All of the contributions have been made since the first project was rejected.
Greene said the contributions were good public relations, but nothing more. "He can put money into festivals and community organizations if he wants to, but that really doesn't have much bearing on any issues other than politics."
Farmont Corp. spokesman Barry Landon said Toyama's commitment to the area goes far beyond the charitable contributions, however.
Locating the golf course near Ojai will have an enormous economic impact on the town, Landon said, noting that the club will employ more than 40 people.
"And we plan to hire all of these employees locally, as long as that is possible," Landon said.
Golf club members will also patronize local hotels, restaurants and shops, pumping more dollars into the local economy, Landon said.
Perhaps the key element in the environmental impact report being reviewed by county planners is the amount of water that the Farmont Golf Club will use.
Golf courses have in the past been designated as water guzzlers, but Landon says the Farmont club--designed by Pete Dye, one of the top course designers of the past 30 years--will be different.
Planners hope to drastically reduce water consumption by using state-of-the-art water technology and drought-resistant grasses and irrigating a smaller area than most courses of Farmont's size, Landon said.
Incorporating reclaimed water into the irrigation system is also planned, if it becomes available, Landon said.
The Farmont Corp. has the legal rights to water from four wells on the property along with diversion rights to 3,000 acre-feet of water annually from the Ventura River, Craig said, so the course should be more or less self-sufficient in its water usage.
A small percentage of the Farmont property is being used for agriculture, including a medium-sized orange grove, dry farming of barley and grasses and grazing pastures.
If the golf course proposal is turned down the entire 2,000-acre property could be converted to agricultural uses, which may use up to four times the planned water use of the golf course, Craig said. Up to 100 acres of the golf course would be irrigated.
"That's not a threat, it's an economic reality," said Farmont legal counsel Lindsay Nielson. "We have some very expensive land there, and if we can't use it for what we want we will have to do something with it.
"The irony of this whole situation is that tomorrow we could go out there and use five times as much water, planting 200 acres as a sod farm, and we wouldn't have to ask anyone's permission. It's only because we want to use 90 or 100 acres and call it a golf club that we have to go through this," he said.