1. Bullet The developers didn’t play by the rules. The RDEIR, the FEIR and the Staff Report document that the golf course was built in violation of local zoning codes/ordinances and Williamson Act contract. Various agencies describe violations of state and federal laws enacted to protect the environment and agricultural land. The developer should not gain an advantage now just because the golf course exists. County officials should not reward such outrageous behavior by approving the developer’s goal, at the expense of other county residents and the surrounding community. Doing so would brand Calaveras County as a safe haven for developers willing to risk building before securing approvals or basic entitlements.

  2. Bullet The project doesn’t meet the Board of Supervisors’ Discretionary Development Policy 07-242 thatAll divisions of land will be served by public surface water and public sewer with the exception of those projects where: (a) all parcels to be created are in excess of 40 acres; or (b) only one additional parcel is being created.”

  3. Bullet Irrigating the private golf course uses 113 million gallons of groundwater annually. California is experiencing a record drought. The aquifer serving the Wallace/Burson area is declining. Around 25 local wells have gone dry, forcing homeowners to truck in water for daily survival.  Project impacts on the aquifer and surrounding wells can’t be determined without appropriate field testing, but watering turf grass is NOT the most beneficial use of precious local water resources.

  4. Bullet Long-term sustainability of the project’s water supply is uncertain. The RDEIR says any new water demands must be provided by surface water.  However, CCWD has indicated it has no reclaimed water to provide Trinitas, nor means of delivering it, if it was available. They also say it could take ten years or more and up to $30,000,000 to bring surface water to the Valley Springs/Burson/Wallace area. The chance of doing so in the foreseeable future without taxpayer subsidies through a public assessment or bond measure is slim. The project should not be approved on a long-shot hope of future surface water.

  5. Bullet Traffic will more than double, causing driving delays, worsening road surfaces and threatening public safety, due to increased daily vehicle trips by new residents, golfers playing somewhere from 12,000-36,000 or more rounds of golf annually, and visitors to the clubhouse, restaurant, bar, banquet facilities, retail shops and 30-unit motel. In addition, the proposal calls for 24 events of up to 500 people per year, one event of up to 1,000 people, and unlimited events of up to 250 people. Any one “event” can last for several days, as golf tournaments often do. This could result in nearly constant events, which will keep traffic coursing through our community. If the land is rezoned Recreation-Existing Parcel Size-Planned Development (REC-X-PD), even larger events could be approved, since different rules apply under Recreation zoning. The threat to public safety on our dangerous roads will increase dramatically.

  6. Bullet The project exemplifies “leap-frog development”, would be growth inducing, resulting in lost agricultural land and open spaces. If approved, the golf resort/event facility would inevitably lead to the conversion of surrounding agricultural land to additional housing and commercial development, worsening existing water and road infrastructure deficiencies. The ultimate cost of approving the golf resort is the irreplaceable loss of our natural resources, open space, agricultural land and quiet rural residential community.

  7. Bullet Golf facilities and events aren’t compatible with surrounding ranching operations and rural residences. Noise from public address systems and amplified music associated with events would be allowed from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., seven days a week. In addition to the traffic and noise, project lighting from streetlights, 5 acres of lighted parking lots and headlights from vehicles coming and going from the facilities after dark will alter the area’s character and views of the night sky, and interfere with ranching activities on adjacent properties.

  8. Bullet No cost/benefit analysis supports exaggerated claims of economic benefit to the county. Several large golf resort projects have gone into foreclosure recently, from Sacramento to Bakersfield. This development may fail to generate enough revenue to pay for its impacts on water, wear and tear on local roads and the disruption of our agricultural and rural community. If it is approved, the benefit will go primarily to the developers. It’s a bad deal for the county.

  9. Bullet Inconsistent with General Plan Goals, Policies and Implementation Procedures See Legal Issues and Comments on the RDEIR Exhibit 64 for more on this topic

  10. Bullet Inadequate General Plan - The County’s own EIR consultant Mintier & Harnish has declared the existing general plan inadequate and legally deficient. How can a project’s compliance with a faulty general plan guarantee less than significant impacts?

The “Top 10” Issues

Notable Quotes:

  1. Bullet “The nature of the project is not consistent with the surrounding setting. The increased intensity of the land use is not established within the existing zoning ordinances and is not supported by the surrounding land uses; therefore, the proposed use of the site has the potential to disturb the nature of the existing community...”

“...Although the residential development on the site can be characterized as compatible with the area, the other activities on the site are relatively intensive. If the maximum number of events is held at the project site, there will be fairly intensive activity almost every weekend of the year. The operation of the golf course and related facilities and special events is not compatible with the rural scattered quiet residential nature of the surrounding uses. This impact is significant and unavoidable.


IMPACT #3-8.4

Overview     Legal     Water     Traffic   Agriculture    Biological/Other    Events/Noise    Services    Economic

Masthead photo:

A trailer-towing pickup crosses well over the center line on one of many blind curves on Southworth Road, north of Ospital Road, where the “shoulder” drops off steeply just past the asphalt.

Copyright 2009 - Keep It Rural Calaveras (KIRC)

Unless otherwise noted, all photographs are the property of KIRC.

Documents were obtained from Calaveras County under the Public Records Act, and from cited news sources.

Notable Quotes:

  1. Bullet “Both Ospital and Southworth Roads are narrow, two-lane paved country roads that are generally considered inadequate to accommodate the potential level of use associated with the proposed project. Although some larger parcels are being divided into 5-40 acre residential parcels, improvement of Ospital/Southworth Roads will enhance accessibility to the area. Additionally, the development of a destination project, as indicated by the intent to host golf tournaments, clinics, and visitor tours, will increase area exposure. The development of executive homesites and availability of resort-style opportunities further emphasize the non-agricultural, residential potential of the area.”

RIDGE AT TRINITAS Notice of Preparation  - Growth-Inducing Impacts, Dec. 29, 2005

Volume 4 of the Final EIR (available by download or on disk from the County) contains issues raised by KIRC after the NOP for the Revised Draft EIR,  and 23 comment letters and supporting exhibits written by 13 different individuals in response to the Revised Draft EIR. These were organized and submitted to the County by KIRC on September 29, 2007, but were treated as a single submission (Exhibit 64 - 74MB) and not responded to in detail. The file is large, and lacks bookmarks to help a reader navigate, but many issues outlined on this website are explained more thoroughly in those pages. Check them out.