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The six-month-long community effort to buy undeveloped land and the Country Club property has ended, the Rancho Murieta Association board said in a brief announcement Tuesday night.

Alex Bauer, board president, made the announcement at the RMA’s monthly meeting. The RMA, Country Club and Community Services District held negotiations with the group that owns the undeveloped North land and the Country Club property.

“It doesn’t look like there’s any way forward, especially from a financial point of view,” Bauer said, a decision reached at a meeting Friday.

The purchase possibility emerged last October, when CSD Director John Merchant said the CSD would take on the possibility of purchasing the club’s land as well as hundreds of acres around the community’s lakes. His plan envisioned a community vote on funding any purchase.

Merchant, who was at the RMA meeting, offered careful responses when asked about it afterwards. He said he didn’t want to get ahead of the CSD board, which is expected to discuss the situation publicly at its meeting next week.

“There’s no financial way through it at the moment,” was all he said when asked what ended the discussions.

Could the negotiation be reopened somewhere down the road?

“Yeah, I think it probably could,” Merchant said, “depending on any number of things – how the club did, what ultimately legally happens with the (Mutual Benefit Agreement on development), changes in developers’ priorities, any number of things. We would certainly not shut that door, but for right now, we just don’t see any clear path forward.”

He later shared an announcement authored by the group and intended for public distribution: “At the conclusion of our meeting last Friday, the CSD, RMA and RMCC stakeholder representatives unanimously agreed to suspend conversations regarding RMCC and open space acquisition. We agreed that the discussions did not present a path toward a fiscally workable concept at this time.”

Merchant said he is somewhat disappointed with the outcome but maybe not surprised.

“I thought there was a real opportunity there, but I never had any visions of grandeur when we started this,” he said. “I was the one who brought it to the table, and I was one of the ardent proponents of needing to go forward, but I had no real illusions that we could make it happen, but I thought it was worth a shot.”


John Kershaw's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 27
Post rating: 49

CSD RMA Costs

I'm curious on the amount of staff time and monies that were spent on this questionable pursuit and to state it was a community effort might be stretching it a bit.

John Kershaw

Lisa Wise's picture
Joined: 04/05/2011
Posts: 92
Post rating: 19

Worth Trying

Of all the things to be curious about, Mr. Kershaw, I'm surprised that's what you focused on. I expect that most of the time spent was by our elected board members, who put in a lot of effort for zero pay. Personally, I'm much more curious about how our community can resolve our issues without this option. What will it look like here in 5 to 10 years? I guess time will tell.

John Kershaw's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 27
Post rating: 49

Ratepayers

I'd like to guarantee you Mrs. Wise that discussions I've had with other ratepayers who are not CC nor SOLOS members have the same curiousity and concerns on the staff time any monies spent on these proposals instigated by the 2 special interst groups CC and SOLOS when these monies and time could have been spent on what their (CSD) sole purpose is of providing and maintaining our water, sewer, and storm drain infrastructure along with Security and their needs. I'm also concerned that the land purchase proposal moved forward when the Draft EIR has yet to come out with possible rooftop reduction requirements along with the fact that the CC had yet to formally or publicly state their approvals that I'm aware of. Other concerns are the fact that the 2 directors (One a former director and present CC member with the other a director of SOLOS) who brought this forward stated this has a strong chance of passing a vote because it'll only need a 2/3's majority of the "voting" ratepayers and not 2/3's of all of the district ratepayers on a whole whereas not voting is basically a yes vote which doesn't sound they hade a concern for district as a whole. I'm concerned when a director states that they need to purchase these lands to preserve Calero and Chesbro's water sheds when the fact is our lakes our served from the river. It was also stated that it was necessary to reduce the number proposed buildout properties because of possible future drought cocerns when there have been more than one study that contradicts this and they won't turn to mud. It was also stated if the CC was to close they would lose the courses irrigation as a spray field when they presently use Van Vlecks property for surplus and could attain more of that land if need be for a lot less money.

I can say I do agree with you that the our directors volunteer an enormous amount of their time of which I'm sincerely appreciative I and alot of us are also concerned with the future of RM. I can also say that I have confidence that the newly elected CC board will find ways to right the ship.

John Kershaw

John Kershaw's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 27
Post rating: 49

CSD Costs

I forgot to mention as of a couple of months ago the staff time and monies were at over $30,00.00 which I'm sure has increased from then which I don't consider chump change.

John Kershaw

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