A California Assemblywoman from Bell Gardens, a town of 42-thousand people in the heart of metro Los Angeles, wants to turn public municipal golf courses in California into low-income housing projects.
She is Cristina Garcia, and she has come up with Assembly Bill 672, which would take 50 million dollars from California taxpayers and give it to local governments and land developers, in the form of subsidies, so the developers can build apartment complexes on golf courses.
The bill is moving through committees in Sacramento, and if it becomes law, municipal golf courses would no longer be protected under the Public Park Preservation Act.
Building low-income housing on a golf course would be exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act.
The State would make it easy for local governments to rezone golf courses to allow for construction of the housing.
Garcia has stated in writing “Golf courses proliferate in and around California’s urban centers. As golf declines, the state can craft a ‘grand bargain’ to encourage redevelopment of golf courses in a way that promotes equity and affordability, and fights climate change.”
She has come out with a “Fact Sheet” that claims back in the 1980’s and 90’s, golf was on the upswing according to the National Golf Foundation. But since 2006, golf is declining. Golf courses struggle to stay open. Some locales subsidize municipal courses. It is reasonable to expect their decline will continue.”
Assemblywoman Garcia’s further writes that “Golf courses are labeled as open space. Who can access golf courses? Only those who know how to or can afford to play golf. Pay-to-play leisure activities do not serve low and moderate-income Californians.”
Golfer silhouette of a lone golfer, leaning against a golf cart, raising his golf club in the air, as the sun sets behind the golf cart
Photo by Alpha Media USA Portland OR