Sierra La Verne
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The City has created this page to share information about the former Sierra La Verne Country Club golf course. We will continue to update this section as more information becomes available.
- The Sierra La Verne Country Club is a private, members only, golf course with wedding, dining, and banquet facilities located at 6300 Country Club Drive.
- The golf course originally opened in 1978 as a 9-hole course that was open to the public, later expanding to an 18-hole course and becoming a private country club.
- In 1996, the City approved a new Conditional Use Permit for the operation of the golf course and the clubhouse, with specific conditions of approval. This Conditional Use Permit transfers to a new owner automatically, allowing new owners to continue to operate a public or private golf course.
- The properties that make up the golf course have been sold several times (1988, 1993, 2009, 2014, 2016).
- In 2015 a developer was exploring the potential of purchasing Sierra La Verne Country Club and doing an exchange with Los Angeles County’s Marshall Canyon Golf Course, a public facility, with the hope to annex the Marshall Canyon property into La Verne to develop homes there on account both golf courses were struggling with generating revenues. The City Council, after hearing the concerns of the residents, sent a letter to our County Supervisor (then it was Michael Antonovich) indicating that the Council did not support such a deal. The County then stopped discussions with the developer. No application was ever submitted to the City for this proposal.
- The Sierra La Verne Country Club has a General Plan designation of “Open Space”. The General Plan is the City’s guiding document for the future. Last adopted in 1998, the City is currently undergoing an update to the General Plan. It is not expected that there will be any change to the “Open Space” designation within the new General Plan. This designation prohibits any development on the property.
- The Sierra La Verne Country Club has a Zoning designation of “A-1”, or “Agriculture”. This Zoning designation would allow the construction of up to one single-family home for every parcel (Sierra La Verne Country Club is comprised of a total of four parcels), if not for the General Plan designation of “Open Space”.
- The company marketing the sale of the properties, the Hoffman Company, has released marketing material which indicates that the properties are ready for residential development. As mentioned above, this is not the case.
- The City has had inquiries from developers as a result of the marketing materials, and each developer has been told about the restrictions on development.
- On social media (Nextdoor, Facebook) we have seen comments that the property would be allowed to build 110 units (not true) or even 220 units with Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) because of new State law (again, not true). In fact, ADU’s are not permitted in the City’s Hillside Development Overlay Zone due to concerns of being in the very high fire zone. This Hillside Development Overlay Zone covers all properties north of Baseline and east of Wheeler, which would include the Sierra La Verne Country Club.
- There has also been discussion that there are several of these ADU’s being built in these neighborhoods today. Some of the structures may be detached guest homes, which differ from ADU’s as they are not permitted to have kitchen facilities, thus prohibiting long-term stays. If you have questions on a specific structure, you may contact the City’s Community Development Department at 909-596-8706 for more information.
- The City sent the Hoffman Company a letter on August 14, 2018, indicating the current General Plan and Zoning designations, the limitations on development, and that the City would not support the development of the properties.
- A developer could file an application to change the General Plan and Zoning designations in order to allow development, but that would be an extensive process with full community involvement, thorough environmental studies, and several public hearings before the Planning Commission and City Council, with the City Council ultimately tasked with approving or denying the request. Without the support of City staff and based on the decision made in 2015, it would be unlikely that a developer would be successful requesting a change.
Update December 2018: The property owner contacted the City (Sol Long Term Letter to City (10/18/18)) indicating that as a result of being unable to find a suitable buyer for the property, they would begin bankruptcy proceedings and closure of the golf course. The City responded (City Letter to Sol Long Term (11/05/18)) that we were willing to meet with the owners to discuss the issues raised in their letter. The City has no further contact with the property owner since that letter was sent. An article detailing these latest events was recently in the local newspaper (Daily Bulletin Article (12/09/18)).
Update February 2019:
- At the beginning of January 2019, Western Golf was brought on by the owners to handle the golf operations.
- In a letter dated January 7, 2019, La Verne Mayor Don Kendrick sent a letter (Mayor Kendrick Letter January 07, 2018) to residents in north La Verne on his own behalf in order to inform residents as to what had occurred to that date with the City’s initial letter (Hoffman Company a letter on August 14, 2018) attached.
- On January 12th, a Nextdoor post had a photo of the letter and asked for other residents to provide more information. The post had 60 comments between January 12th and January 17th.
- The City met with Western Golf on January 17th to find out what their plans were for the golf course. Representatives of Western Golf informed the City that they were brought on to look into the operations and to see if there might be a way to keep the golf course open. The City expressed our interest in seeing the property remain a golf course, and offered to assist them in their efforts.
- On January 18th, Western Golf held a meeting with their members to introduce themselves and explain what they hope to do in the coming months “to get the club on solid footing.”
- The City anticipated that many people would be attending the January 22nd City Council meeting regarding this issue, so Mayor Kendrick asked Community Development Director Eric Scherer to provide an update on the issue at the meeting. Several residents and members spoke during public comment on the issue, asking the City to try to make sure the property remains a golf course. There was no action for the City Council to take at this meeting.
- More comments were received at the February 4th City Council meeting, reiterating the concerns expressed at the previous meeting. There was no action for the City Council to take at this meeting.
- On February 6th, the City became aware of a letter (Letter From Sol Land Trust January 31, 2018) that was mailed to north La Verne residents from the property owner, Sol Land Trust, LLC, indicating that they plan on closing the course in the next few months and are inviting the community to a future meeting to “understand community priorities and desires for the future of the property.” The letter asked residents to provide their contact information to be informed of the future meetings at www.slvmeetings.com or by emailing email@example.com
- The City has reached out to the property owners to ask if City staff may also attend these meetings and have also reached out to Western Golf to find out why the letter was sent out. Western Golf indicated that they did not know that any such letter was going to be sent out, while we have yet to hear back from the property owner.
Update May 2022:
- While ongoing maintenance issues continue to be observed, there have not been any inquiries from potential buyers or developers of the property.
- The windstorms of January 2022 downed a significant number of trees on the property. Luckily there was little to no damage to the surrounding properties. The owners attempted to work through their insurance company to help to address the clean-up, however they have indicated that their claim was rejected.
- The Fire Marshal has inspected the property with ownership representatives to identify areas that are required to be addressed based on the Fire Code and identified hazards. This will not require that all downed trees are to be removed if there is not a current fire risk or other code violation.
- It is anticipated that the cleanup of the property will begin towards the end of May and will take several weeks to be completed. In the interim, the representative indicated that they will look to address non-fire related complaints, such as perimeter fencing along Golden Hills Rd. and the former golf cart path crossings on Birdie and Country Club Drives.
Update August 2022: The La Verne Fire Department has worked with the representative for the property ownership on addressing necessary weed abatement activity on the property. The Fire Department and Los Angeles County Agricultural Commissioner/ Weights and Measures (County) have inspected the property with the representative and identified the areas that need to be addressed. Most of the ground clearing has been completed, with the exception of downed trees. On two of the three parcels that make up the property, the County has the authority to commission the work themselves if the property owner fails to complete the work by a certain deadline. As that deadline has now passed, the County has added these two properties to their list to conduct abatement activities for those trees within 200’ of existing structures. This will not remove all of the fallen trees, but will address the ones identified as a fire hazard by the Fire Marshal and the County. The costs associated with this work will be charged by the County back to the property owner.
Separately, the City is working to address the outstanding issues on the third parcel that the County does not have jurisdiction over. While there is no definite timeframe for this work to be completed by, it remains a priority for the City and the County.
We will continue to keep the residents informed on this topic.