to their former glory.

Additionally, we are exploring the establishment of a community non-profit. This tax-exempt/public benefit organization would support junior and senior golf activities and preservation of the historic live oaks and other magnificent trees in Gird Valley.

Working together, Fallbrook Golf Course will be, once again, a Southern California gem.

Welcome to the neighborhood!

Sincerely,

The Steering Committee
SaveFallbrookGolfCourse.com

WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY TO SAVE FALLBROOK GOLF COURSE:

Visit our website, sign up for our emails.

Send us an email and tell us what you would like to do to help save the course.

Add your online comments to articles about the course, keep the discussion going.

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Fallbrook Golf Course to Stay Open … for Now

KenSeals1
Aerial view of the back nine, Fallbrook Golf Course. Photo: Ken Seals, Feb. 8, 2016.

This past week, SaveFallbrookGolfCourse.com helped reporters generate four articles. The San Diego Union Tribune‘s Bob Pickard and the Village News‘ Tom Ferrall covered the announced March 14 closure of the course. When the owner back-tracked and cancelled the closure, San Diego Reader‘s Ken Leighton reported Jack Lamberson saying, “his longterm plans are to eventually divide the property and sell the back nine for mitigation and sell the front nine to a residential developer.”

March 14th, San Diego Union Tribune readers opened the Sports Section to golf writer Tod Leonard’s headline, “Negligent Fallbrook course owner is betraying the public’s trust.”

Says Leonard:

“I visited the 56-year-old course on Thursday after several years of not seeing it and was shocked by the dire conditions. Fallbrook was a layout I enjoyed immensely because of its bucolic setting and distinctive routing. The front nine has always been open and fun; the tight, tree-lined back nine was a bear. The pictures on the course’s own website stoke my memories of how good and green it was. They are a heartbreaking reminder now.”

Leonard’s lengthy article states, “If there is not yet a manual for how to run a good and beloved golf course into the ground, the owner of Fallbrook Golf Club is writing it – one strange, sad chapter at a time…. [T]his is less about a tough economy or difficult water conditions. It’s about an owner who was never qualified nor ever seemed interested in running a successful golf course.”

Overextended golf course owners such as Jack Lamberson, upside down on mortgages, are trying to get that monkey off their backs. Many homeowners know what it’s like to be underwater, so one can sympathize. However, neighbors are right to be concerned since mitigation land banking (such as seen at the fallowed San Luis Rey Downs Golf Course) and residential or commercial development are all on the table and worried banks are watching.

Mitigation land bankers eyeing the golf course for revenue via the Clean Water Act need it subdivided so they can buy just the Live Oak Creek section running along the back nine. Add that process to a land use change and a new owner is looking at a decade or more, possibly an impossible venture.

Housing developers visiting Gird Valley look around, view the small lots lining the course and start counting dollars. What they need to understand is that the current San Diego County General Plan, finalized after the Gird Valley houses were built, “reduces housing capacity by 15% and shifts 20% of future growth from eastern back country areas to western communities.” It does this by requiring large lots in eastern Fallbrook, 4, 8 or 16 acres depending on the slope in areas designated as semi-rural. “Potential development and residential densities will typically be reduced where land is not already subdivided,” states the County’s General Plan.

The difficulties and costs associated with pursuing a variance to the General Plan, in addition to a zoning and land use changes, make development on the course financially prohibitive.

Former Fallbrook Golf Course owner Stacey Hart learned this lesson the hard way when he purchased 40 acres in Gird Valley intending to build 23 houses, only to discover he was legally entitled to build only 11 — if he could complete the long and expensive permitting process

Mr. Hart abandoned the project.

Buyers doing their due diligence are uncovering these facts. First National Bank Denver, which carries the loan on this course, visited the Fallbrook Golf Course last week and is discovering what we now believe to be the case: it is unlikely that any housing development or mitigation land bank deal on Fallbrook Golf Course will ever close escrow.

Jack Lamberson states, “I could sell the front nine right now to a very solid developer for $3.5 million. (But) before I give it away for someone else to make money on, I would develop it myself.”

Golf reporter Tod Leonard admonished him: “Lamberson needs to come to his senses and realize this isn’t a parking lot or warehouse he owns. It’s a public entity that has provided pleasure to thousands for more than half a century. There is a legacy to be had here, and right now his is as crusty and forlorn as his fairways.”

Fallbrook Golf Course is a golf course, a much-loved golf course. There is great value in that.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY TO SAVE FALLBROOK GOLF COURSE: Visit the four articles and add your online comments. Keep the discussion going.

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Correspondence Re: Feasibility of Subdividing Parcels 1 and 2

Correspondence with Planning & Development Services, County of San Diego, re: the feasibility of subdividing Parcels 1 and 2 for sale as residential development lots or mitigation bank land; PLUS the difficulty of changing San Diego County General Plan for Major Use change.

On Mar. 8, the Save Fallbrook Golf Course Committee wrote to a groundwater geologist with Planning & Development Services. Following are our inquiry and the response.


From: joan mcconnell
Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2016 4:26 PM
To: Bennett, Jim
Subject: Legal sale of non-subdivided property?

Hi Jim,

We previously corresponded by email on February 8, 2016 regarding community concerns arising over the sale and/or subdivision of the golf course property at 2757 Gird Road in Fallbrook.

The current owner is now advertising the property (see links below) offering a partial sale described as “Option 1.” My question for you is whether a partial sale is possible based on the legal description of the property?

Also, can you tell me what the minimum building lot size is for residential development of this property in the event an investor wished to subdivide.

Thank you very much for your timely assistance in this regard.

Joan McConnell
SaveFallbrookGolfCourse.com

https://www.facebook.com/fallbrookgolfclub/photos/a.486355711394780.116511.111670128863342/1075405479156464/?type=3&theater

http://savefallbrookgolfcourse.com/wp-content/uploads/CA-SD-Document-Year.DocID-2012.381992.pdf


From: Bennett, Jim

Date: Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 8:46 AM
Subject: RE: Legal sale of non-subdivided property?
To: joan mcconnell

Good Morning Joan,

Nice talking with you this morning. I wanted to provide some additional information in regard your inquiry regarding the Fallbrook Golf Course.

For minimum lot size, the County General Plan (http://www.sandiegocounty.gov/pds/generalplan.html) and County Zoning Ordinance (http://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/pds/zoning.html) are the two main documents used to determine minimum residential lot sizes. There are other restrictions that can apply.

General Plan: For the Fallbrook Golf Course, the General Plan designation is Open Space Recreation. This designation has a required minimum lot size per residential unit of 4, 8, or 16 gross acres dependent on slope. In case your interested in seeing this information on a map, here is a link to the General Plan land use designations for Fallbrook: http://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/dam/sdc/pds/docs/GP/13-Fallbrook.pdf

Zoning: Separate from the General Plan, the Zoning Ordinance lists the site as requiring a minimum lot size per residential unit of 2 acres. With subdivision proposals, the more restrictive of the General Plan or Zoning is typically applied which in this case would be the General Plan designation.

The site is governed by a Major Use Permit from the 1970s for the golf course. To subdivide could potentially require a Major Use Permit modification, a tentative map or tentative parcel map, and possibly a General Plan amendment depending on the proposal. We would need a specific proposal to more thoroughly examine the issues in detail to determine the specific permit requirements.

Hope this helps.

Thanks,

Jim Bennett, PG #7707, CHG #854
Groundwater Geologist
County of San Diego
Planning & Development Services
5510 Overland Avenue, Third Floor, San Diego, CA 92123
Phone: 858-694-3820 Fax: 858-694-3373
PDS Website http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/pds/index.html

Presentations to FCPG, Feb 15, 2016

A BIG THANK YOU to Fallbrook for showing up in force at Fallbrook Library on Jan. 30 where we all began learning about the threats to life in Gird Valley! And thank you for attending or speaking during the Open Forum of Fallbrook Community Planning Group’s meeting on Feb. 15.

Oral presentations re: Fallbrook Golf Course were made, in order of appearance, by Teresa Platt, Dolly Harty, Sue Thorne, Bob Lindner, Larry Mitzner, Ed Erse, Judy Hughes, Brad Jordan and Bill Geffeney. Following are the prepared texts of oral presentations by Teresa Platt, Dolly Harty, Sue Thorne, Larry Mitzner, Judy Hughes and Bill Geffeney. If you would like your presentation to be included, please email it to savefallbrookgolfcourse@gmail.com.


Teresa Platt (2915 Lakemont Drive)

Good evening. My name is Teresa Platt and my home overlooks Fallbrook Golf Course’s third tee.

I share the concerns of my Gird Valley neighbors about the possible sale of any portion of the course to a developer seeking to fill the fairways with houses or to a mitigation land banker closing the area to public access.

In the 1960s, San Diego County granted Special Use Permits for this Agriculturally-zoned farmland—two parcels in all—converting it to a public Golf Course with Recreational/Open Space. By 1998, visitors and locals alike enjoyed 65,000 rounds of golf a year and we continue to love the course.

The Community holds the ultimate power over any land use so any attempt to modify the Special Use Permits on this 54-year-old course must earn our approval via Coordination with our elected representatives on the Fallbrook Community Planning Group.

North San Diego County’s growth is spiking mitigation land prices to almost $400,000 per acre. Speculators are eying and buying undeveloped and developed recreational land, golf courses, wineries and productive farmland in pursuit of this mitigation lands gold rush.

But Gird Valley residents are not willing to live for even six months with the disgraceful conditions seen at San Luis Rey Downs—never mind the decade required to navigate, at a glacial pace, a paperwork maze at multiple federal agencies, the local land permit process and the final transformation of the course into mitigation land—an often-dry marshland surrounded by a fence keeping the public out.

San Luis Rey Downs is now a weed patch and garbage dump, defaced by graffiti, bedeviled by vandalism. Lack of water has taken a toll on its wildlife. Only a program designed in DC to create wetlands could kill a golf course, along with its frogs!

The San Luis Rey Downs project managers should be held accountable for this debacle, not rewarded with another property to destroy. So we are working with our representatives in DC to shine the spotlight on the Clean Water Act and to restrict mitigation land banking to undeveloped land only.

The solution to Fallbrook Golf Course’s current woes is simple: a new and engaged owner operating under the Special Use Permits granted in the 1960s. Change is good but so is tradition.

Let us work together to avoid a future where we stand up and sadly say:

“Welcome to Fallbrook, the Friendly Village. Sorry, we have no public golf course. We had one, a good one. But we destroyed it. We once enjoyed blissful days chasing a little white ball around the cool green grass. We relaxed under magnificent oaks and towering sycamores. No more. We paved paradise and put in another housing development. Millions of dollars and a decade were squandered converting a small slice of the course to a sometimes-marshy spot along the back creek. You can see where the Fallbrook Golf Course once was—take a peek through the chain link fence behind the parking lot on the hill.”

I hope we never have to say this. Thank you and Save Fallbrook Golf Course and beautiful Gird Valley!


Dolly Harty (3502 Oak Cliff Drive)

My name is Dolly Harty, my husband Larry and I moved to Fallbrook 15 years ago. We live on the 6th fairway, a fairway that is sadly degrading.

We were lured to Fallbrook by the beauty and peacefulness of Gird Valley and the Fallbrook golf course and are shocked at the current state of the course.

Due to these concerns, we helped establish SaveFallbrookGolfCourse.com with neighbors gathered around our kitchen table on Thursday, January 21st.

I joined the Fallbrook Women Golfers 18-hole golf club the year we moved to Fallbrook and have treasured my time on the course. The members of the Fallbrook Women Golfers have supported Fallbrook Golf Course for 54 years! But recently, the current course owners announced the closure of the back nine. Now we are forced to leave this golf course we love so much because we must belong to a regulation 18-hole course in order to continue our participation in county wide tournaments.

Recently I went over to hole #14 as it is the most beautiful part of the back nine to take some pictures so I would always remember this special course. I recalled a story about the previous owner who invited pro golfer Jack Nicklaus to visit. After they toured the course, the owner asked what he would do to improve it.

Jack’s comment was, “Nothing, they don’t make golf courses like this any more.”

Jack Nicklaus was right. Fallbrook Golf Course is a Southern California gem. Gird Valley is blessed with wonderful weather and treasures like Live Oak Park, the Small dog park and Myrtle Creek Botanical Garden. Even today, after 15 years living here, the serene drive down tree-lined Gird Road always makes my heart skip a beat.

Please! I urge you to oppose any land use change for this property that comes before you. I also ask any potential buyer to recognize that Fallbrook will wholeheartedly support new management committed to improving Fallbrook Golf Course for the benefit of the community, enhancing and preserving beautiful Gird Valley forever. But we are all united in our opposition to land use changes that do not benefit Fallbrook and Gird Valley!

Thank you for listening!


Sue Thorne

Good evening. My name is Sue Thorne and I have lived in Fallbrook since 1985. My home overlooks the Fallbrook Golf Course and I have watched, in frustration, as its current owner abuses this course.

It is vitally important for Fallbrook golfers, Gird Valley homeowners and Fallbrook’s reputation, that Fallbrook Golf Course be saved in its entirety as an 18-hole public course. Do not allow the current owner (who has done far too much damage to the Golf course and Club facilities already) to sell off this course piecemeal!

The current owner’s suggestion that golfers and the general public do not appreciate the hard work of the course’s staff is wrong, wrong, wrong. Unfortunately, any improvements claimed to have been made are now far outweighed by his deliberate downgrading of services in the clubhouse and lack of golf course management know-how.

The golfers do support the course and even with the threat of closure hanging over their heads, the men’s and ladies’ groups have voted to remain loyal to Fallbrook Golf Course as long as they possibly can. However, if it was reduced to 9-holes, they would be forced to move elsewhere. The question again is Where?

Where else in North County can they find an 18-hole course that welcomes the public, and is walkable and affordable?

Fallbrook Golf Club is a well-established 18-hole public golf course in a natural valley setting–not an architecturally designed country club that mandates the use of a cart to drive through gated communities from greens to tees. My husband and I fell in love with the course (and the friendly village of Fallbrook) in the 60’s when we were living in Los Angeles. It reminded us of the layout of many a British golf links. That’s why we chose to build our house on the last remaining lot overlooking the 2nd green.

Fallbrook Golf Course is one of the very special green attractions on the Fallbrook map, neighborhood friendly and a perfect match for the Fallbrook community as it appeals to families and retirees alike. Juniors enjoy clinics on the driving range, Fallbrook high school students use the course as their practice and match venue, and retirees enjoy midweek play at affordable rates.

It may not look at its best right now (thanks to drought conditions and mismanagement by the current owner) but this course is a survivor–54 years strong! With a firm community commitment to its future and a new and engaged owner, Fallbrook Golf course will see its 55th birthday and many, many more after that!

Let’s do everything in our power to free the Fallbrook Golf Course from its current owner and save it from anyone else who wants to destroy it via a land use change.

Let’s find that new, engaged owner — an experienced, Fallbrook-friendly golf operator. We will all support that owner fully! 


Larry Mitzner (Northcliff Drive)

Good Evening.

My name is Larry Mitzner and I live on Northcliff Drive in Fallbrook.

I am a member of the Fallbrook Senior Golf group and the Men’s Club at Fallbrook Golf Course. Up until recently, we played at Fallbrook Golf Course 2 to 3 days a week. My wife is a member of the Fallbrook Niners who play the course weekly.

I have been coming to the Fallbrook area and playing golf since 1972. We would regularly join groups of our friends and stay at local hotels and play the Fallbrook, San Luis Rey Downs and Pala Mesa golf courses.

In 1992 we moved here to enjoy the beautiful area and the golf courses we love. After 33 years as a Los Angeles County fireman, I retired and, we moved to a house in a neighborhood next to the Fallbrook Golf Course where I could enjoy my #1 passion: Golf.

Fallbrook Golf Course provides great defensible space for the home owners who live on the golf course but, with the potential sale of the golf course to a mitigation land bank, my greatest fear is that Fallbrook Golf Course will turn into a weed field which will leave all the houses in the area in grave fire danger.

If Fallbrook Golf Course becomes another San Luis Rey Downs, our homes will be in great jeopardy when the next firestorm comes to Fallbrook. That is not IF but WHEN the next fires come to the area!

Keeping an irrigated and manicured space, the golf course, will help reduce potential loss of homes when the next fires come.

I strongly urge the planning group consider what beautiful Gird Valley will look like if it is allowed to become another San Luis Rey Downs disaster.

Fallbrook needs the golf course and parks for the community to enjoy forever.

After all, recreation land, golf courses included, are considered a vital part of your very own Fallbrook Community Planning Group’s Fallbrook Community Plan, as incorporated into San Diego County’s General Plan!

Thank You!


Judy Hughes

INTRODUCTION

  • Worked in Fallbrook/Bonsall since – 2008
  • Lived in Temecula from 2001 until we recently moved to Fallbrook

GIRD VALLEY

We chose Fallbrook for our Home and particularly Gird Valley because of its…

  • Local Charm
  • Sense of Community
  • Beautiful Scenery
  • Country in the City

We moved into our beautiful home only 3 months ago. Overlooking golf course, beautiful views, tranquility.

Hoping to enjoy amenities…golf, local restaurant, afterwork drinks

Then only two weeks ago became aware of golf course is in jeopardy, with overall reports of neglect over the last couple of years including…

  • Reduction of overall staff
  • Restaurant shrinking
  • Disrepair of golf greens, surrounding buildings & overall infrastructure

I believe that the Fallbrook Golf Course can once again be a thriving business in Gird Valley.

A Perfect Example – Myrtle Creek Botanical Gardens, which we’ve enjoyed their…

  • Restored Plantation House
  • Wonderful Valentines Day Dinner
  • Friendly Staff – Always asking for feedback – “Tell us how it went?”
  • Beautiful Grounds

A joy to be there

I have experienced this at MANY local business like Joes Hardware, Scrappy’s Tires, European Auto, Grand Tradition.

The People of Fallbrook – they TRULY care about their neighbors and have a great love of community, and tradition

FALLBROOK GOLF COURSE

Their Current Advertisement:

“Since 1962, Fallbrook Golf Course has been a family-friendly green destination for North San Diego County golfers and beyond, with strategically placed native live oak, sycamore and eucalyptus trees providing arresting foliage, against a backdrop of lush rolling green on the regulation-length course. Pristinely manicured with sand and water features on many holes, it’s an impeccable place to spend an afternoon or early evening.”

The current owner, Jack Lamberson, is anxious to sell off the business as his recent letters to the neighborhood have clearly stated. Unfortunately, he first intends to divide the course in half. Selling the back 9 holes to a mitigation bank, which would make it impossible for the 18 hole Fallbrook Golf Course to ever regain its former glory.

I ask that the current designation of this property, allowing it to be operated as an 18 hole, regulation-length golf course, be kept firmly in place. This would require that the back half of the course, which is currently in the process of an attempted mitigation bank sale, be allowed to remain intact.


Bill Geffeney (3598 Oak Cliff Drive)

My name is Bill Geffeney. I live at 3598 Oak Cliff Drive. A new resident to Fallbrook, I bought my house in December of 2013. It is located on the remains of the sixth hole of the Fallbrook Golf Course. Professionally, I am an Enrolled Agent and a licensed real estate broker.

Personally, I cannot fault the owner for trying to maximize his investment in the golf course. He alleges that he has made a substantial investment in the property. Unfortunately, He just has not been very successful financially and he wants out. I do not blame him for that.

My beef is not with the seller. I heartily support property rights. I think we all do. We should not dictate what someone can or cannot do with their property. As long as their actions or lack thereof do not threaten the property rights or lives of others let them use the property as they choose as long as it conforms to accepted local land use regulations and zoning restrictions.

My beef is with a system of federal property incentives so perverse that an owner can run his property straight into the ground, through mismanagement, incompetence or indifference and can still look forward to being approached by a “mitigation land” broker offering him a financial incentive that exceeds the fair market value of the property per its highest and best use.

The reality of “mitigation” is that the federal government inspires with its lavish payments for mitigation credits a scheme that encourages owners of recreational land to abuse and degrade their properties by doing nothing to care for them and then when the time is right allows through mitigation a de facto conversion the property to another use.

In a sense this policy encourages the recipient not to compete in the marketplace. Quite the opposite, it encourages the landowner to “game” the system. Is this the intent of this unlegislated land use scheme? If so, isn’t it time that we demand changes in its administration from federal authorities? Likewise, local authorities must be aware of the potential abuses inherent in this system.

You, the Fallbrook Community Planning Group are elected to represent us in making decisions regarding the preservation and development of local lands. You are charged with coordinating with federal agencies, making sure that local land use plans are not ignored.

One of the obvious shortcomings of the “mitigation” process is that it does not discriminate between lands that are being utilized, (developed recreational land, for instance), and those that are not developed. Appropriate vacant lands could easily be substituted for land that has a current and accepted community use. In this case the Fallbrook Golf Course has long been zoned for recreational usage. It also extends an historical and emotional tie to the beautiful Gird Valley and its inhabitants.

Should a permit for a land use change on this property be brought before you, I urge you to preserve this treasured gem for all us.

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Press Coverage: Submit comments ASAP!

FEB 3, 2016

What can you do TODAY to help save Fallbrook Golf Course? Follow the links below to recent press coverage. Submit your comments ASAP! (See this alert also in PDF.)

As reported in The San Diego Union Tribune:

[Teresa] Platt said the citizens group is planning to attend the Feb. 15 meeting of the Fallbrook Community Planning Group to let them know “we’re mobilized, we’re awake, and we’re worried.”

“New management for the golf course is absolutely welcome,” she said. “They’d see enormous support from us. But if they’re coming to get a land-use change and go through the permitting process, they’re going to get pushback.”

So have your say! Submit your comments online at the end of the articles in The Village News and at the end of this insightful DC commentary on the nonsensical federal policy pushing all this.

Comment at the end of Ken Leighton’s excellent San Diego Reader article.

Share your thoughts on The San Diego Union Tribune article by Bob Pickard. Note that this article confirms that the neighbors’ suspicions were correct — that the owner has planned all along on selling all or part of the Fallbrook Golf Course to a mitigation land bank.

If you want to know what this process entails, just look south to Bonsall where thousands of angry and disgusted neighbors bear witness to the tragic demise of San Luis Rey Downs Golf Course, now the San Luis Rey Downs Weed Patch and Garbage Dump. There is no timeline for successful conversion to wetlands so this sorry state of affairs could continue for many, many years, even a decade or more.

Even worse, Fallbrook Golf Course’s current owner admitted to The San Diego Union Tribune that he has a birds eye view from his house over the San Luis Rey Downs Golf Course disaster but he planned to repeat it in Fallbrook anyway! Seriously, you need to comment!

In the deal on the table, Fallbrook Golf Course will go to seed and weeds, just like what is happening now at San Luis Rey Downs. Then “mitigation land credits” will be sold to Big Government agencies (YOUR tax dollars) and Big Developers to release them from culpability for damage to wetlands in North San Diego County.

Since most of these mitigation land credits are sold to Big Government agencies — which use your unlimited tax dollars to buy them — we now have a gold rush in San Diego County, with such land selling for an average of $380,000 per acre.

Fallbrook Golf Course, Wetland Prices, San Diego County, mitigation bank

It is estimated that land that was once farmed for tomatoes in the San Luis Rey River Valley will yield as much as $500,000 an acre! With these sort of numbers being thrown about, one has to wonder if we’ll have any farms, vineyards, golf courses or nurseries left in San Diego in a few years!

If Fallbrook Golf Course follows the same fate as the San Luis Rey Downs Golf Course, Fallbrook residents will suffer negatively impacted views, decimated property values, a vastly diminished tax base and fewer recreational and job opportunities. Historic Gird Valley will host an eyesore along once-scenic Gird Road, a weedy fire hazard in the middle of residential development.

PLEASE! Submit your comments online at the end of the articles listed above TODAY!

Thank you!

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Golf Course History

Following is a history of Fallbrook Golf Course, pieced together from various sources, plus other pertinent historical information. We cannot guarantee accuracy, and there are doubtless many gaps. Help us improve this by contacting SaveFallbrookGolfCourse@gmail.com. Thanks! See also: Historical timeline for Fallbrook, CA area.

1949: Lawrence “Larry” and Elizabeth “Betty” Ryland Cooke buy land in Fallbrook. Some of this land becomes an avocado ranch (the original purpose for the land), but the “bottom land” is below the frost line and therefore unusable for avocados. Ultimately, this bottom land becomes part of Fallbrook Golf Course.

1951: A battle for water between the federal government (Camp Pendleton) and Fallbrook citizens begins, to later become San Diego County’s oldest, active civil case. By Kristina Davis, San Diego Union-Tribune, Feb. 20, 2016.

1952: United States vs. Fallbrook Public Utility District. Water wars.

1960: With partners, the Cookes incorporate the project Fallbrook Golf Club, Inc. The Grant Deed conveys title to Fallbrook Golf Club, Inc. to two legally-described parcels (Parcels 1 and 2) consisting of nine Assessor Parcel Numbers as set forth on the face page of the Grant Deed. San Diego County grants the Agricultural-zoned property Special Use Permits. Under these permits, six of the parcels are designated for use as “Recreational-Vacant Land” and three parcels as “Golf Course”. Harry Rainville is hired as course architect.

1961: What is now the back 9 opens as the front 9.

1962: The current front 9 opens. Total area of the course is reportedly 118 acres, and course length is 6,223 yards from the tips. The course would later be reduced to 116 acres.

1965: The club house opens.

1969: Former LPGA pro Mickey Wright holds a professional tournament at the course. Since then, the Golden State minitour has held occasional events here.

Early 1970s: Additions to the club house are opened (golf shop, new office, snack bar).

1979: Following severe El Nino storms, Live Oak Creek flooding covered nearly half the course and damaged parts of it. Daunted, the Cookes’ partners sell them their share and the club becomes a Cooke family-owned business. The Cookes repair the damage and reopen the course.

1990: Blair Cooke Davey, daughter of Lawrence and Betty, assumes sole ownership of the club, and continues running it.

1993: Employee Leasing, Inc., incorporated in California, “doing business in California as Employee Leasing, Inc. of Nevada“, is incorporated in Nevada (W.J. Blue and Brian J. Lanari, Presidents, 4834 Sweetgrass Lane, Bonsall, CA). Brian Lanari serves as payroll manager 1998-2012. (See lists of six and eleven of the various Lamberson/Lanari corporations plus a more complete list of Lamberson/Lanari-corporations, in Nevada and California, at the end of this timeline.)

1996: Jack Leroy Lamberson incorporates OnceBlue Enterprises, Inc. in California. (OnceBlue also does business as Personnel Leasing.)

1998: According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, the Fallbrook course sells 65,000 rounds a year.

2003: In March, a warehouse belonging to the course burns down, destroying 80 golf carts and causing $1 million in damages. It is never rebuilt.

2003: Jack Lamberson and Brian Lanari of Onceblue Enterprises, Inc., doing business as Personnel Leasing, are embroiled in a case involving a City of San Diego construction contract. Personnel Leasing’s “president, Jack Lamberson, testified in deposition that Personnel did not pay workers’ compensation insurance premiums for the work force.”

2004: A court challenge to the property’s water rights for access to the southernmost well is won and affirmed on appeal. The full case is Nevada Lending Corp. vs. Fallbrook Golf Club, Inc., is available in PDF: 1-35; 36-70; 71-106; 107-142; 143-178; 179-214; 215-250; 251-286; 287-297. Blair Cooke sells the course to Colorado golf course operator Stacey Hart (aka Stacy Hart) for $5.2 million plus $2.5 million for an additional 40 acres of undeveloped land next to the course on which Hart plans to build 23 houses. Mile High Bank of Denver, Colorado arranges the financing. Stacey A. Hart takes ownership of the course as Fallbrook Golf Club, LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability corporation. Hart is originally from Las Vegas where his family reportedly has casino and real estate holdings.

2004: John Toma, who has been running the Sunrize Cafe in Bonsall for two years, takes over the Club’s restaurant and reopens it as the Hukilau restaurant in April. With great food and service, the Hukilau is an immediate success.

2009: Stacey Hart defaults on the balance due on the $2.5 million he paid for the 40 acres of undeveloped land next to the golf course. The Denver Post reports that “Hart, who admits he’s withheld payments, says his beef is with the zoning of the undeveloped land, where he intends to build houses. ‘The overall zoning was supposed to be 23 lots, now it’s down to 11,’ Hart said. ‘It’s a dispute. The bottom line is we thought we bargained for more than we got.'”

Late 2010 – early 2011: Hart hires one of Jack Lamberson’s companies to handle payroll for the Fallbrook course. Lamberson’s company also does payroll at the San Luis Rey Downs Golf Course in Bonsall.

2012: Mile High Banks of Denver, Colorado forces an over-leveraged Stacey Hart to divest himself of some of his holdings and he chooses to sell the Fallbrook course. Hart sells the course to his payroll manager Jack Lamberson under the name Fallbrook Golf Course, Inc.. The Lamberson Family Trust [LFT Investments, Inc., incorporated in Nevada] is the sole stockholder in Fallbrook Golf Course, Inc., incorporated in California in 2011.

For the down payment, Mile High Banks takes a Note on Lamberson’s vacation home at 243 Eldorado Drive, Lake Arrowhead. (Zillow value June 2012: $1.1 million. Purchase price 2005: $842,500. Zillow value May 2016: $879,000.). A $720,000 Deed of Trust dated June 22 is recorded against 243 Eldorado Drive on June 29, 2012, maturity date June 22, 2018. Mile High Banks secures $2.88M with a Deed of Trust against the golf course itself for a total purchase price of $3.6M.

Escrow closes on June 30 and the Lambersons take over the course on July 1, 2012. Its 44 employees staff the busy Hukilau restaurant and bar, the pro shop and snack bar and maintain the course where its loyal golfers enjoy 200 rounds of golf daily, 73,000 rounds a year.

By the end of 2012, Mile High Banks (the primary asset of Big Sandy Holding Companyis failing. Strategic Growth Bancorp purchases Mile High Banks’ stock in late 2012 through U.S. Bankruptcy Court for $5.5 million, promising to infuse $90 million of new capital into the bank. Strategic Growth renames Mile High Banks First National Denver.

2013: In Fort Worth, Texas, Stacey Hart has accumulated $10 million in debt on a golf course with an estimated value of $500,000. The front and back nine are split and Hart files for bankruptcy. The reorganization plan states: “Stacey A. Hart will remain as president of the Debtor following confirmation of the Plan. Mr. Hart will retain his sole ownership interest in the Debtor. Mr. Hart will receive a salary of $8,000 a month following confirmation of the Plan. Mr. Hart’s son, Tom Hart, who is not an owner, shall receive $8,000 a month in compensation as well.” Tom Hart lives in Colorado. Weeds are so high on the Fort Worth course that the neighbors respond by mowing it themselves.

2013-2014: In Fallbrook, the Lamberson team struggles to run a golf course, bar and restaurant. The top-notch crew in place at the time of purchase is long gone, moved on to great success at the nearby Z Cafe owned by John Toma (who built it on the success of his former Sunrize Cafe). By December 2013, the restaurant/bar’s name is changed to Jack’s Place in honor of owner Jack Lamberson. Negotiations with locals to manage the bar, restaurant and a wedding business all fail to materialize when, after weeks or months of discussions, the owner changes the terms at the last minute.

February 2015: Fallbrook Land Conservancy purchases 47.74 acres next to the course, for $437,500 ($9,164/acre), from the Cooke family. This land includes the same acreage that Stacey Hart defaulted on in 2009 after he discovered zoning and San Diego General Plan restrictions allow only 11 homes, not 23, to be built on the property. This number would be later reduced by the San Diego County General Plan, rendering the property unsuitable for real estate development. Hart had originally committed to paying $2.5 million for 40 acres ($62,500/acre) in 2004. The Fallbrook Land Conservancy pays $437,500 ($9,164/acre) for 47.74 acres, a stunning reduction in value. The County of San Diego General Plan restrictions apply to all of semi-rural San Diego County, including eastern Fallbrook’s Gird Valley, and require minimum lot sizes of 4, 8 or 16 acres.

2015: Watering of the Fallbrook course fairways ceases in April, breakfast service is cancelled, and staff are reduced to fewer than 10. On June 27, 2015, the restaurant/bar reopens as AJ’s Taphouse in honor of the Lambersons’ grandson AJ Lanari who assumes the role of manager.

Taphouse2

Hours are sporadic, closing as early as 6 or 7 PM on weekends even when the bar and patio are full of patrons. The promised breakfast service never materializes. Reviews on Yelp detail the downward progression. By the close of 2015, reviews are overwhelmingly negative and most of the regulars grow impatient with the lack of progress and move on to other venues. The community worries about the health of the course and there is virtually nothing to show for the $900,000 Lamberson says he spent improving it since 2012 or the $1.6 million he says his company has “pumped” into it. Offers to help are ignored or rebuffed. Requests by neighbors and the various golf club members to speak to the owner are ignored. In November, Fallbrook Golf Course stops offering annual memberships. Rumors fly about a sale of all or part of the Fallbrook Golf Course to a residential developer or mitigation banker. Residential development on the course conflicts with the Fallbrook General Plan and is risky under the County General Plan. With the ruined San Luis Rey Downs Golf Course only a few miles to the south as an example of a fallow course facing development and stuck in mitigation banking paperwork limbo, there are grounds for concern.

December 2015: At the request of Donald Ross of EarthBalance of Florida and REC Consulting, Inc., Army Corps of Engineers’ (ACOE) Richard J. “RJ” Van Sant III and David Lawhead of the California Department of Fish & Wildlife take a golf cart tour of the back nine. Ross/Earth Balance and REC request “agency representatives’s feedback on the site’s potential for habitat restoration” and receive the public employee’s time and input even though there is no official proposal (prospectus) submitted for creating a mitigation bank (a public process). FOIA’d ACOE correspondence  notes, “It’s true … this would be the 2nd controversial golf course/potential mitigation bank site in SD County. This one (at the Fallbrook Golf Club, which is just a few miles away from the Moosa Creek Mitigation Bank located at the former San Luis Rey Downs Golf Course in Bonsall) we don’t have a prospectus for yet. RJ visited the site with the consultant, but we don’t know if they are moving forward or not at this point.” (Jan. 26, 2016 email from Shanti Santulli, the ACOE Project Manager for the San Luis Rey Downs mitigation bank, to five others at ACOE including RJ Van Sant [the potential mitigation bank project manager for Fallbrook Golf Course] and ACOE’s public affairs officer.)

January 2016: Concerned neighbors organize SaveFallbrookGolfCourse.com and engage a potential buyer to contact Jack Lamberson about the golf course but Mr. Lamberson tells him, “The golf course is not for sale.” Over 200 people pack a standing-room-only meeting at the Fallbrook Library (Jan. 30) to learn about the threats to the Fallbrook Golf Course and Gird Valley. Although invited, no one from any of the involved government agencies, including ACOE, is available to speak. The Lamberson family declines to speak or send a representative. Joan McConnell acts as MC and representatives of Fallbrook Land Conservancy and Save the Downs speak on mitigation banking and land use policy. SaveFallbrookGolfCourse.com’s Teresa Platt delivers a PowerPoint presentation (updated Mar. 2, 2016) on the issues of concern. Michael Harrison of Congressman Duncan Hunter’s office addresses the group. The press is engaged. Jack Lamberson pens several letters to the homeowners around the course. It is reported that the escrow to a mitigation land back, “a done deal,” will close January 15. January comes and goes, no escrow closes.

February 2016: Lamberson states that his Lamberson Family Trust’s [LFT Investments, Inc. of Nevada] three payroll companies are subsidizing the course at the rate of $100,000 to $250,000 a year. Jack Lamberson owes First National Denver $2.8M on the course plus almost $700,000 in additional debt on his Lake Arrowhead property, debt that was secured as a down payment when he purchased the course for $3.6M in 2012. The course is declining fast and worth far less than its original purchase price. Lamberson closes the back nine on Feb. 1, only to reopen it a day later, then announces the back nine will close Feb. 15. SaveFallbrookGolfCourse.com supporters pack a February 15 Fallbrook Community Planning Group meeting and many people speak. The press is engaged. It is reported that the sale of a portion of the back nine to a mitigation land bank won’t close on February 15 after all but will close on February 20. There are questions about how a land bank that only wants to buy acreage near the creek can complete that sale when the Parcel is not legally subdivided. The Fallbrook Women Golfers (who have played at the course for 54 years) reluctantly vote to move to another course. California Department of Fish and Wildlife, South Coast Region, confirms Jack Lamberson is attempting to sell all or part of the Fallbrook Golf Course to Don Ross of EarthBalance.com, a wetlands mitigation land bank based in Florida. The Department of Transportation (DOT) is responsible for the vast majority of wetlands destruction in Florida where mitigation banks were criticized for diverting DOT (taxpayer funds) to mitigation banks with poor track records. Even the Sierra Club weighed in as being “generally critical of wetlands mitigation banking”. Mr. Ross has gone on record defending the sale of wetlands credits from dry land. At the Fallbrook Golf Course, February comes and goes, no escrow closes.

March 2016: On March 9, The San Diego Union Tribune reports Jack Lamberson is closing the course and ceasing all maintenance as of March 15. First National Denver, which holds the Notes on the course and Lamberson’s Lake Arrowhead property, sends a representative to investigate. Shortly after, San Diego Reader reports the course has five wells and that the sale to the mitigation land bank has fallen through and the course will remain open. The owner will offer reduced hours (7 to noon) for higher prices and Lamberson plans to sell the back nine for mitigation and the front nine to a residential developer. The San Diego Union Tribune‘s golf reporter Tod Leonard visits the course and is saddened by its state. He notes that a qualified golf course buyer contacted Lamberson in January only to be told that the course was not for sale. Ignoring the fact that residential development will be very difficult on the course in Gird Valley, the 85-year-old Lamberson said, “I could sell the front nine right now to a very solid developer for $3.5 million. (But) before I give it away for someone else to make money on, I would develop it myself.” Tod Leonard replies, “Lamberson needs to come to his senses and realize this isn’t a parking lot or warehouse he owns. It’s a public entity that has provided pleasure to thousands for more than half a century. There is a legacy to be had here, and right now Lamberson’s is as crusty and forlorn as his fairways.” March comes and goes, no escrow closes.

April 2016: The fairways have not been watered since April 2015 and with no care, weeds are growing unchecked. Neighbors file complaints with the North County Fire Protection District under San Diego County Nuisance laws. The Fire District opens a case and tours the course, puts the owner and the bank on notice that the property must be  maintained, combustable debris and weeds removed in preparation for fire season. April comes and goes, no escrow closes.

May 2016: Several golf course owners unsuccessfully attempt to make deals to purchase the course. Since the property was not legally subdivided, mitigation banking is clearly no longer an option for the property. There is the occasional rumor of a residential developer doing due diligence but due to County restrictions and down-zoning of the area, such projects do not pencil out so these deals also fail. Interested golf course buyers move on to discussions with the lien holder, First National Denver, since the course’s owner is in technical default due to his neglect of the property. Golfers are down to a handful a day, and while one can get a sandwich or hot dog at the snack bar, the restaurant is closed and the bar is out of beer. The course enters wasteland status. Neighbors file reports with the Sheriff’s office about late night loitering, meet with the North County Fire Protection District to address fuel loads on the course, and engage Supervisor Bill Horn’s office about having the failing business declared a Public Nuisance. May comes and goes, no escrow closes.

June 2016: The restaurant, bar and pro shop are closed. Only the snack bar remains open where the occasional golfer can pay to play on the neglected course. Jack Lamberson tells the Village News that, while an offer to buy the course fell through in May, he is considering two more offers from golf course operators and will make a decision the week of June 6-12. The 12th comes and goes but no decision is announced. On July 24, a sign is posted at the golf course stating, “TO THE PATRONS OF THE FALLBROOK GOLF COURSE: THE COURSE WILL BE CLOSED EFFECTIVE JUNE 25TH SATURDAY DUE TO CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT. THANK YOU FOR YOUR OVERWHELMING SUPPORT.” The last few employees are laid off and all operations cease. It is unclear if the greens, the last portion of the course that is actually still green, are to receive water or care. The Reader reports that, on June 27, First National Denver sold the Notes on the course (due 2021) to D-Day Capital, LLC managed by Ronald Richards, a Beverly Hills attorney. “…D-Day Capital is not exclusively controlled by me,” said Mr. Roberts to the San Diego Reader, “but is exclusively managed by me. It however does not involve Mr. Schlesinger, that is the salient fact. My capital structure changes from time to time, deal to deal, depending on how this note is capitalized.” Media reports name a Michael Schlesinger of Stuck in the Rough, LLC, along with attorney Ronald Richards, as being heavily involved in the Escondido Country Club purchase/closure/development. While D-Day Capital may simply act as the banker on the Fallbrook Golf Course property, fears of potential development resurface since Mr. Richards stated during a battle over a potential change of use at a Las Vegas golf course: “We are not in the golf course operations business. We have no set agenda and are open to numerous avenues of use other than requiring us to subsidize someone else’s golf game or operate an asset that has no economically viable use to anyone except a privileged few.” Fallbrook Golf Course, a very modest public course offering low fees, has been profitable for over half a century, hosting restaurant and bar patrons, weddings and golfers. It generated over 73,000 rounds of golf annually as recently as 2012. As a recreational and community venue enjoyed by nearby homeowners, white and blue collar workers, seniors on limited incomes and local high school students, its Agricultural zoning prohibits residential or commercial development. On June 28, Jack Lamberson and HGM Golf Enterprises’ Harold Vaubel enter into a temporary management agreement with plans to enter into a secondary agreement for a sale of the corporation that owns the course, the liquor license and the debt. While the sale is being negotiated, the course is reopened. A flurry of press coverage follows. June comes and goes, no escrow closes.

July 2016: July 1, 2016 marks the Fourth Anniversary of Bonnie and Jack Lamberson’s ownership of the Fallbrook Golf Course. There was no celebration. Discussions continue regarding the management and/or sale to Harold Vaubel’s corporation with Cary Lee of Candyl Golf Group as a potential partner. Meanwhile, the course is open to the public and operating under the management agreement with HGM Golf Enterprises of Arizona, with the first payroll covered by Cary Lee of Candyl Golf Group. The Fallbrook Golf Course’s Men’s Club returns for a meeting with the management team and the local high school starts the process of returning to the course. The saga takes another twist on July 26 when the Village News reports that Jack Lamberson says HGM Enterprises authority on the course was limited to watering the course, that it had no right to hire employees or engage contractors. Lamberson announces the sale has fallen through and that the course is “closed due to negotiations”. All maintenance and watering of the course ceases on July 26. July comes and goes, no escrow closes.

August 2016: There are reports of several buyers interested in the course which is deteriorating rapidly in the summer heat. The property quietly moves into escrow at Chicago Title and D-Day Capital, the lien holder on the property, is asked for a payoff amount. August comes and goes, no escrow closes.

September 2016: On September 1, D-Day files a Notice of Default against Jack Lamberson and, on September 6, files a $1-million-dollar-plus lawsuit in San Diego County’s North County Superior court against Lamberson for breach of contract (for not selling the corporation to D-Day Capital) and for “wasting” the property. D-Day files a “lis pendens” (lien) against the property. On September 22, SaveFallbrookGolfCourse.com reveals details of the escrow. The Village News and The San Diego Union Tribune report that Gird Valley, Inc., owned by Fallbrook residents Jade and Julie Work, is the buyer and that the Works have committed to placing conservation easements on the land, adding another layer of protection against development. The Village News reports that Ronald Richards of D-Day Capital is fighting the escrow, holding the property hostage, stating that escrow can’t close unless the lis pendens is released on the property. A court date is set for October 5. September comes and goes, no escrow closes.

October 2016: On October 5, the judge sets October 14 as the date for both sides to make their arguments regarding the lis pendens on the property. The judge will issue a ruling that same date on whether he will allow it to remain on the title, hindering the escrow from closing, or order it removed from the property. On October 14, the judge orders the escrow to move forward and for Ronald Richards to deliver an actionable payoff demand since previous ones were not acceptable to Chicago Title Company which has both the foreclosure case and the escrow. Another payoff demand is received but it expired before it was received by the buyer and contained no per diem amount. Chicago Titles staff vacation time also threatens to further delay the escrow. October comes and goes and no escrow closes.

November 2016: The Village News reports on the status, naming Chicago Title in the article, and the escrow finally closes on Tuesday, November 15, 2016. The Gird Valley property is officially owned by Gird Valley, Inc., owned by Fallbrook residents Jade and Julie Work, who promise to place conservation easements on the property to protect it from any development in the future. While this land can be used for agricultural, open space and recreational pursuits, it will always be in keeping with the rural character of Fallbrook. The Village News reports that the land may be transformed over the winter into a vineyard. Fallbrook celebrates and thanks the Work family for this commitment!

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Companies owned by Jack Leroy Lamberson, Bonnie Sue Lamberson and/or Brian Lanari–California Corporations: Contractors Associates, Inc.; Employee Leasing, Inc.;  J.L. Lamberson; Lanari and Associates, Inc.; Obei, Inc.; Onceblue Enterprises, Inc.; Personnel Leasing Inc.; Redlands SLS Construction Company; Worker Leasing. Nevada Corporations: Contract Labor, Inc.; Contractors Associates, Inc; Employee Leasing, Inc. of Nevada; JB Corporate Management, Inc.; Lamberson Family Limited Partnership; LFT Investments, Inc.  Houses tied to Jack and Bonnie Lamberson, Brian Lanari: 31350 Lake Vista Circle, Bonsall, CA 92003; 4834 Sweetgrass Lane, Bonsall, CA 92003


, 243 Eldorado Drive, Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352.

Media Coverage

For more on what we’re up to, visit SaveGirdValley.com!

Fallbrook Golf Club’s last stand is as training ground for firefighters. By Tom Ferrall, Village News, April 8, 2017.

Old Fallbrook golf course on its way to becoming winery. By J. Harry Jones, San Diego Union-Tribune, March 29, 2017.

Gird Valley ‘savior’ Work saluted by neighbors. By Tom Ferrall, Village News, December 2, 2016.

Shuttered golf club’s new owner applauded. By J. Harry Jones, San Diego Union-Tribune, November 25, 2016.

Fallbrook Golf Club sold; may become vineyard. By J. Harry Jones, San Diego Union-Tribune, November 16, 2016.

Escrow closes on Fallbrook Golf Club – Works now own 116-acre property. By Tom Ferrall, Village News, November 15, 2016.

Works have the cash – just want final bill for Fallbrook Golf Club. By Tom Ferrall, Village News, November 11, 2016.

Buyers waiting for attorney to provide tab for Fallbrook Golf Club. By Tom Ferrall, Village News, Oct. 28, 2016.

Fallbrook couple in process of trying to buy Fallbrook Golf Club. By Tom Ferrall, Village News, Sept. 22, 2016.

Fallbrook golf course in escrow. By J. Harry Jones, San Diego Union Tribune, Sept. 22, 2016

Fallbrook Golf Club owner Lamberson served with notice of default. By Tom Ferrall, Village News, Sept. 9. 2016.

Fallbrook Golf Club saga continues. By Tom Ferrall, Village News, Aug. 26, 2016.

Negotiations continue for Fallbrook Golf Club. By Tom Ferrall, Village News, Aug. 17, 2016.

Possible new suitor for Fallbrook Golf Club. By Tom Ferrall, Village News, Aug. 11, 2016.

Neighbors trying to keep Fallbrook course alive. By J. Harry Jones, San Diego Union Tribune, Aug. 6, 2016.

Yes, again: Fallbrook Golf Course a no-sale: Use of land as garbage dump is not off the table. By Ken Leighton, San Diego Reader, July 28, 2016.

Sale of Fallbrook Golf Course falls apart. By J. Harry Jones, San Diego Union Tribune, July 27, 2016.

Lamberson ends negotiations with Vaubel, closes Fallbrook Golf Club. By Tom Ferrall, Village News

New owner looms for Fallbrook Golf Club. San Diego Union Tribune, July 10, 2016.

Sale of Fallbrook Golf Club expected to be finalized this week. By Tom Ferrall, Village News, July 7, 2016.

Fallbrook Golf Club on verge of sale. By J. Harry Jones, San Diego Union Tribune, July 6, 2016

New hope for Fallbrook Golf Course. By Ken Leighton, San Diego Reader, July 2, 2016.

Fallbrook Golf Course to reopen Friday under new ownership. By Tom Ferrall, Village News, June 30, 2016

Fallbrook Golf Course closed ‘due to change in management’. By Tom Ferrall, Village News, June 30,2016.

Lamberson has ‘acceptable offers’ for Fallbrook Golf Course. By Tom Ferrall, Village News, June 3, 2016.

Lamberson still seeking buyer for Fallbrook Golf Course. By Tom Ferrall, Village News, May 5, 2016. 

Sad, baffling story at Fallbrook Golf Club. Residents, golfers contend that owner Jack Lamberson has intentionally run 56-year-old course into the ground. By Tod Leonard, San Diego Union Tribune, Mar. 14, 2016.

Fallbrook Golf Course sale falls through. “They created a monster that didn’t need to be created.” By Ken Leighton, San Diego Reader, Mar. 14, 2016.

Owner of Fallbrook Golf Club to close course March 14. By Tom Ferrall, Village News, Mar. 10, 2016.

Fallbrook Golf Course to shut down. Course maintenance to end the next day as owner moves to cut losses. By Bob Pickard, San Diego Union-Tribune, Mar. 9, 2016.

Gird Valley residents address FCPG, stating “We need to save Fallbrook Golf Course and the Gird Valley.” By Debbie Ramsey, The Village News, Feb. 18, 2016.

Hoping for positive change: Residents in vicinity of Fallbrook Golf Club organize themselves as owner contemplates options. By Debbie Ramsey, The Village News, February 4, 2016.

Part of Golf Course slated for land bank. Fallbrook residents in uproar over plan to sell the back nine. By Bob Pickard, San Diego Union Tribune, Feb. 2, 2016. Also available here in PDF.

Federal wetlands mitigation bank scam threatens popular California golf course. By Bonner Cohen, CFACT, Jan. 29, 2016.

Fallbrook Golf Course headed for the rough? Nearby residents fear potential sale will lead to abysmal conditions. By Ken Leighton, San Diego Reader, Jan. 26, 2016.

Old golf courses become new kind of wilderness. By Lewis Wallace, Marketplace, Jan. 12, 2015.

Opinion: Why locals shouldn’t be upset over a mitigation bank moving in. By William Coleman, Ecosystem Marketplace, Dec. 30, 2014.

Residents rally against plans for San Luis Rey Downs Golf Course. By Alison St. John, KPBS, Feb. 27, 2014.

Jack’s Place at Fallbrook Golf Club: A new name and lots of improvements! By Nathalie Taylor, Village News, Dec. 19, 2013.

Hukilau – Savor the food and the view! By Nathalie Taylor, Village News, Jan. 24, 2013.

New owners of Fallbrook Golf Club enthusiastic to please public. By Debbie Ramsey, Village News, Nov. 8, 2012.

Slice of land part of golf course feud. By Penny Parker, Denver Post, Sept. 27, 2009.

According to The San Diego Union-Tribunethe course sells 65,000 rounds a year in 1997. By Hank Wesch, San Diego Union-Tribune, Feb. 24, 1998.

Legal Documents

Fallbrook Golf Course sits on 116 acres, zoned Agricultural, with special use permits for Open Space, Golf, Recreation. The height limit is 2 stories, 35 feet.

We have assembled the public legal documents for the course below.

Ownership of Fallbrook Golf Course. Includes parcel number, owner, description, size, sale amount, sale date, etc.

Title Report, Fallbrook Golf Course.

Grant Deed conveying title to Fallbrook Golf Course, Inc. The golf course property consists of 116 acres on 2 separate legal parcels described by metes and bounds description which are referenced as Parcels 1 and 2 as set forth on Exhibit A attached to the Grant Deed conveying title to Fallbrook Golf Course, Inc., a California corporation. The 2 legal parcels are made up of 9 Assessor Parcel Numbers, NOT 9 legal parcels. The subdivision laws under the California Subdivision Map Act Government Code sections 66410 et seq. (the “SMA”) establish regulations and controls for the subdivision of land. As a general rule, the SMA prohibits selling real property that has not been properly subdivided and therefore a sale of a “portion” of either of the 2 legal parcels would be in violation of the SMA. Experts in the field have cautioned that a subdivision of either of the 2 legal parcels for housing developments or mitigation banking purposes would be VERY difficult, if not impossible, and that such a process, if attempted, could take a decade or longer and there would be no assurance of success.

Parcel1SM
Parcel 1. This plat is presented here for illustrative purposes only. CLICK TO ENLARGE
Parcel2FullSM
Parcel 2, Sheets 1-3. This plat is presented here for illustrative purposes only. CLICK TO ENLARGE
GrantDeedParcel2SM
Parcel 2, Sheet 2. This plat is presented here for illustrative purposes only. CLICK TO ENLARGE

AP Map of Parcel 2 showing wells at 43 and 4.

Correspondence Re: Feasibility of Subdividing Parcels 1 and 2. Correspondence with Planning & Development Services, County of San Diego, re: the feasibility of subdividing Parcels 1 and 2 for sale as residential development lots or mitigation bank land; PLUS the difficulty of changing San Diego County General Plan for Major Use change.

Deed of Trust for $2.88M, among Fallbrook Golf Course Inc., Mile High Banks/First National Denver, and Chicago Title Company, June 22, 2012.

Deed of Trust on 243 Eldorado Drive, Lake Arrowhead for $720,000 between Mile High Banks/First National Denver and Lamberson Family Trust, dated June 22, 2012, recorded June 29, 2012, maturity date June 22, 2018. The Deed is on a Lamberson Family Trust property at 243 Eldorado Drive, Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352. (Zillow value June 2012: $1.1 million. Purchase price 2005: $842,500. Zillow value May 2016: $879,000.). Appears to be the funds for the down payment for the Lamberson Family Trust’s purchase of the golf course. ($2.88M plus $720,000 gives us a purchase price of $3.6M.)

UCC Financing Statement, between Fallbrook Golf Course Inc. and Mile High Banks, June 29, 2012.

Amended and Restated Deed of Trust, among Fallbrook Golf Course Inc., First National Bank of Denver, and Chicago Title Company, for $2.8 million, effective July 18, 2014, maturity date July 22, 2021 (see page 10 of the pdf).

UCC Financing Statement, between Fallbrook Golf Course Inc. and First National Bank of Denver, Mar. 25, 2015.

Liquor License, expiring Feb 29, 2016 but renewed December 2015, owned by Fallbrook Golf Course, Inc., a California corporation incorporated 10/31/2011, sole stockholder Lamberson Family Trust, [actual name possibly LFT Investments, Inc., a Nevada corporation, established 2005.] Per Jack Lamberson, “[the Lamberson Family Trust, the sole stockholder of Fallbrook Golf Course Inc.] owns three payroll companies…”

The golf course won, affirmed on appeal in 2004, a court case regarding access to water via a well near the maintenance yard at the southeastern section of the course, in Nevada Lending Corp. vs. Fallbrook Golf Club, Inc.: 1-35; 36-70; 71-106; 107-142; 143-178; 179-214; 215-250; 251-286; 287-297.

Companies owned by Jack Leroy Lamberson, Bonnie Sue Lamberson and/or Brian Lanari (of Mill Valley)–California Corporations: Contractors Associates, Inc.; Employee Leasing, Inc.;  J.L. Lamberson; Lanari and Associates, Inc.; Obei, Inc.; Onceblue Enterprises, Inc.; Personnel Leasing Inc.; Redlands SLS Construction Company; Worker Leasing. Nevada Corporations: Contract Labor, Inc.; Contractors Associates, Inc; Employee Leasing, Inc. of Nevada; JB Corporate Management, Inc.; Lamberson Family Limited Partnership; LFT Investments, Inc.

www.sangis.org SANDAG plot plans. Click on address box upper right and search for 2757 Gird Road to view maps.

FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center states the Fallbrook Golf Course at 2757 Gird Road is located in a minimal flood hazard zone.

AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD INCOME: FALLBROOK: $86,220. BONSALL: $113,910. GIRD VALLEY (Fallbrook Golf Course’s location): $151,575.

The Fallbrook Community Plan, part of the San Diego County General Plan, underwent nine hearings between 2006 and 2010 and was ultimately adopted by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors on August 3, 2011 (amended Jan 2012, June 2014 and as recently as November 18, 2015). On Page 26 in the document (p.30 in the pdf) The Plan declares recreational facilities are “vital to personal development” and encourages private development of local golf courses.  The pertinent sections follow:

CONSERVATION AND OPEN SPACE (COS)

3.2 Parks and Recreation: Park needs, locations, and facilities Issue COS 2.1 Recreation is recognized as vital to personal development. Goal COS 2.1 A well-balanced system of recreational facilities (public and private) that serves the Fallbrook community and meets the needs of all ages through both active and passive recreational opportunities.…Policy COS 2.1.6 Encourage private development of local golf courses, archery ranges, riding stables, and other recreational facilities throughout the community.

Weed Abatement FAQs and Weed Abatement Ordinance, Ordinance 2000-1, North County Fire Protection District, County of San Diego, states:

SECTION 1 Weeds and Other Items Declared a Public Nuisance

A. Weeds defined below growing upon the streets, sidewalks or upon private or public property within the North County Fire Protection District which by reason of its size, type, manner of growth, proximity to any building, or improvements which, when dry, will with reasonable probability constitute a fire hazard, is hereby declared to be a public nuisance and shall be abated to the satisfaction of the Fire Chief or an authorized representative.

B. Weeds are defined as provided in the Health and Safety Code Section 14875 by reference and are declared a seasonal and recurrent nuisance. C. Cultivated and useful grasses and pasture are not declared a public nuisance. However, the Fire Chief or an authorized representative may determine a hazard exists adjacent improved property from fire exposure and require an adequate firebreak.

September 16, 2016: At a Fallbrook Community Planning Group meeting, it is learned that golf course owner Jack Lamberson has proposed the golf course as a potential site for a cell tower. The meeting minutes note that FCPG board member Ann Burdick asked Verizon’s Darrell Daugherty if he was aware that a cell tower had been proposed to be located at the Fallbrook golf course site, 2757 Gird Road, several times in the past and each time the FCPG denied that request. Mr. Daugherty replied he was not aware of this fact.”

Send your complaints regarding any fire hazard, debris, trash to the North County Deputy Fire Chief Steve Abbott at sabbott@ncfire.org and also use this online form. Additionally, send your complaints and pictures to the bank which carries the loan on the property: Ms. Andrea Hageman, Senior Vice President, Manager of Special Assets, NMLS# 1199565, Direct 303.962.8079, Cell 303.919.2032, Toll-Free 888.912.2265, Fax 303.962.8088, First National Denver, 3650 East First Avenue, Suite 100, Denver, CO 80206, ahageman@firstnationaldenver.com. We also appreciate receiving copies at SaveFallbrookGolfCourse.com. Thank You!

Biological Habitat Assessment, APNs 107-420-1300, 107-420-1400, 124-330-1600, 47.74-acre property, Fallbrook. By Trestles Environmental Corp., Oct. 31, 2014. See also Fallbrook Trails Council Pocket Field Guide: Plants & Wildlife of Fallbrook and San Diego. Plus addendum to Field Guide by Anne Youngblood.

What You Can Do

  • Email/mail us your statements of support 
  • Share this Petition to Save Fallbrook Golf Course far and wide.
  • Share your concerns with your elected representatives and the Fallbrook Community Planning Group. 
  • Join us for these meetings:
    • Fallbrook Library, Saturday, January 30th, 3 PM where you can learn all about this issue. 
    • Fallbrook Community Planning Group Meeting, February 15th, 7 PM, Live Oak School, 1978 Reche Road. 
Thank you for your support and spread the word! 
Save Fallbrook Golf Course
2903 Lakemont Drive
Fallbrook, CA 92028