Petaluma residents who paid extra to live next to golf course left disappointed

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When homeowners bought into Petaluma's Adobe Creek community, they paid a premium in exchange for the promise from the city that they would be living next to a golf course for at least 50 years. Or so they thought. (KGO-TV)

When homeowners bought into Petaluma's Adobe Creek community, they paid a premium in exchange for the promise from the city that they would be living next to a golf course for at least 50 years. Or so they thought.

RELATED: Adobe Creek golf course in Petaluma to close, residents disapprove

We first reported this story last November, and now their worse fears have come to fruition...or maybe a better word be decay.

"My home has lost $50,000 to $75,000 in value, said Richard Sacks from behind his fence along what used to be the 4th tee.

"It was a $20,000 premium for that lot. I expected to remain out there so I could play golf for the rest of my life," said another homeowner, Ronald Nadau.

They blame Richard Coombs, who bought the course out of bankruptcy, six years ago. Coombs already leases the other public course in town, Rooster Run, less than two miles away.

Nadau's theory? "He knew they were losing players at Rooster Run and decided it would be really nice if he could get control, close it, build houses, and make money at Rooster."

"Do you have proof?" I asked.

"No, it is my theory, and I stand on it," even though the course is zoned for golf or open space for fifty years.

Coombs tells a different story. "I would never buy it again," he told ABC7.

"It was the biggest mistake of my financial career." After spending $3 million for the course, clubhouse, and improvements, "The golf market never came back." Adobe Creek was losing $250,000 a year. "Petaluma can support one public golf course, not two. That realization has come about over the past six years."

Coombs calls it an unfortunate situation all around, one in which there are no winners. He has made several proposals to the homeowners association to turn the course into a vineyard, a park, or to build fifty homes and give them the rest of the land. "They have not responded," said Coombs.


Related Topics:
homegolfhomeownershousinghousing marketreal estatereal estate developmenteconomyPetaluma
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