Updated April 11 @ 4:30 p.m.
The San Diego City Council's Land Use and Housing Committee unanimously signed off on a for the city of San Diego to lease the land it owns at the in Santee to the facility's owner.
A lease would end the .
Under the proposal—which will now move to the full City Council for final approval—the city would lease 64.3 acres to TY Investment Inc. for 40 years. Most of the land, owned by the city since 1933, is along the banks of the San Diego River.
The company originally tried to buy the property outright, but committee members backed off last year in the face of opposition from environmentalists who didn't want part of the watershed to be turned over to private interests.
Company officials said the purchase was necessary to remain in business after a property reassessment drove up costs. In rejecting the sale last October, committee members asked city staff and the company to renegotiate the lease.
"I'm grateful to my colleagues on this committee for sending that direction to try again to really achieve what is a win-win for everybody," said San Diego Councilman Todd Gloria. "I think we have that by certainly maintaining the public ownership of this particular property, which is the overall goal as we look toward creating a magnificent park along the San Diego River."
The deal also preserves jobs at the country club, which is important during the economic downturn, he said.
The proposed deal calls for TY Investment to pay the city $150,000 the first year, with a 2.5 percent increase in 19 successive years. The rate in the second 20 years would be determined based on future market value.
The rent would be partially offset in exchange for access to the acreage by city employees and members of the San Diego River Conservancy who, under the proposal, would have the right to develop a trail in the area.
A in Santee stops at a chain-link fence at the country club. Officials want to connect the trail to the walking network at nearby .
Members of environmental groups that opposed the sale spoke in favor of the lease deal.
—City News Service