Opinion

Rent control and who controls Willowick?

PLANS have been submitted to use the site of an existing mobile home park in Westminster for a new housing tract (Orange County Tribune photo).

It’s not that Paul Manafort and climate change and illegal immigration aren’t important, but there are other issues of more immediate concern to a lot of people.

Case in point: Wednesday’s meeting of the Westminster City Council found the chamber nearly filled with folks concerned with the dollars-and-sense issue of rent control, specifically as it applies to mobile home parks.

According to the speakers, in recent months they have been faced with sharp rent increases – in some cases over 50 percent – and new rental agreements in which tenants would have to sign away all rights to sue the park owner under any conditions.

Not only are mobile home park residents having to pay higher rents, the prospect of development is also an issue. The owners of the Green Lantern Village park, located on Beach Boulevard just a short walk from the Civic Center, are planning on selling the 12.5-acre site for development as a new housing tract.

Such land – with relatively few structures – can be an attractive prospect to developers trying to find space to build in an increasingly urban Orange County.

Evidencing the emerging importance of rent control as a political issue in 2018, Proposition 10 will be on the ballot in November. If approved by voters, it would allow local governments to impose rent control.

The state Democratic Party has come out in favor of Prop 10, while Republicans are opposed.

Wondering about Willowick

Note: Correcting the date of the first workshop.

As you might have heard (or read in the Tribune), the Willowick Golf Course is a topic of considerable interest. It’s located within Santa Ana city limits, but the property is owned by the City of Garden Grove.

The lease on the land will expire soon, and the two cities are seeking to enter into a partnership to develop the 101.5-acre site with something wonderful. Garden Grove City Manager Scott Stiles has called it a potentially $1 billion project.

WILLOWICK Golf Course is owned by the City of Garden Grove but located within Santa Ana city limits.

Three workshops are scheduled – starting next Thursday, Aug. 30 – to get input from the public about what to build there. However, all three workshops are located in Santa Ana. Will there be additional workshops in Garden Grove?

The answer is no. According to Mary Medrano of Garden Grove’s planning division, the locations of the workshops were chosen based on their proximity to the Willowick site on Fifth Street.

“We encourage Garden Grove residents to attend and make their views known,” said Medrano.

Fair enough, but having all the events at unfamiliar locations for GG people and none at all in the “partner” city is bound to strike some people as a trifle one-sided, or at least tone-deaf.

Locals on this side of the city limits might start to get the idea that Garden Grove is very much the junior partner in this enterprise. That may be very untrue, but perception is often everything.

The first will be held at the Goodwill Industries building at 410 N. Fairview St. in Santa Ana from 6-8 p.m.

Usually Reliable Sources is posted on alternate weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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