The 4-0 vote — with Councilwoman Paula Perotte absent — means the city will execute a couple of contracts totaling $25,000, for appraisal of the property and fiscal analysis with regard to options for purchasing the 159-acre property at 405 Glen Annie Road in Goleta.
“It would be prudent for us to take a look at it,” said Councilman Michael Bennett, acknowledging that the current fiscal climate was not conducive to a purchase but that it would be a good investment.
The Glen Annie Golf Club has been on the city’s radar for years. Located just outside the city’s northern limits, the financially embattled golf course at one time requested annexation into the city, a request the city did not grant at the time. An alternative that allowed for residential development was put together just a few years ago, but that plan fell through as well, and the owners defaulted. The property went up for sale last year, but no fruitful deals seem to have been negotiated yet.
Given community support for recreation on that property and the city’s priority to find city-sponsored recreational opportunities, the matter received support from the council despite reservations expressed by Mayor Margaret Connell.
“Even if we get a positive result, I don’t know how we culminate a purchase,” she said.
The new owners, according to the staff report, have rejected offers of $6 million to $7 million, but were in escrow for about $7.2 million before the offer fell through for lack of financing.
The study would aim to uncover information regarding infrastructure, site conditions, historic revenues and expenditures, a review of market trends for golf courses in Santa Barbara County and operating options for the city. Should the city decide to purchase, it still would have to undergo the annexation process to acquire the golf course.
Later in the evening Tuesday, the City Council voted to defer its decision on a ban of single-use plastic bags in the city, pending a review by the Beach Erosion Authority for Clean Oceans and Nourishment, a joint powers agency to which several Central Coast cities belong.
“Goleta’s too small to do it by itself,” said Councilman Ed Easton, who represents Goleta on the BEACON board.
Furthermore, he said, there are factors such as lawsuits and potential incentives to consider. Municipalities are prevented by the State of California from regulating the use of plastic bags through other means, such as additional taxes or fees. The only option available is an outright ban.
Easton said joint action by the BEACON member agencies would have a more far-reaching effect.