The Apple Valley Town Council approved an agreement at the November 18 Council meeting to purchase the Apple Valley Country Club (AVCC). Opened as a private club in 1948, the facility will open to public access in the very near future.
“This is an icon in our community,” said Apple Valley Mayor Tim Jasper. “We are investing not only in our history, but our infrastructure and property values as well.”
Without a buyer, the country club was on course to shut down, according to Town Manager Frank Robinson. “This is a great asset for Apple Valley,” said Robinson. “Under the town’s management, our citizens have a whole new resource for recreational opportunities close to home.”
The AVCC includes an 18-hole golf course with pro shop, two lighted tennis courts, swimming pool, dining room and lounge, and meeting rooms. All amenities will be made available for public use.
Besides the purchase agreement, Council also approved an interim management agreement with Landmark, the existing management company, to allow for a smooth transition during escrow. The relationship may continue when the sale is final. Town oversight will be provided through the Parks and Recreation Department.
“We are excited and enthusiastic to pass the reins to the Town,” said Lana Dugan, president of the AVCC Board of Directors. “The board and members know that under the Town’s guidance, our history will be preserved and the facility will be a source of pride for the community for years to come.”
The Town will acquire the AVCC for the debt owed on the property to Desert Community Bank, approximately $1.8 million. Current equity members of the club will receive discounted green and cart fees for ten years.
To keep its fairways green, the country club relies on water rights that were adjudicated in favor of the country club as part of the Mojave Basin adjudication completed in 1996. As negotiations progressed between the Town and the country club, the High Desert Community Foundation claimed to own the same water rights. With the 1996 ruling, coupled with 60 years of irrigating the golf course, the Town and AVCC believe the water rights are firmly established in the name AVCC, which has always used the rights to benefit the property.
After unsuccessful negotiations with the High Desert Community Foundation, the Town will file a legal complaint on Wednesday morning seeking a “quiet title” ruling from the court. Essentially, the court will be asked to recognize the ruling that has stood for over 12 years and allow the Town to continue with the irrigation practices that have kept it green for the last 60 years.
The Town’s purchase agreement with the AVCC is contingent upon the successful resolution of the water rights, and the Town has left the door open for continued negotiations with the High Desert Community Foundation.
“The Town and the AVCC will work together to preserve and protect the water rights,” said Robinson. “Over 6800 yards of brown fairways will benefit no one.”