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It's official: Hundreds of acres of undeveloped land in Rancho Murieta, the Country Club's courses and other property have been purchased by a group of local investors and real estate professionals, the buyers announced Monday.  The seller was the Pension Trust Fund of Operating Engineers Local 3, which had the original vision for Rancho Murieta more than 40 years ago.  The selling price was not disclosed.

An announcement distributed by Murietan John Sullivan, representative for the purchase effort, listed the purchase partners as Cosumnes River Land, deRegt Development, Allan Davis and Nancy Emerson-Davis, Whal Properties, Live Oak Legacy, Paul and Cindy Frank (PDF Properties), Poelman Construction, Carol Anderson Ward and Lone Pine Investments. 

The announcement said the purchase totals 24 pieces of property, including the Country Club's two golf courses and tennis courts, 50 acres leased for the Operating Engineers' apprentice training center south of Jackson Road and 700 acres of land in Rancho Murieta.

The property purchased is referred to as "The lands of Rancho Murieta" in the announcement.

After years of rumors, Sullivan first publicly acknowledged his efforts to buy the property in a brief announcement at the conclusion of a Community Services District board workshop on Jan. 31.

At that time, Sullivan said his plans called for initial development of about 110 acres between Murieta Parkway and the Fairways, about 180 acres between the Fairways and the Cosumnes River and about 72 acres between Lake Chesbro, Lake Clementia and Bass Lake.

"We're talking about housing types that range from triplex manor homes all the way up to multiple-acre estate lots," he said.  The most distant land, to the east and north of Lake Clementia, would be handled differently, he said.

Sullivan said his group didn't intend to build, just get the necessary approvals and prepare the land for builders.

Any development would be subject to terms of a development agreement the Rancho Murieta Association signed a decade ago.

The agreement gave RMA title to community parks, provided $1.4 million for a new North Gate, now underway, and required new developments to be part of a central homeowners association with CC&Rs that mirror RMA's, to pay full RMA dues and contribute to parks funding.

Development plans were announced for the North in 2000, prompting years of community opposition.  In 2006, the PTF turned its back on those plans, but two projects, the Retreats and the Residences Of Murieta Hills East and West, with a total of 282 homes, came out of that process and won county approval for development in 2007.  The poor housing market has kept the lid on new home construction, however.

There had been rumors for years of PTF interest in selling its remaining land here.  In 2010, the PTF went to the extreme of taking out an online ad to showcase the land to potential buyers.  The land for sale included the Country Club, which has a lease that doesn't expire until 2028.  The Country Club has repeatedly said a sale would only be a change of landlords, since its lease has many years to run.

Copy of announcement

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