From: "Billy Graham"
To: "info" , "Lisa Kim"
Sent: Thursday, July 11, 2019 6:14:44 PM
Subject: LISA KIM, Dir. Comm. and Econ. Devel. City of GG, about the Willowick Golf Course, that's protected land....
RE: Unlawful intent to convert the Willowick Golf Course property to serve a "nonpark purpose."
Dear Ms. Kim or other person who responds to this email message;
I heard from a fellow golfer that Willowick is being shut down, converted to a non-park purpose? According to the Public Parks Preservation Act of 1971, Pub. Res. Code sec. 5400 et. seq., that cannot be done without replacing the golf course (park) property there with another equal size park property -- correct? (It was "held" in the case of Save Mile Square Park Committee v. County of Orange (2001) 92 Cal.App.4th 1142 that government-owned golf courses are "park" type properties serving a "park purpose.") So what is going on? Willowick was used as a public park -- a golf course -- for years and years, owned by the City of Garden Grove, though more recently the City of Santa Ana maintaining it -- you might have to explain to me how that works. But the point is you guys in the City of Garden Grove AND the City of Santa Ana are plotting on a way to CONVERT that government-owned golf course that has been so OBVIOUSLY serving a "park purpose" for many, many decades, and change it into a property NOT serving a park purpose, and serving a "nonpark purpose." Again, that cannot be done.
Now, I would like to point out that I am looking for facts about the intentions of the City of Garden Grove. I heard back from a Vince Fregoso from the Planning and Building Agency of Santa Ana, and he indicates clearly that the City of Santa Ana's position is that the Willowick Golf Course is not a "park" property nor serving a "park purpose" because only golfers that pay green fees are free to access all of the area of the property. That was, as you will see, a fact duly considered by the Appellate Court in the case of Save Mile Square Park Committee, etc. that I cited. That (paying green fees) did not make a difference there in that case, and so I expect that if a lawsuit is filed that it will not make a difference to a trial court that green fees are paid to use all the golf course, where the trial court judge must be "bound" by that Appellate decision. So please let me know the City of Garden Grove's position on the matter.
A second request here is for information about the history of the Willowick Golf Course. I Understand that in 1964 the Willowick Golf Course was acquired by the City of Garden Grove? It was run as a golf course for the benefit of the public for maybe a decade until the golf course was "leased" as a public golf course to some private party/entity (maybe around 1975), and run as a government owned golf course where the private party/entity was paying the City of GG some kind of lease fee and profiting otherwise? Is this all correct? Please give me details about the initial purchase of the property by the City of GG in the 1960s, details about the first lease to the private person/entity in the 1970s, and all subsequent lease information.... thanks. IF I MUST MAKE A FOIA REQUEST, that is fine, I will do that, but I would like to know such details as the dates of the acquisition, lease agreements, etc., so that I can direct the records department staff of the City of GG to recover copies of the documents I need, and nothing I don't need.
So, to summarize:
Please provide me with the City of Garden Grove's POSITION on the disposition of the Willowick Golf Course property -- whether it is the City's position that they can simply convert the property to a "nonpark purpose" at their will, or do they agree to comply with the mandate of Public Resources Code sections 5400 et seq. -- AND provide me with details about the initial acquisition of the Willowick Golf Course in the 60s, the initial lease in the 70s, etc.
Please get back to me as soon as possible, thanks.
Please click on the link below to access documents responsive to your request.
City of Garden Grove
City Clerk's Office