Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Rams Hill Seeks Flexibility in Development


Last updated 10/3/2019 at 10:40am

The owners and managers at Rams Hill Country Club & Golf Course have requested that the County and Rams Hill enter into a legally binding development agreement “to confirm the previously approved development, without any increase in residential density or commercial intensity, while allowing some flexibility in the implementation in exchange for providing certain extraordinary benefits.”

Rams Hill property owners were informed of the request via an Aug. 9 letter sent by CEO Shannon Smith.

Smith’s letter specifically emphasized that “Rams Hill is not asking for an increase in density beyond what is already permitted, and Rams Hill is not asking to bypass required environmental and other reviews.”

One example of the type of flexibility requested is in lot size and/or home size modifications that result in net-zero changes to existing and approved permit limits and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirements.

As Smith described it, they seek to “relocate existing permitted density at Rams Hill without increasing the number of dwelling units or the total square footage.”

Smith adds that another example of flexibility in the requested RH-County development agreement is the time required to complete various phases of development.

The whole development project will be done in stages spread over the coming years, and Smith wrote in his letter to homeowners, “Rams Hill needs certainty as to what is possible for its future development. The development agreement will be a contract between the County and Rams Hill on which Rams Hill can rely when making continued investments in Borrego’s future.”

The Smith letter to homeowners also states that “Rams Hill has proposed to contribute to the construction of a fire station as an ‘extraordinary benefit’ that will increase fire safety and reduce insurance premiums. We think a more important benefit will be the re-start of the Borrego Springs economy and support to transition to a sustainable future with a lighter footprint in our desert setting.”

Once the Development Agreement is finalized, the Sun will endeavor to report on the details.