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Surplus Land Act - Willowick Golf Course

California Surplus Land Act Overview

The California Surplus Land Act (Government Code section 54220, et seq.) currently requires local agencies, prior to disposing of property, declare the property surplus and to offer to sell or lease that property to certain entities for specified uses, including affordable housing, parks and recreation, and schools uses. After making these preliminary offers, if the disposing agency receives notice of interest from one of the entities under the Act, the disposing agency and the responding entity must enter into negotiations to sell or lease the property for a period of at least 90 days - presumably unless, before that time expires, an agreement is reached or the parties agree to terminate negotiations. If no notice of interest is received or negotiations do not result in a disposition of the property, and the local agency subsequently disposes of the surplus land for development of 10 or more residential units, then not less than 15% of the total number of units developed on the site must be sold or rented as affordable housing.

California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD)

Assembly Bill 1486 (Ting, 2019) aims to promote affordable housing development on unused or underutilized public land throughout the state. The Bill granted HCD jurisdiction to implement the Act.

Beginning, January 1, 2020, local agencies (cities, counties, and special districts) must send notices about available, surplus local public land to all of the following:

  • HCD
  • Any local public entity within the jurisdiction where the surplus local land is located
  • Developers who have notified HCD of their interest in developing affordable housing on surplus local land

Draft HCD Surplus Land Act Guidelines

HCD is required to adopt guidelines to implement the Act. HCD has published Draft Surplus Land Act Guidelines for public review and comment.

City of Garden Grove Notice of Availability of Surplus Land

The Willowick Golf Course site, located in the City of Santa Ana, is situated on 5th Street, adjacent to the Santa Ana River, at 3017 W 5th Street. Owned by the City of Garden Grove, the property is currently developed as an 18-hole golf course. The site is adjacent to the Santa Ana River on the east, and the Pacific Electric (PE) Right-of-Way on the north, and abuts Garden Grove's Buena Clinton neighborhood and the Willowick Royal Mobile Home Park. To the east across the Santa Ana River, is Spurgeon Intermediate School and Spurgeon Park. Directly to the south, is the Cesar Chavez Campesino Park.

Pursuant to the Surplus Land Act, the City of Garden Grove provided notification that the City intends to sell/lease the following property:

Address: 3017 W. 5th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92703 (Willowick Golf Course)
APN: 198-291-03, 04, 05, 06, 08; 198-282-01, 02, 03 (See Maps)
Size: 101.5 acres.
Zoning: Open Space
Current Use: Active Commercial Golf Course
Other Information: Sale/lease of the entire site in one transaction is contemplated. City prefers to negotiate a long-term lease of the property. The property is owned by the City of Garden Grove, but is located in the City of Santa Ana, which has land use jurisdiction over the property.

City of Santa Ana General Plan Update

To view more information regarding land use and the new General Plan for the Willowick Golf Course site, please visit Santa Ana's Planning Division page here.

Surplus Land Act Process

February 25, 2020—Adoption of Resolution declaring Willowick surplus land under the Surplus Land Act

March 12, 2020Notice of Availability of Surplus Land per Govt. Code 54220, et. seq.

April 29, 2020Notice of Extension

July 10, 2020—Notice of Interest Response(s):

July 24, 2020—City’s Response to Notice of Interest(s):

August 21, 2020—Initial Proposal(s):

September 21, 2020—City’s Response to Initial Proposal(s):

October 28, 2020—Supplemental Information to Initial Proposal(s):

December 2, 2020—Notice of Interest Termination(s):

December 8, 2020 City Council Agenda—Report on the status of the Surplus Land Act process for the Willowick Golf Course

December 14, 2020Request for Clarification with TPL, State Coastal Conservancy, and CBH, Inc.

December 21, 2020Letter received from TPL, State Coastal Conservancy, and CBH, Inc.

January 5, 2021City's Response to letter dated December 21, 2020 from TPL, State Coastal Conservancy, and CBH, Inc.

January 7, 2021Email received from TPL, State Coastal Conservancy, and CBH, Inc.

February 1, 2021Email received from TPL, State Coastal Conservancy, and CBH, Inc.

February 1, 2021City's response to TPL, State Coastal Conservancy, and CBH, Inc.

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