The continuous disinvestment in parks and open space in Central and North Orange County by the City of Garden Grove, the City of Santa Ana councilmembers and the OC Board of Supervisors is not accidental. It relies on council members’ complicity in this system where developers and corporations rule.
This Op-Ed sheds light on important lessons that the novel Coronavirus is teaching us — as the Coronavirus spreads, homelessness and housing instability are major concerns for many people living in Orange County, especially communities such as the ones living near the Willowick Golf Course. It is in times of increased anxiety, as we take precaution of the Coronavirus, that one finally recognizes how important it is to have a home to go to and stay safe when the media and local officials repeatedly state ‘stay home’. Yet, not everyone has the privilege to stay home. And, for many working class families, the Coronavirus is threatening to exacerbate the economic struggle and it places the most vulnerable at risk.
The ruling possibly ties Garden Grove’s hands on the golf course, with city officials now prohibited from finalizing any development agreement for the golf course likely until after an expansion of the Surplus Land Act — which goes further in restricting the ways cities can’t find exemptions to the law and circumvent it — takes effect next year.
At their next meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 17, Garden Grove council members will decide whether to lease the 100-acre Willowick Golf Course to hotel development company McWhinney over the next five decades, with currently no information from city staff on exactly how much in dollars the developer would be paying annually for the property.