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Save the Downs dissolves


Last updated 7/14/2018 at 4:08pm

Shane Gibson photo

Save the Downs secretary Jeri Walz presents a check to Legacy Endowment CEO Pete Boukouzis while being joined by, left to right, Save the Downs vice president Jerry Tomaz, Save the Downs president Jon Frandell and Rod Walz. The check presentation was made near the remains of hole 11 at the defunct San Luis Rey Golf Club.

BONSALL – Save the Downs, a 501c3 nonprofit formed in 2014, filed papers of dissolution effective June 25, 2018.

The original purpose of Save the Downs was twofold – first, to to stop the development of a wetlands mitigation bank on the property that would have included a chain link fence around the property, preventing public access and enjoyment of the property; and secondly, to make every effort to keep the San Luis Rey Golf Resort open to the public.

Unfortunately, the golf course remains closed despite public outcry and efforts made by Save the Downs to keep it open.

This was a major loss for the community as this golf course was designed by the legendary William Bell, who also designed many other famous golf courses such as Torrey Pines, La Jolla Country Club and Camp Pendleton Memorial Golf Course, to name a few.

Fortunately, the wetlands mitigation bank was not developed. The County of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department has purchased most of the property (approximately 182 acres) while six commercial acres were purchased by a real estate developer from Arizona.

While the group hopes the County of San Diego will create a beautiful park for the community – one that may also include a golf course – this story may not be over. The group recently found out – after the dissolution took effect – that the remaining 71 acres were sold late last year to a different mitigation bank company that plans to use Moosa Creek to create a riparian habitat.

The residents of Bonsall and surrounding communities came together and made a difference four years ago but may have another challenge ahead of them.

In the meantime, per the bylaws of the corporation of Save the Downs, when the corporation dissolved it forwarded the remaining proceeds, $3,476, to Legacy Endowment, the community foundation to be used for other community activism to benefit the Bonsall community.


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