Cloverdale asked to drop golf course to jump-start stalled Alexander Valley resort
For a Cloverdale resort hotel and housing development to ever get built, it’s going to take some changes, including possibly dropping the golf course and allowing more adjacent commercial development.
That’s what the property owners of a 254-acre site for the stalled Alexander Valley Resort are telling the City Council, which at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday is scheduled to consider dropping a mandatory requirement for an 18-hole golf course, and changing the land-use designation on a neighboring 12-acre parcel from business park to "destination commercial."
The property owners of the resort site said they’ve heard from interested developers from all over the world, but there are a couple impediments.
"The albatross on the neck was the golf course and the corner lot not being included," said Andrew Zamberlin, president of Tyris Corp., which manages the hotel site for the owners, Spight Properties.
The application comes amid uncertainty over whether one potential developer, who wants the city to close the nearby Cloverdale Airport before committing to the hotel resort and housing project, is still planning to go ahead.
Laulima Development LLC has a tentative contract to buy the land from Tyris, but company officials said the airplanes would be incompatible with the equestrian center and guests at the 150-room hotel and 40 resort residences, which are planned along with 80 luxury homes.
The City Council on a narrowly split vote in December agreed to explore the possibility of closing the airport, but Laulima missed a critical deadline to make an initial deposit to pay for city staff time to pursue the airport closure.
Laulima officials did not immediately respond Monday to requests for comment.
In the meantime, Tyris wants to eliminate the requirement for a golf course that was part of the previous project approved by the City Council in 2009, and instead make it an optional feature of the project. Golf courses have dropped in popularity since the resort was approved, and the idea is to possibly just have open space with trails, picnic areas and other passive uses.
To attract the investors needed for the $200 million-plus resort and to lure tourists north from Healdsburg, the company is asking for a general plan amendment on the adjoining 12 acres, at the southeast corner of Asti Road and Santana Drive, to allow commercial uses to support the resort, as well as the light industrial allowed now.
Some of the uses allowed "as a matter of right" would include restaurants with cocktail lounges; small specialty grocery markets; hotels; athletic clubs; culinary and brewing arts schools; and auto rental agencies.
Another two dozen uses would be subject to more city review, ranging from liquor stores, to bicycle shops, jewelry stores; wine and beer tasting.
The interim planning director is recommending the City Council approve the changes, as well as a development agreement that would lock them in for 15 years.
The Planning Commission, however was against allowing commercial uses on the 12-acre site.
The owner of the nearby Reuser business park objected to the compatibility of the new uses with his existing operations.
Another issue has been whether the new commercial activity on the south side of Cloverdale could detract from downtown economic vitality.
Editor’s note: The development agreement with the city would last 15 years. A previous version of this story had an incorrect number of years.
You can reach Staff Writer Clark Mason at 521-5214 or [email protected]. On Twitter?@clarkmas.