ROCKLIN -- For almost two years, the former Rocklin Golf Club has been a community eyesore and point of frustration for its neighbors. But now a possible solution is going in front of the city council next week. One that is sure to spark some serious debate.
A new, three-part plan for the 181 acres is ready to be offered up that guarantees both land preservation and a residential housing development that would be built on a piece of the property.
"We built here because it was a golf course, because we didn't want houses behind us," explained Joyce Wilson.
She and her husband Jerry have lived in this community, which backs up to the golf course, for nearly 30 years. But if homes eventually do go up behind them, they say they'll consider moving.
The new proposal highlights exactly where the homes would go. On 42 acres near the northeast corner of the property. The city would also purchase 27 acres near the south end of the golf course for $1.5 million. While the ownership group would donate the remaining 114 acres to the city for permanent open space to do with what they want.
"Possibly expand the trail system. That has been the number one item requested in park surveys from the residents," said Michael Young with the City of Rocklin.
The Rocklin Golf Club abruptly closed its doors back in August 2015. Since then, the ownership group, Sunset Whitney, LLC, has kept up with their mortgage payments, but have let the property go. The plush green grass has been overtaken by weeds, many of which are overgrown. The lot doesn't even resemble a golf course any more, and neighbors have taken their complaints to the city.
"We can't just let it go wild. We saw what happened when it had no management," said Rocklin resident Jerry Wilson.
There have been complaints of trespassing and vandalism, and residents will tell you coyotes and other animals are causing problems on the wide open land. In part, that is why the city is stepping in.
The plan though is similar to one that Charlie Gibson, who is part of Sunset Whitney LLC, had come up with just before the golf course closed. A big difference is that the plan back in 2015 kept the golf course intact. But at that time, the city turned it down. Now, the two sides are working together to finally get something done.
"The initial proposal he gave would have been completely OK with me," said Wilson. "Now though it has turned into something else, and we need to see some resolution."
The proposal goes in front of council members this coming Tuesday evening, and a community meeting on the matter is already scheduled for April 6 at the Rocklin Event Center.