Brentwood's Deer Ridge Golf Club possibly to become site of working farm

Press file photo

The Deer Ridge Golf Club could possibly become the site of a working farm and other agricultural amenities.

The city is asking Deer Ridge property owners if they’d be willing to swing open their wallets to fund and maintain landscaping improvements to 14 golf course frontage areas that fell into disrepair when the nearby golf club closed last year.

It’s expected that the city-organized survey will seek residents’ opinions on paying as much as $80 annually to turn the area’s landscaping responsibilities over to the city.

Golf club owner Deer Ridge Golf Club LP stopped maintaining the course, including the 14 landscaped frontage areas, after the course closed in September 2019, drawing the ire of Deer Ridge residents.

Brentwood City Manager Tim Ogden confirmed this week that over 1,000 property owners were mailed a letter asking them to go to a city webpage, read the materials posted there about the proposal with maps, and share their feedback with staff. 

“We need to work with our community that has been asking us to make a difference and to help them pay for their own improvements,” said City Councilmember Karen Rarey. “I think we need to step up to the plate for the residents that have been waiting for it.”

The information gathering results are likely to help the city determine if it should spend about $100,000 to kick-start the formal process to try to create a Deer Ridge property owner-funded Landscape and Lighting Assessment District to fund and maintain the areas.

The district can’t be established without formal majority approval of district property owners — meaning the city would lose $100,000 if voters formally reject the district creation.

“(The informal poll) would give us a lot higher level of certainty as to whether or not we would be able to recoup that original investment for the beginning of this process,” said Vice Mayor Joel Bryant.

If the city moves forward and a majority of property owners subsequently approve the district, then it’s likely that Deer Ridge Golf Club, LP would turn ownership of the frontage sections over to the city.

Area property owners would then likely be charged $80 annually for 10 years to fund infrastructure and landscape improvements, in addition to ongoing maintenance, before the yearly assessments dip to $20 or $30 after the 10-year period to cover ongoing maintenance costs alone.

Precise costs, however, won’t be determined until formal cost estimates are determined in advance of a property-owner vote, if city leaders decide to move forward.

“We think (those estimates) are in the ballpark, but we have to do the construction estimates to be able to determine what the specific cost will be,” said Parks and Recreation Director Bruce Mulder.

Deer Ridge residents appear to be on board with the idea.

“My house is still not appraised for what I bought it for in 2005, and it is because of what has been happening at the golf course,” said one resident. “I would ask the councilmembers to please vote yes on this … I am wiling to pay $60, $80, $100 because I want our frontage landscapes to be take care of.”

Fellow Deer Ridge resident Victoria Sandberg agreed.

“We have a unique situation here,” she said. “I don’t think there are very many other developments in Brentwood where the front entrances are completely dead and the streets trees are dying.”

If the city moves forward with the formal district-creation process, a handful of formal declarations will need to be approved during public city council meetings.

Deer Ridge neighborhood property owners would also receive formal district-creation decision ballots with accompanying information at least 45 days in advance of ballot tabulation.

For more information on the situation, visit packet page 18 at https://bit.ly/38y2vVa.

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