New homes, businesses to grow Ridgemark

Closed 18 holes are setting for new growth

The Ridgemark Golf Club community and golf course continue to change, and along with a new 20,000-square-foot commercial development to begin construction this year, up to 190 new homes on 10,000-square-foot lots may soon be added.

Members of the Ridgemark Homes Association will soon be voting to accept or reject a new master plan, based on an approved legal agreement that will map out much of the development’s future.

“Land use is never easy, and there are a lot of different layers, technicalities and interested parties,” said Kristina Chavez Wyatt, community relations consultant for the owner. “Everyone wants to see investment and improvement to the quality of life in San Benito County, and with Ridgemark, there is potential for a rising tide that will raise all ships.”

Much of the redevelopment and reinvestment comes from Ridgemark Golf Club ownership led by John Wynn. A 20,000-square-foot “Ridgemark Row” commercial area, which will consist of a mix of tenants likely to include restaurants, small boutique shops, a neighborhood market and deli, along with insurance and real estate offices.

Ridgemark has seen many changes since 1972, when what used to be a turkey farm was transformed into an upscale community with a 36-hole, PGA-quality golf course. In April 2014 when drought conditions forced the Sunnyslope Water District to drastically cut the water supply to the Ridgemark Golf Course, the layout was cut to 18 holes.

The new master plan proposal consists of up to 190 new single-family homes on 10,000-square-foot minimum lots conforming to all homeowner association conditions, codes and restrictions and architectural review. Many of the new houses and lots will be built on the abandoned golf course land and the existing driving range area. Improvements in course flow, playability on holes 7, 8 and 9, along with the relocation and construction of a new driving range, have been designed and incorporated into the new plan.

The new master plan will also include improvements to Ridgemark Drive, from Airline Highway up to Donald Drive. The road improvement will be three to four lanes. The plan also includes a new 4-acre park, new native, drought-resistant trees and landscaping, and trails.

The plan also calls for a redesign of Joe’s Lane and Ridgemark Drive up to the clubhouse to improve traffic safety. Improvements to fire safety and the tennis center have already been implemented in partnership with the Ridgemark Tennis Club.

Throughout the last two years, the master plan has been fine-tuned to include extensive input from residents and community stakeholders, including the Ridgemark Homes Association, Ridgemark XI association members, the Tennis Club, and the Men’s and Women’s Golf Clubs.

The plan has been developed under the guidance of project manager Geary Coats of Coats Consulting in Carmel. Coats, a former Morgan Hill city manager and longtime planner of Pebble Beach resorts has been involved in the planning and development of Ridgemark since its inception. The Wynn team is rounded out by Hollister-based Kelley Engineering and Surveying, Breen Law Firm, Wyatt of Farmhouse Communications and land use and golf consultant Scott Fuller of San Juan Oaks.

“To get to this point, we have had dozens of meetings and held more than five master plan presentations to the Ridgemark Homeowners Association members,” Wyatt said. “Members of the community are very engaged. They want to see the high-quality investment that respects their homes and neighborhoods.”

Ridgemark Golf Course had been the center of ongoing legal wrangling between JMK Golf LLC, the former owner of Ridgemark Golf Course, and the Ridgemark Homes Association over the conditions of the closed course, the location of the approved commercial area close to residences, ownership, and maintenance of the roads in the Ridgemark community.

The lawsuit was settled after Angels’ Company, LLC, and John Wynn bought the golf course from JMK Golf in February 2015 for $11.5 million. After the sale, the RHA approved a legal settlement agreement by 93 percent vote with Wynn, who also agreed to additional investments including, widening Ridgemark Drive, improving the two guard houses, developing a comprehensive trail system, conducting improvements to the clubhouse and the future addition of a hotel.

Wynn has led investments of nearly $25 million San Benito County over the past four years, including the purchase of 40.5 acres of land just north of the Hollister Airport for the development of an industrial park anchored by a smart glass manufacturing factory.

“Mr. Wynn told me that he has developed an affinity for our area and as he gets older, he intends to retire and live in Ridgemark,” Wyatt said. “He has led delegations from the Bay Area, many who are interested in investing in San Benito County.”

For details see www.RidgemarkCommunity.com.

Leave your comments