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Friday, May 23 2014 11:34 AM

Golden Hills CSD announces purchase of derelict golf course; Tom Sawyer Lake included in purchase

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The derelict Golden Hills Country Club building stands on land recently purchased by Golden Hills Community Services District. Tehachapi News photo by Jack Barnwell

Tom Sawyer Lake in Golden Hills is part of a land purchase announced on Friday, May 23, by the Golden Hills Community Services District. Tehachapi News photo by Jack Barnwell

The almost 165 acre property that was once home to a golf course, pool, driving range, tennis courts and a club house has long been a source of blight and concern for the residents of Golden Hills.

However, that is about to change with the announcement that Golden Hills Community Services District (GHCSD) has purchased the property with the intention of cleaning it up and making it a usable community space.

The purchase was announced in a news release from the district on Friday morning, May 23.

Tom Llewelyn, spokesman for the district, said the land was purchased from AB Land Company using funds in district reserves at the price of approximately $5,300 per acre (which would be a total of about $874,500).

“This is a dream come true to be able to do this,” said GHCSD Board President Ed Kennedy. “The community has been discussing how and what to do about the golf course for years. Great things are going to happen.”

Among the most immediate actions to be taken will be an initial cleanup of the property and public meetings to discuss its future.

“GHCSD property is community property,” explained GHCSD board member Laura Lynne Wyatt. “Our goal is to turn it from an eyesore into an asset. The particulars of what that means, from the name to any facilities constructed, will be up to our community.”

Ideas from GHCSD for the land include maintaining it as open space available to the public for recreation and the possible construction of a community center.

However, GHCSD is excited to work with residents to build a community vision for the property.

GHCSD General Manager Bill Fisher says that among the top priorities is the rehabilitation of Tom Sawyer Lake, which has been plagued in recent years with a cycle of foul smelling algae growth.

“We are going to be working hard to restore Tom Sawyer Lake, but it’s going to take time,” said Fisher. “It’s a big project and it is one that needs to be done right. There’s no quick fix for it.”

GHCSD is excited about the prospect of the new property and invites all community members participate in planning the future of the land. Residents should watch for announcements of upcoming meetings about the property in the newspaper, on GHCSD’s website at ghcsd.com and on the GHCSD Facebook page at facebook.com/ghcsd.

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