Board of Supervisors to review contract with Touchstone Golf and grant from Coastal Conservancy for community engagement and visioning
San Rafael, CA – A proposal to operate the San Geronimo Golf Course for the next two years is going before the Marin County Board of Supervisors on March 27, and approval of a contract with a golf course management company could result in a reopening of the course in April.
The Board of Supervisors approved a purchase agreement for the San Geronimo property in November 2017 with The Trust for Public Land (TPL), and TPL is maintaining ownership until the County can raise funds to complete the purchase. TPL bought the land for $8.85 million, the same price the County has agreed to pay TPL for the property. The County kept the fairways and greens in a play-ready condition the past few months in anticipation of a golf course operation agreement.
In early January, Parks released a request for proposals (RFP) to solicit an operator to continue golf and clubhouse operations for a two-year period. Proposals were received, and three potential operators were selected for interviews. Following that process, Touchstone Golf was chosen to move forward to negotiate a potential agreement.
Touchstone Golf, founded in 2005, is the 10th largest American-based golf course management company. With direct ties to the Bay Area, the company has 35 courses under its management, including 11 that are owned by municipal governments. Presidio Golf Course in San Francisco, Franklin Canyon Golf Course in Hercules, Lake Chabot Golf Course in Oakland, and Redwood Canyon Golf Course in Castro Valley are among the Bay Area courses under Touchstone management. In December 2017, the city of Vallejo entered into a contract with Touchstone to manage Blue Rock Springs Golf Course.
Over the past several months, Parks staff has met with the San Geronimo Valley community and other interested Marin residents, responding to questions and listening to concerns. Public visioning workshops and other events will be scheduled as soon as this spring to discuss proposed future uses for the property. Any future uses would require consideration and approval by the Board of Supervisors and appropriate state environmental analysis.
On March 12, the California Wildlife Conservation Board staff announced its recommendation to award a $3,420,000 grant toward the County’s purchase of the San Geronimo property. If ultimately accepted by the Board of Supervisors, the money would account for 69 percent of the $4.94 million the County needs to finalize the acquisition transaction. The County seeks to finalize the purchase from TPL by late 2018.
In January 2018, the California State Coastal Conservancy approved a $150,000 grant to support a community engagement and vision planning process for future public uses of the property. Marin County Parks plans to bring that grant agreement to the Board of Supervisors for approval on March 27. Parks has also entered into an agreement with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy to provide staff support for the planning effort.
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