Habitat rehab planned for Fairbanks Ranch Country Club in Rancho Santa Fe area


The Carmel Valley Community Planning Board heard about the latest plans for the Bay Club Fairbanks Ranch Country Club, including a lease reassignment and amendment with the city. At the board’s April 28 meeting, attorney Ryan Waterman spoke about how the new lease will help resolve the long outstanding habitat mitigation issues at Fairbanks Ranch.

The city owns the country club property, which was deeded to them by the original developers in the 1980s — a deed restriction requires that it must remain a golf club.

According to Bay Club spokesperson Rachel Laing, the original golf club tenants were unable to make it work financially after the recession hit so eventually they started looking for someone to take over the lease — San Francisco-based Bay Club Company is now operating the club as they complete the process of getting the lease reassigned to them.

Bay Club also operates the Bay Club Carmel Valley athletic club. Waterman said Bay Club’s intent is to make the club a much more family-friendly environment and operate in partnership with the Carmel Valley club.

The action proposed to San Diego City Council is a lease with Bay Club until 2044. Bay Club would operate under an amended lease that includes the major investment in habitat restoration.

“Bay Club will give some real TLC to the habitat, upgrade and extend it to reach 147 acres,” Waterman said, noting that the restoration represents $3 million worth of habitat restoration.

The restoration includes cleaning up the San Dieguito River bed, taking out invasive species and doing a little bit of planting in some areas. As a condition of the lease they will maintain the property for the length of the lease, estimated to be about $100,000 per year.

The work substantially expands the original habitat mitigation requirement of 109 acres.

Bay Club also intends to plug an additional $6 million into refurbishment and extension of the country club, including the addition of six tennis courts and a pool.

Waterman said they hope to have the lease agreement approved by City Council in the next few months.