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A surprising possible buyer has emerged for Rancho Murieta’s 700 acres of undeveloped land -- the Community Services District.

The agenda for Thursday’s CSD board meeting includes the appointment of General Manager Ed Crouse and CSD attorney Adam Lindgren as negotiators with the Pension Trust Fund for Operating Engineers, owners of Murieta’s undeveloped land and the Country Club.  The agenda item lists a string of parcel numbers that correspond to the PTF’s property in Rancho Murieta, which has been on the market for several months.

The agenda calls for the appointment of negotiators in the public part of the meeting, while a conversation on the topic is scheduled for a longer-than-usual executive session, behind closed doors.

Land for saleCrouse was not willing to talk about the possible outcomes Monday, saying it’s not clear what the CSD will do because that will be determined in the closed session. “We’re not in closed session and we haven’t come out yet,” he said.

In a phone conversation Monday, board president Bobbi Belton acknowledged the agenda makes it clear the district is considering all possible options for the PTF-owned property.  “At this time, truly, I don’t have a clue where we might go with it,” she said.  She added later, “If the community could purchase the property, it would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Belton said she would want a “clear-cut” survey of the district’s ratepayers, and perhaps even a “directional vote,” before the CSD board takes any action.

In recent weeks, in interviews with RanchoMurieta.com and the River Valley Times, Director Dick Taylor said he thought the CSD should play a “meaningful role” in the PTF property sale.

Asked last week if the CSD was talking about buying the property, Taylor responded, “We haven’t had that exact conversation.  It’s something that we think should be considered by the community as being an absolute way of controlling future development.”

On Monday, Kenneth Noack Jr. of Grubb & Ellis, the real estate firm representing the property, repeated a claim that the Rancho Murieta land has drawn a lot of interest.  He would not elaborate.

Noack said a deadline for offers had been set at noon, Friday, Oct. 29.

The undeveloped land has been advertised for sale since summer, with no price given.

In August, Country Club officials said the Pension Trust Fund, as a courtesy, had told them in July that the property was for sale.  Vince Lepera, club president, said a sale would not affect the club, which has a lease that runs to 2028 and the right to buy its own property in the event of a sale.

In addition to the Country Club, the property on the market includes the Operating Engineers training center, a part of the community since the first days of the development and the spark plug for many earth-moving improvements over the years.

The pension fund has owned the land since the late 1960s, when it bought adjoining ranchland properties and water rights along the Cosumnes River and named the 3,500 acres Rancho Murieta.

In 1969, the Operating Engineers dedicated the training center we see today and began moving earth to put in the infrastructure to serve the new community.  The North Course opened in 1971, followed by Murieta Village in 1972 and the first North homes and the clubhouse in 1973.

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Bunky Svendsen's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 165
Post rating: 210

Energy indepedence

That would be great! Then maybe we could throw up some solar panels and provide power for the community.


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