Archives: Current Issues 2008

Update on Fairbanks Ranch Country Club Lease (4/26/08)


April 26, 2008

William Anderson, Director
City Planning and Community Investment
202 C St., MS 5A
San Diego, CA. 92101

Dear Mr. Anderson,

The undersigned representatives are respectfully drawing your attention to an unacceptable situation: One of the City's lessees is refusing to pay its rent for the use of public open space in the San Dieguito River Valley and, beyond issuing a report that the Fairbanks Ranch Country Club is delinquent, the financially strapped City of San Diego appears to be letting the matter drop.

Our question is: Why?

In 1982, the City of San Diego entered into a controversial agreement with Watts Industries to build housing in excess of what the zoning then allowed, in exchange for 600 acres of deeded public open space.  Six months later, the City leased 2/3 of  the land back to the developer to create a private country club rent-free until 2010, or until the Club membership sales exceeded 25 million dollars.  That threshold was crossed in 2003 but the Club continues to baulk at paying even this amount and the financially strapped City of San Diego continues to put up with it.  

Our question is: Why?

Almost one year ago, the City's Revenue Audit Division issued a report indicating that the Country Club had failed to pay rent due to the City for the period January 1, 2004 through December 31, 2006 amounting to over $169,000.  According to the City's Property Agent, no payments have made since then and the matter was referred to an advisory attorney in the City Attorney's Office to determine the next step.  As of today, no action has been taken.

Our questions is: Why?

The undersigned representatives sit on the San Dieguito River Park Citizens Advisory Committee and are concerned about land use issues in the River Valley. We hope by means of this letter you will look into the matter and get back to us.   Please contact Ann Gardner at (858) 755-6061 or by mail at 12971 Via Latina, Del Mar, CA 92014 regarding our question.

Thank you for your attention and assistance,

Ann Gardner, Dick Barber
Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley Audubon Society
Palomar Chapter

Carol Carr
San Diego County Bicycle Coalition Deborah DeBow
California Native Plant Society-SD

Cc:  Scott Peters, President 
      San DiegoCity Council