Nine hole golf course approved at OML

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Posted by Max Bottomtime on March 24, 2006 at 19:51:07:


RPV resort shrinks as its costs inflate
By Nick Green

Rising construction costs have prompted the developer of Rancho Palos Verdes' luxury resort at Long Point to reduce the hotel's size by 85,000 square feet and make several other revisions.

In addition, 10 rather than 11 buildings will house outlying villa units and a 180,000-square-foot parking structure will be eliminated, although the number of parking spaces will remain the same.

Moreover, as expected, a nine-hole golf course will replace a driving range deemed superfluous now that Trump National Golf Club has built one a couple of miles down the road.

"There's more and more interest in nine-hole executive courses," Councilman Larry Clark said. "It will provide another golf experience on our Peninsula and in our city, which could be complementary to Trump National."

The reduction in the hotel's size from 500,000 square feet to 415,000 square feet and the elimination of two tennis courts will free up space for more surface parking and landscaping on the 102-acre coastal bluff that once housed the Marineland theme park.

The plan's modifications are not without cost; no longer will every room boast an ocean view.

The revisions will go before the California Coastal Commission in May.

Company officials hope construction of the long-delayed $320 million resort, approved four years ago and originally scheduled to break ground last year, will now start in midsummer. It's hoped that what's now called Terranea will open before the end of 2008.

While the changes received the approval of the City Council on Tuesday, most discussion centered around the safety of one golf hole that sits in front of eight homes.

A pedestrian path is only 110 feet from the center of the green on hole seven, while the homes are only about 130 feet away, resident Dave Emenhiser said.

"I'm for the golf course, I'm for the eight holes, I'm not for hole number seven," he said. "Maybe Terranea would feel better about it aimed at their parking lot rather than our houses."

Company officials said they wouldn't, though that was because the course design would not permit it.

Two golf course design experts -- including one hired by the city to review the layout -- and Lowe Destination Development President Rob Lowe, believed the hole would not create a safety problem, but council members appeared less than convinced.

They urged the company to consider changing the design and set more stringent review criteria after its opening, and they ordered the company to increase its insurance coverage.

Still, given the expert advice, council members adopted a wait-and-see approach.

"One errant golf ball and one child (hit) makes us revisit this in a swift and powerful manner," warned Mayor Steve Wolowicz. "I do have some concerns about the safety of the people back there."

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