The Real Dirt
Planned Del Rey Oaks resort would sit on top of major munitions area.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
A posh golf course resort that would double the size of tiny Del Rey Oaks will go before the city’s Planning Commission on Wednesday, April 9. The commission will study changes in city code that would allow Federal Development to build the 310-acre project on a chunk of former Fort Ord, northeast of South Boundary Road and General Jim Moore Boulevard.
In addition to an 18-hole golf course, the Resort at Del Rey Oaks would include a driving range and training centers for golf and tennis. Hotel rooms, condos and Mediterranean golf villas would surround the course.
David Gazek, senior vice president of entitlements and development for Federal Development, says the resort would appeal to people buying second homes, timeshares and taking vacations. “Very few of the housing units are actually single-family homes,” Gazek says.
Federal wants to build 86 single-family homes, a 175-unit senior residential care facility, and 138 affordable apartments and condos. In all, the project has 691 residential units and 450 hotel rooms. The project would be the first housing development which would sit on major munitions area.
The Army maintained three ranges in the project area including small arms, rifle grenades, rockets and mortars. Since dangerous munitions still may lurk underground, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control included a covenant on the property restricting residential development. To lift the deed restriction, Federal will have to dig up between 20 and 30 acres of the site and double check for munitions.
But residents seem more concerned with what may be built on top of the soil than what’s underneath.
Mike Ventimiglia of Del Rey Oaks Citizens Coalition for Expansion says other than the expanded tax base, residents won’t have much use for the resort’s amenities. “Del Rey Oaks as it exists today is going to be the stepchild to the Resort at Del Rey Oaks,” Ventimiglia says.
Gazek counters that a retail center along General Jim Moore would connect resort visitors with residents. The resort would not be gated; the golf course and three city parks would be open to the public, he says. Plus, Federal would set aside land for a California Native Plant Society preserve and a community center.
Another looming concern is that the development would further congest roadways such as Highway 68 and Canyon Del Rey Boulevard. The project would generate 9,812 daily trips, according to the traffic study. The study recommends mitigations such as adding another lane on the southbound Highway 1 on-ramp at Canyon Del Rey. Gazek says Federal will pay its fair share. The project’s environmental impact report is due back this summer.