After facing the possibility of new development, the former Executive Golf Course in El Dorado Hills has officially become public lands. The El Dorado Hills Community Services District (EDHCSD) successfully completed the escrow process for the acquisition of 55 acres of the land and made the announcement of the escrow closure last Friday afternoon.
“The El Dorado Hills Community Services District is happy to announce that escrow for the initial purchase of 55 acres on the Old Executive Golf Course has closed, and our community now has ownership of prime central El Dorado Hills recreation space,” the EDHCSD said in a public statement upon completion of the sale.
In addition to the successful purchase, the EDHCSD also received a donation of 11 acres adjacent to the archery range along El Dorado Hills Boulevard, extending towards Wilson Boulevard.
To fund the initial $10 million land purchase, the board decided to utilize available cash reserves. They also expressed intentions to explore local funding options, such as a publicly funded bond measure, for the acquisition of additional “option property.”
The remaining golf course property, covering 41.5 acres on the south side of Serrano Parkway closest to Highway 50, carries a price tag of $9.96 million ($240,000 per acre). The approved purchase agreement provides the CSD and the community with an 18-month window to secure funding or financing for the second purchase, now that escrow has closed on the first.
After extensive negotiations, public meetings, and plan revisions, the EDHCSD finalized a deal with Serrano Associates LLC during the board of directors meeting on November 20, 2023. Notably, the purchase includes language ensuring the current zoning and use of the old Executive Golf Course property not acquired will remain in perpetuity. This means that Parker Development is no longer able to pursue a residential project on the property, originally part of its Central El Dorado Hills Specific Plan.
“Getting to this point would not have been possible without the strong outpouring of support from the El Dorado Hills community, “ the CSD continued in its announcement. “To our community members and partners, whether you have been supporting this effort for months or years, thank you for your collaboration and perseverance. This is a huge milestone achieved by the community.”
According to a statement from Kirk Bone, director of Government Relations for Parker Development Company, the developer agreed withdraw the application following the closure of the initial purchase escrow. The possibility of development remains on the west side of El Dorado Hills Boulevard, which is not included in the aforementioned property or sale.
Now that the land has been aquired, the CSD asks for the public’s patience when it comes to next steps involving the property and public access. Mark Hornstra, interim General Manager of the EDHCSD, explained that there is much work to do regarding boundaries and that the property is fully prepared for public access. The CSD began working on those steps this week and expects to be complete in just a few weeks.