Garden Grove

Willowick deadline is on agenda

WILLOWICK GOLF COURSE: What will its future be? (OC Tribune photo).

The saga of the future of the Willowick Golf Course will be extended at least by another two months.

That is, if the Garden Grove City Council at its Tuesday meeting authorizes a 60-day extension of the notice to potential interested parties of the planned sale or lease of the 101.5-acre site located in Santa Ana but owned by Garden Grove.

The city is acting under the terms of the recently amended Surplus Land Act, which requires that cities planning to dispose of surplus land give notice first to developers or public agencies who would pursue the development of affordable housing and open space.

Because of the disruptions of the coronavirus pandemic, the council will be asked to extend the deadline from May 11 to July 10. If no qualified party interested in developing along those lines responds by the deadline, the city can dispose of the property as it sees fit.

The site has been home to a golf course since the 1920s and was purchased by the city in 1964. The most recent long-term lease expired and both Santa Ana and Garden Grove have explored development of the land for large projects such as a stadium, a mixed-use campus or other concepts.

A Santa Ana-based organization, Rise Up Willowick, has been active in opposing higher-density development and a judge’s ruling slowed the process. Both stalled or stopped an effort to lease the land to MWWillowick, LLC) a creation of McWhinney Real Estate Services, which has developed several hotel projects in Garden Grove.

The city council will again “meet” through teleconferencing. While members of the public are allowed to appear in the council chambers, they are discouraged from doing so because of the COVID-19 crisis.  The meeting will be viewable on cable Channel 3 and via streaming video from the city website: /

A 6:30 p.m. start for the regular session of the council is listed.

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