Who are we?
Victory for Vellano is a grass-roots community action group formed by the Vellano Homeowners Association in response to the recent purchase of the Vellano Greg Normal Signature Golf Course by WGP of Lake Forest, CA. Both WGP and Western Golf Properties are located at 1 Spectrum Pointe Drive Lake Forest, CA. Both WGP and Western Golf Properties are managed by Bobby Heath. Bobby Heath has stated he has an equity stake in the Vellano Golf Course and has identified Michael Schlesinger (see the following article on Michael Schlesinger -HERE-) as the owner.
In February 2017, WGP purchased the Vellano Golf Course, located in Chino Hills, CA. WGP publicly stated their intent to invest in the golf course and restore the golf course back to a private club. WGP’s CEO Bobby Heath solicited memberships from the public promising increased services and improved conditions. At the same time, WGP began to meet with developers to build homes on the golf course property. By mid 2017, just a few months after purchasing the golf course, WGP met with the Vellano HOA Board of Directors indicating the golf course was losing money and they need to redevelop the golf course into residential homes. Bobby Heath informed the Vellano HOA Board that the Vellano Golf Course was purchased for its land development potential, seemingly contradicting his assertion that they hoped to return the course back to its former championship status.
The residential community of Vellano is controlled by the Vellano Homeowners Association. The Vellano HOA is not associated with the Vellano Golf Club. The golf club is a separate corporate entity located within the Vellano gated community. There are 205 homesites within the Vellano community. WGP's Bobby Heath proposed the addition of 250 condominiums to be built on golf course property. Heath's proposal would raise the number of homes from 205 – 455, more than double the number of current homes. The Vellano HOA Board of Directors refused to support Heath’s desire for the development of an additional 250 homes. Soon after, Heath lowered their request to 175 homes. Later, Heath added another option of 132 homes spread across the entire golf course, which would result in the closure of the golf course.
Like in other communities, WGP's Bobby Heath and Michael Schlesinger threatened the Vellano residents if they did not approve the construction of new homes on golf course property. If the residents failed to approve WGP’s development plans, WGP would “close the course and put a fence around it”. That is exactly what happened. The day after the Vellano HOA denied WGP’s request to allow housing to be built on golf course property, WGP's Bobby Heath closed the golf course and terminated the staff. Immediately, WGP shut off the irrigation to the golf course, removed greens and sold them to other golf courses, ripped out the irrigation systems from golf course, and installed miles of illegal and unpermitted chain link fencing throughout the golf course. The City of Chino Hills has ordered WGP and Bobby Heath to remove the illegal fence. Historic and protected oak trees are now dead or dying due to the lack of water. Home values are plummeting, and wildlife migration patterns are disrupted due to the miles of illegally installed fencing.
The golf course property has been zoned by the City of Chino Hills as recreational. Even though residential homes cannot be built on recreational land, WGP and Bobby Heath have taken punitive actions against the Vellano community and its residents in order to force the residents to pressure the City of Chino Hills to rezone the land to allow WGP to build houses.
This is not the first time Bobby Heath or Michael Schlesinger have devastated communities in order to sell homes. Golf properties in San Diego, Escondido, Corona, Rancho Mirage, and others have been owned or operated by Heath and/or Schlesinger and shut down in order to force the local residents to allow additional development of homes, hotels, apartments, etc. WGP and Michael Schlesinger purchase, invests in, or controls golf courses as a modern-day land-grab. If the local residents resist their efforts, they destroy the community. In one Southern California community, according to FOX 5 TV, Michael Schlesinger had six tonnes of chicken feces delivered near un-cooperating homeowner’s backyards. Michael Schlesinger's company was fined $100,000 by a local air quality management agency. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, a 12-count misdemeanor criminal complaint was filed against Michael Schlesinger, the owner of the abandoned Escondido Country Club property after a suspicions fire destroyed the clubhouse. Filed in Vista Superior Court by the City of Escondido, the complaint cites violations of various municipal codes. The criminal complaint stated about Schlesinger “knowingly and intentionally maintaining the property in violation of the Municipal Code”. It accused Michael Schlesinger of not properly maintaining the buildings on the land, the largest of which burned to the ground in November, 2017.
Victory for Vellano’s purpose is to resist the scorched-earth policies of WGP's Bobby Heath and Michael Schlesinger by informing the public of Bobby Heath’s and Michael Schlesinger's behavior and holding them to account. Additionally, Victory for Vellano will work closely with the City of Chino Hills to ensure the city forces WGP, Bobby Heath, and Michael Schlesinger to obey all city ordinances and laws. The City of Chino Hills has informed Victory for Vellano that WGP, Bobby Heath, and Michael Schlesinger are currently violating city ordinances and laws, and have violated the Vellano Golf Club's Conditional Use Permit (conditions of development) required by the City of Chino Hills. Victory for Vellano will work with civic organizations, golf industry trade associations, the City of Chino Hills, the County of San Bernardino, and the press to protect the values of Vellano homes and prevent the destruction of the quality of life Vellano residents were assured of when the homes were purchased. Victory for Vellano will also seek to share its experiences with other communities under siege by WGP, Bobby Heath and Michael Schlesinger.
- City of Chino Hills threatens WGP/Bobby Heath legal action including fines up to $500 per day for non-compliance demanding fence removal and landscape maintenance. WGP agrees to meet with city.
- 14,370 feet (2.7 miles) of Illegal and un-permitted fence ordered by Western Golf Properties. Western Golf Properties' Rick Adams supervised installation of un-permitted and illegal fence. See documentation -HERE-
- New video of Bobby Heath and Michael Schlesinger threatening homeowners -VIEW HERE-
- City of Chino Hills declares fence installed by WGP/Bobby Heath and Michael Schlesinger illegal and orders its removal. See violation notice -HERE-
- City of Chino Hills determines WGP/Bobby Heath is violating the Conditional Use Permit and orders them to restore irrigation and maintenance.
- More Latest News -HERE-
Interesting Press Articles about Vellano Owner Michael Schlesinger:
- City files 12 criminal complaints against developer Michael Schlesinger
- Insights from other Golf Courses acquired by Mr. Schlesinger
- New owners want houses on golf course
- Rancho Mirage Country Club: dead course, unknown future
- Fire damages abandoned Escondido Country Club
- StoneRidge Country Club In Poway Closes After Measure A Fails
- Michael Schlesinger agrees to pay $100,000 over manure incident
For additional information, please contact Mike Konrad: