Public golf courses for affordable housing?


A bill from the California Legislature proposes to convert California’s public / municipal golf courses into affordable housing.

Palm Desert is home to many gated communities and some of the world’s most fabulous golf courses and resorts, but could its award-winning desert Willow become a homeless refuge and low-income housing complex?

A California Legislature bill drafted by Congresswoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) proposes to convert California’s public / municipal golf courses into affordable housing. Assembly Bill 672 provides $ 50 million in developer grants to redevelop California municipal golf courses into affordable housing complexes.

Yes, it is a real thing. Assembly Bill 672 says:

Public golf courses: reconversion: affordable housing.

The law in force creates the Ministry of Housing and Community Development and obliges it, among other things, to administer various programs intended to finance the acquisition of properties to develop or maintain affordable housing.

This bill, once approved by the legislature, would require the ministry to administer an incentive program in the form of grants to local governments that make public golf courses available for housing and open spaces accessible to the public, as specified. .

Golf week indicated that the bill:

• Remove municipal golf courses from the protections of the Public Park Preservation Act.

• Provide an exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act or CEQA.

• Facilitate the rezoning of open public spaces for housing.

Congressman Garcia’s AB 672 “Fact Sheet” below states, “Golf courses are proliferating in and around urban centers in California. As golf declines, the state may close a “big deal” to encourage the redevelopment of golf courses in ways that promote equity and affordability, and fight climate change. “

Palm Desert board member Gina Nestande, always pro-business and tourism-friendly, cannot support the bill, and her husband, former Assembly member Brian Nestande, is unlikely to be thrilled with it. no more.

But it will happen if Garcia, Woman of the California State Assembly, gets her way! What about La Quinta SilverRock Resort? The town of La Quinta has poured millions of dollars in taxes into the course and beautiful as it is, can you imagine the great views homeless campers will have if Garcia gets his legislation passed and the governor signed it? ?

Having lived in the picturesque cove of La Quinta for over a decade, I just can’t imagine John Peña, longtime former mayor and low handicap golfer, wanting to throw away the keys to the SilverRock golf resort and club- house at its housing department. Current Mayor Linda Evans, whose entire municipal service has supported this complex, cannot support it.

The town of Indio has the only public nine-hole course which is famous for its lighted night golf course. If this course becomes a homeless camp, it will already have lights that will help improve the future shelter. I’m just trying to see the bright side here.

Indio City Council member Glenn Miller, also a compassionate golfer and conservative, has not expressed his opinion on Ms Garcia’s bill. This course is adjacent to one of Chandi Group USA’s AM-PMs. A Dunkin ‘, Home Depot and Food 4 Less are also nearby.

Indian Wells, also a favorite place I’ve lived in the desert, has two 18-hole public golf courses and a clubhouse. Former Indian Wells mayor Richard Oliphant, father of the two courses and the Indian Wells Tennis Center, will not be a fan of this bill. I can’t imagine a great lawyer and mayor like Dana Reed wanting to see his city’s golf mecca turn into a mecca for the homeless just yet either.

This clubhouse could well become a space for those in need of shelter that offers gourmet cuisine and 36 holes of golf and is adjacent to some upscale resorts.

Assembly Bill 672 is a real living bill! Palm Desert, La Quinta and Indio will they join forces to oppose AB 672? What about Riverside County?

What will this council do to take a position on the bill? Former Assembly Majority Leader V. Manuel Perez is the elected supervisor of the district with more golf courses than any other in California.

Where will Chad Mayes and Eduardo Garcia be on AB 672. Have they asked city and county leaders what they think? They are probably not yet focused on the legislation since they are on vacation.

The town of Riverside had a 9 hole course surrounded by Fairmount Park. Former city manager Bradley J. Hudson cleaned up the park and its fishing pond during his administration, but it was the scene of homeless campers for many years.

Where will the city of Riverside be on this House Bill and where will Sabrina Cervantes be? Assembly member Sabrina Cervantes, originally from the Coachella Valley and daughter of former Coachella mayor Greg Cervantes, understands the importance of golf tourism like everyone else. The same goes for Riverside City Council member Clarissa Cervantes.

Where is the California Chamber of Commerce? The local chambers will probably have an opinion and they will express it. You can take this to the bank!

This bill could provide, if enacted, the ability to bypass existing parks law, provide grants to cities seeking to convert backyards into homeless shelters, and more.

Homelessness has reached epic proportions in the Golden State. Public health and safety are also impacted. As the state, county and city scramble to solve a serious problem with task forces and well-meaning nonprofit laws designed to reduce or relocate the homeless, nothing seems to be helping.

One thing is for sure, residents want a compassionate solution and they want to be able to walk safely in the streets and towns of the Golden State.

Regional government bodies, made up of elected municipal and departmental officials, are also trying to develop solutions. This bill could be adopted and perhaps simply signed.

Californians need to be heard on this bill and others. Be sure to contact your legislators in Sacramento. Also ask elected officials in your county and city if they are for or against AB 672. These elected officials serve you and always appreciate hearing from you.

Public housing and homelessness have yet to be resolved in California.

Image sources

  • Indio Golf Course: Indio Town

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