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Bonsall Community Considers Initiative To Save Golf Course

Photo caption: Golfers played their final round at San Luis Rey Downs Golf Course on Aug. 6,...

Photo by Promise Yee

Golfers played their final round at San Luis Rey Downs Golf Course on Aug. 6, 2014.

Most communities that fight developers are usually against putting up more buildings in their neighborhoods.

But a group called Save the Downs in North County is fighting a plan to turn the closed San Luis Rey Downs golf course in Bonsall back into natural habitat.

That habitat would become a mitigation bank where developers could buy undeveloped land to make up for developing rural land somewhere else.

“Right in the center, right in the heart of your town, we’re going to fence everything off, so you can’t walk your dog and you can’t ride horses,” said Jon Frandell, a spokesman for the group. “And if you sell your home, you’ve got to say it’s going to be a mitigation bank. You’re going to be looking at weeds. So people are having a hard time selling their homes.”

Photo by "Save the Downs"

Save the Downs community group meeting, Jan. 16, 2015.

Save the Downs is considering its options. The group has voted for a feasibility study on an initiative to form a community finance district within the Rainbow Municipal Water District to raise money.

The golf course closed last summer. A spokesman for the company that owns the course, San Luis Rey Downs Enterprises, said it had been losing money for almost a decade.

The Army Corps of Engineers is currently reviewing an application from Conservation Land Group to turn the land back into natural habitat. Community concerns are taken into account during that process.

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