Garden Grove

Talks continue on Willowick

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

The fate of the Willowick Golf Course owned by the City of Garden Grove but located in Santa Ana has been out of  the news lately.

But – according to the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting of the Garden Grove City Council s– things may still be happening.

Scheduled for 5:30 p.m. is a closed session in which the council will confer with its real property negotiators – City Manager Scott Stiles, Lisa Kim, assistant city manager and community and economic development director – with three negotiating parties representing:

  • Willowick Community Partners (affordable housing)
  • Trust for Public Land (parkland and open space)
  • McWhinney (commercial and residential development).

The 100-acre parcel began as a private golf course in 1920, and was acquired by the City of Garden Grove in 1964.

When the long-term lease with the golf course operator ended, Garden Grove began to consider other uses for one of largest remaining (mostly) open spaces in central Orange County.

At first, the city planned to develop – in conjunction with Santa Ana – an extensive project that could include such major features as a stadium or high-tech campus, but legal challenges and the impact of the state Surplus Land Act have forced the city to shift direction.

At present, it’s believed that the final plan would include a division among parkland, affordable housing and commercial development.

The process has been going on for years, slowed by legal issues and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Santa Ana’s approval would also be necessary for any final plan to be enacted.

No decision is expected to be announced at Tuesday’s meeting.

The regular meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. On the agenda is a public hearing on a resolution to approve the development of the Nickelodeon Hotel Resort project on Harbor Boulevard and deny an appeal of the planning commission’s earlier approval.

The council meets in the Community Meeting Center, 11300 Stanford Ave.

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