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Lots in controversial development for sale soon

Eileen JoyceDarkHorse Golf Club general manager Russell Sylte stands on the second-hole fairway at the new course Tuesday. Home sites are expected to go on sale in June, and the course is scheduled to open Oct. 15.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

A temporary pro shop is open and nine holes are done, but construction of 230 homes in the south county has yet to start.

Sales of lots in DarkHorse, a 1,050-acre project adjacent to Lake of the Pines, may begin in June, said Ed Fralick, the owner and developer.



“People are coming out now,” he said.




The first page of a guest book in the three-room trailer at the entrance to the property on Combie Road past Forest Lake Christian School is filled with names and numbers of people interested in making reservations when the 117 lots in Phase 1 go on sale, likely in June. Home sites start at $200,000.

Years in the making, the grand opening of the 18-hole golf course – designed by golf course designer Keith Foster of Kentucky – is slated for Oct. 15. Course superintendent Doug Westbrook started work Monday.

“He’s in charge of our most valued asset,” said general manager Russell Sylte. Westbrook is also in charge of 1,837 sprinkler heads and six miles of irrigation lines.

Golf balls, hats, polo shirts, sweatshirts and golf bags emblazoned with the DarkHorse logo are for sale in the trailer. Events have been booked at the course from its October opening through November 2003.

A “routing plan” of the golf course, dated Feb. 22, 1996, hangs on the wall of the trailer and a price list of various levels of membership in the CrestClub – from $249 to $4,999 – is available for study. The course will be public, Sylte said.

Fralick, who bought the property in 1989, faced the threat of legal action in 1996. Citizens groups, including the Rural Quality Coalition, demanded that the project include an independent environmental analysis of its impacts.

When the county approved the project without an environmental impact review, the RQC led a referendum drive and a lawsuit to require one. Fralick ultimately agreed to the RQC’s demand.

The county Planning Commission made a few recent minor changes to the project, such as substituting a water treatment plant from which water will be used to irrigate the golf course, instead of standard leach fields.

Kai Luoma, the Nevada County associate planner working on the project, could not be reached for comment.


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