D'Andrea Supporters Search For 'Plan B'

SPARKS, NV - A few members ventured out Friday for one last round of golf at the D'Andrea Country Club.

Saturday, this course with its commanding view of the Truckee Meadows will be left to the jackrabbits.

Members of the D'Andrea Homeowners Association voted this week to reject the owner's proposal for a $28 a month fee to maintain the financially troubled course.

The vote to reject the owner's proposed fee was overwhelming, nearly 4 to one opposed. Still, against those odds, some people in the neighborhood haven't given up and a search for a Plan B is underway.

What form that plan might take isn't known, but those working to put it together say time is running out. Already D'Andrea has seen better days.

"We have a window of 30 days, if that," says Pamela Ginsburg, who voted to support the fee.

She says the course wasn't in good shape going into winter and the dry season since hasn't helped.

"It's already deteriorated. It needs to be punched, aerated, fertilized and watered. If that doesn't happen we may lose it."

There is a reason, she says, for that sense of urgency She points to northwest Reno and what used to be Northgate Golf Course.

Northgate turned out to be a losing proposition for the convention authority. Finally they walked away from it.

Its neighbors were also concerned about what it might become and while they looked for a solution Northgate went to seed.

The people at Reno Parks say the deterioration very quickly reached the point at which it would have been extremely expensive to restore Northgate to a golf course.

Once green fairways are now overgrown with cheat grass, tumble mustard and white top.

In the end, Northgate's neighbors here weren't able to save the golf course. They did save the open space, voting a special assessment to keep it safe from development.

Plans are still in the works, but eventually there will be a small city park at Northgate. The remainder will be native vegetation with perhaps some trails.

Whether there's enough support for even that outcome at D'Andrea is, at the moment, a question without answer.

Some of those who led the opposition to the fee note that many who bought homes there did so with the understanding they would have no responsibility for the golf course.

One told KOLO 8 News Now Thursday, he considered the matter closed.

It may be, but talks are underway this weekend looking for a solution. Any new proposal would require another vote, a change to the development CC&R's and almost certainly a new owner.

It would also, Ginsburg agrees have to address the concerns of those who voted no.

"We're hoping to pull the no's and yes's together," says Ginsburg.

It's not known at this point what role the city of Sparks should play.

"I don't want to be in the golf course business," says Councilman Ron Smith, who represents the area.

Still, Smith says he thinks the city should be at the table looking for a solution.

"There may be none," he says, "but I think there are some options."

The city and the homeowners, he says, have a stake in the outcome.

"I think closing the course could lower property values 30%," he says.

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