Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly are you proposing?

 

The Shadow Lakes and Deer Ridge Community Improvement Plan consolidates the two failing courses to create a single, sustainable 18-hole golf course that keeps golf in both the Deer Ridge and Shadow Lakes communities. Here’s how we propose to use the existing 355 acres of golf course land:

 

  • The consolidated golf course — 191 acres
  • Natural open space and vineyards, trails and workout stations — 142 acres
  • Senior homes (active senior, assisted living and skilled nursing) — 32 acres

 

For the senior homes, we are proposing to rezone 8.8% of the existing golf course land, with one site at Deer Ridge (current clubhouse and portions of holes 1 & 9), and another site at Shadow Lakes (current holes 10 & 18). The project as submitted allows for a maximum of 560 units, 310 at Shadow Lakes and 250 at Deer Ridge.

 

 

How can we be sure that the senior homes won’t be flipped into some other type of development, like low-income apartments?

 

The only use being proposed is a senior community that could be a mix of active adult, skilled nursing, assisted living, or memory care. No other use, including low income, will be allowed, nor is any other use being studied in the Environmental Impact Report.  Once approved, the owner can only build senior homes following detailed design plans, including landscaping improvements.  Both the zoning and Conditional Use Permit enforced by the city will prevent any change in the senior home use without going through the entire development approval process from the very beginning, with the city wielding full discretion to deny non-conforming changes in approved uses.  A development agreement will provide an added level of assurance and protection that the approved development is what will be built, or building permits will not be issued.

 

 

Won’t this plan just open the floodgates to even more development?

 

The Development Agreement has a provision that requires that we, and any future landowner, give up all rights to the future development of the remaining golf course and open space land.  The current rezoning of the proposed senior homes does not provide any zoning rights on the remaining holes.  The entitlement process for the plan is strictly limited to rezoning the 32 acres that make up Shadow Lakes holes 10 & 18, the Deer Ridge clubhouse, and portions of holes 1 & 9 to senior housing. The rest of the courses will remain as currently zoned.

 

 

How can we be sure that the course improvements and open space amenities will be created?

 

We will be entering in a Development Agreement with the City, as detailed on page 3-11 of the EIR, that will require the improvements be made by tying them to the construction of the senior housing.  Additionally, the City of Brentwood has substantial authority to impose conditions of approval to ensure that our commitments are met and protect its residents.

 

 

How can we be sure that the new open space amenities will be maintained?

 

We are creating a long-term maintenance plan and funding mechanism to ensure that the open space on the repurposed holes will be well maintained long into the future, independent of the golf course.  This maintenance plan for the golf course and the open space is a requirement in the proposed legally binding Development Agreement with the City of Brentwood, and it must be in place prior to a grading permit be issued.  The Development Agreement also gives the City the power to perform the maintenance and then charge us or the developer the cost if the maintenance is not being performed.

 

 

What about your delinquent property taxes?

 

Yes, we are delinquent on property taxes, much like what happens to many families and businesses when times get tough.  However, we have entered into a payment program with the Contra Costa County Tax Assessor to get current, and we are in compliance with that payment program.

 

 

Has the owner tried to do something similar at other golf courses?

 

At San Juan Hills Golf Course in San Juan Capistrano, the owner proposed a totally different plan at a site adjacent to an existing senior living facility, outside of any existing neighborhood. No part of the golf course was proposed to be redeveloped.  The continued existence of the golf course was not dependent on the senior development, as the golf course was not closed and was never in any financial trouble.

 

 

What is the Development Agreement and how does it ensure your promises are kept?

 

A development agreement (“DA”) is a legally binding contract entered into by the City and the developer, in this case us. It enables the City to get assurances and conditions that the EIR cannot cover and it locks in the entitlements and development rights for the project.

 

A basic outline of our DA is on page 3-11 of the EIR.  It requires that we give up all future development rights on the combined golf course and new open space, establish a long term maintenance plan on the open, and ensure the golf course and open space improvements are made.  The maintenance agreement and improvements will be tied to permits for the senior facility, so if they are not done the senior facility cannot be built and we cannot recognize the financial benefit of the rezone.

 

 

Why can’t there be two 18-hole golf courses?

 

Two courses are not viable. Over the past 12 years, the owner has tried everything to make the course profitable and accrued more than $10 million in debt in the process of trying to right the ship. Nationwide, demand for golf has decreased more than 20% since 2003, and Brentwood has nearly three times the number of golf holes per person than the California average. The result is too few golfers and too little revenue, resulting in increasing debt and leading to business decisions to scale back maintenance and improvements, and ultimately close one course.

 

 

What happens if the plan is not approved?

 

If the project isn’t approved, both courses will close and both the communities will lose golf. There is no bank to take the property into receivership.  Homeowners’ property values and lifestyles would be negatively impacted, and the city would face a decrease in property tax revenue.  The courses would likely be sold to a speculative real estate developer who will try to build homes on every fairway similar to what has been happening on other closed courses in residential neighborhoods around the U.S.

 

 

If the plan is not approved, will the city or a new owner take over maintenance of the property?


The city has no obligation to maintain the property.  The new owner would not be required to water or maintain the course.  Only annual fire maintenance would be required.

 

 

Why don’t you just sell to someone else who can run the courses profitably?

 

There is no golf buyer for the courses. Attempts to sell have generated zero legitimate offers because two courses are not financially viable. While there have been rumors that Advanced Golf (AG) offered to buy the golf courses, the owner has never received a formal letter of intent or an offer from AG, or any other company. AG representatives have stated they do not have money to buy the courses, perform the extensive deferred maintenance, pay for ongoing maintenance, or buy and maintain a golf cart fleet. Per AG, “the current condition of Shadow Lakes has taken our group [AG] out of interest at the moment.”

 

 

Why do you think a single course will be successful and that we won’t just be right back to the same position in the future?

 

The Plan will provide the funds necessary to pay off the $10 million debt, perform the deferred maintenance, make the improvements to the course, clubhouse, and driving range, and construct a pedestrian bridge across Balfour Road. With Roddy Ranch permanently closed, and Shadow Lakes closed, Deer Ridge has had much lower operating losses and we are confident that once the debt is paid off and the consolidated course is improved the operation will be profitable.

 

 

Can the golf course be supported by an HOA like sustainable courses in residential neighborhoods elsewhere?

 

Where golf course communities around the country have remained viable, it is often because they are subsidized by an HOA assessment.  While there is no existing structure to accomplish this, a supporting assessment can be levied on the new senior homes.  A quality, consolidated course – supported by assessments from the new senior homes – will be well-maintained, well-marketed and sustainable.

 

 

How will the proceeds from the sale of the new senior homes be used?

 

Most of the proceeds from the sale will be used to pay off the debt, repurpose the closed holes with sustainable landscaping and amenities, revive the existing landscaping, and make the golf course a sustainable destination course with a remodeled clubhouse and driving range. The approved plan will benefit each homeowner with the certainty of sustainable golf in each neighborhood, protection of open space, and long-term maintenance of new open space..

 

 

How will approval of the plan impact home values?

 

According to industry professionals, including local real estate agents, the plan will have a positive effect on property values in Shadow Lakes and Deer Ridge for a number of reasons:

 

  • The biggest impact to home values is the current uncertainty about the future of the golf courses – worse would be the closure of both courses.
  • The plan will provide an opportunity to create a single, sustainable, beautiful and well-maintained course with a driving range and an improved clubhouse that is a destination course and an attraction for home buyers.
  • The plan turns currently closed holes into open space for the entire neighborhood, with a range of amenities that includes view areas, gazebos, a trail system and workout stations.
  • The plan will create a long-term, sustainable maintenance program that currently does not exist for the open space and visible landscaped areas.

 

 

Why did you choose senior homes?

 

Senior homes are highly compatible with single family neighborhoods because seniors drive less (or not at all), do not impact the school system, and have fewer impacts on the other services.  As local residents age and leave their family homes, they can stay in the community in which they have become established to remain close to family and friends, as opposed to moving to a new, isolated location.  There is a great social benefit to having senior community members remain within the community to volunteer at schools and engage in the community.  There is a high demand, and we have received strong interest from senor home builders and operators.

 

 

How tall will the new senior homes be?

The buildings will be three stories, yet designed to feel like two. We have lowered the floor plates so the roofline of the new senior buildings will be at the same level as adjacent two-story homes. Some of the 13 residents adjacent to the senior homes may view the project as having a negative impact on their property values, and the owner is working with each homeowner individually to mitigate the impacts and ensure that no one loses as part of the plan.  Additionally, there are mitigation measures in the EIR that will minimize the impact on surrounding homes.

 

 

What are you doing about the condition of the property today?

 

Recently , a weed abatement program has begun.  We are cleaning up weeds and overgrown landscaping in areas that are adjacent to the neighborhood streets and fence lines. Once the initial clean-up is complete, we will continue to maintain these areas as well. We have also been working with individual homeowners to address specific issues.

 

 

How will the increased traffic from the plan be handled?

 

Traffic studies show senior homes do not substantially add to the morning or evening peak hour trips.  Senior residents are retired and many drive very little. Those who do drive, typically do not drive during the peak hours of dropping-off and picking-up from school because they have more flexibility in choosing when they drive.  We will ensure deliveries and shift changes will be required in the City’s conditions of approval to occur during off-peak hours, avoiding traffic impacts.  As a result of community input, we have added an additional entrance/exit into the Shadow Lakes community from Balfour Road, close to the existing entrance to the Shadow Lakes clubhouse.

 

 

How will the plan impact fire and emergency services?

 

This is an existing challenge the city faces that must be addressed regardless of our plan being approved.  The new senior development and increased property values will provide significant additional property tax revenue to the city that can be used to fund these necessary services.  Any impacts are being addressed in the Environmental Impact Report, with specified mitigation measures identified that reduce the impacts to less than significant once they are complete.

 

 

How will the plan help local schools and youth?

 

The project enhances local schools, parks, and other local services for children with increased tax revenue.  Proximity of senior developments to existing communities has proven to have a positive impact on children’s programs. Seniors have a wealth of knowledge and time to give back and remain involved with the youth. This leads to volunteering in the community and programs that put children and seniors together, which can have extremely positive impacts..

 

Shadow Lakes and Deer Ridge Community Improvement Plan

Join Us

Contact City Council

With your help, we can keep the family-friendly Shadow Lakes and Deer Ridge neighborhoods strong, avoid the closure of both the Shadow Lakes and Deer Ridge courses, and protect property values with enhanced open space and better options for seniors.

Deer Ridge and Shadow Lakes Golf

A Presentation of the Opportunity  For Shadow Lakes, Deer Ridge and Brentwood

THE CHALLENGE

Nationwide, Demand for Golf has Decreased

With more than 60 holes in Brentwood, including Shadow Lakes and Deer Ridge, there is more golf than is sustainable, leading to annual losses, mounting debt and unpaid taxes.

The City of Brentwood
Brentwood Golf Course

Brentwood has too many holes per capita.

In Brentwood, Golf has Suffered

A Decade of Losses

 

Since purchasing the Shadow Lakes and Deer Ridge property 11 years ago, there have been substantial operating losses every year no matter what experts were hired or what changes were implemented.

 

Despite more than a decade of patience and numerous management approaches, the Shadow Lakes and Deer Ridge golf courses remain unprofitable and unsustainable.

 

CLICK HERE to read the letter our accountants sent to the Brentwood City Council.

 

When Shadow Lakes and Deer Ridge courses were put on the market for sale in 2012, there was zero interest.

Deer Ridge/Shadow Lakes
Consolidated Financials

$4,950,000

Purchase Price

$9,831,600

Outstanding Loans

$400,000

Accrued & Delinquent Real Estate Tax

List of Closed Courses

The Opportunity

A Consolidated Course & Enhanced Open Space

Rather than close one or both of the Shadow Lakes and Deer Ridge courses, we can consolidate into one course for the opportunity to create open space amenities for the community and subsidize future operations for a better golf experience.

The Solution

A Consolidated Golf Course and Clustered Senior Homes Give Us the Chance to Provide New Open Space Amenities While Maintaining Golf in Both the Shadow Lakes and Deer Ridge Communities

Avoid Traffic Impacts

Avoid School Impacts

(While providing more revenue)

Maintain a Healthy Balance of Home Types

Nearby Healthcare Facilities

An ongoing assessment on each of the senior homes will provide funding to subsidize the CONSOLIDATED SHADOW LAKES/DEER RIDGE golF course to ensure its success.

New Amenities Will Replace Closed SHADOW LAKES AND DEER RIDGE Holes

Closed holes on both the Shadow Lakes and Deer Ridge courses will be attractive, open and green areas determined based on neighbor preference.

Join Us

CLICK HERE to see the award our San Juan Hills Golf Club received from San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce for Business of the Year.

925-308-5256

Brentwood Golf Course
The City of Brentwood

Deer Ridge and Shadow Lakes Golf
Brentwood Golf Course
The City of Brentwood
Deer Ridge and Shadow Lakes Golf

A Presentation of the Opportunity For Shadow Lakes, Deer Ridge and Brentwood
Brentwood Golf Course
The City of Brentwood

A Presentation of the Opportunity For Shadow Lakes, Deer Ridge and Brentwood
Brentwood Golf Course
The City of Brentwood
Deer Ridge and Shadow Lakes Golf

Brentwood Golf Course
The City of Brentwood