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<br />Orozco, Norma <br />From:Cynthia Guerra <> <br />Sent:Tuesday, August 17, 2021 4:18 PM <br />To:eComment <br />Subject:Item 13: Willowick Golf Course Update on Santa Ana City Council Meeting (8.17.2021) <br />Hi, <br /> <br />My name is Cynthia Guerra. I am a resident of Santa Ana from District 4 and a member of the Rise <br />Up Willowick Coalition. I am emailing in regards to Item 13: Willowick Golf Course Update. <br /> <br />The City of Santa Ana (“the City”) publicly stated numerous times that it is committed to meeting the <br />community, specifically residents’ needs, and working with community groups. Yet, the City failed to <br />inform Rise Up Willowick (“RUW”), a known community group that organizes and advocates around <br />Willowick that the the City would be presenting this update. Residents from Rise Up Willowick have <br />talked to City staff and Council Members regarding the disposition of the Willowick property numerous <br />times, including as recently as this summer. The lack of transparency with and engagement of <br />residents is improved moving forward. <br /> <br />The staff report that is being filed and received today is inaccurate. First off, there is absolutely no <br />mention of the lawsuit filed in October, 2019 that forced the City of Garden Grove to comply with the <br />Surplus Land Act. The City of Garden Grove’s sale/lease of Willowick to McWhinney, LLC in <br />December, 2019, was not merely “cancelled.” It was deemed illegal because the City of Garden <br />Grove was in violation of the Surplus land Act (“ the SLA”). Both the City of Garden Grove and <br />McWhinney, LLC were fully aware that this was an issue given that residents had raised this concern <br />prior to the filing of the lawsuit. The fact that the City omitted the lawsuit in the staff report highlights <br />another issue-- there is absolutely no mention of the fact that it was residents’ efforts through Rise Up <br />Willowick over the last two and a half years that has forced the City of Garden Grove to consider <br />residents’ voices through the SLA. It was RUW who pushed for the SLA lawsuit and who has <br />monitored the City of Garden Grove’s compliance with the SLA. <br /> <br />Another issue with the staff report is that it validates the City of Garden Grove’s $90 million appraisal <br />of the Willowick property. The staff report fails to mention that the $90 million valuation of the property <br />is based on Willowick being converted to a “Master Planned Community” that will be primarily market- <br />rate housing with commercial and retail development, a little affordable housing, and a negligible <br />amount of open space. The City of Garden Grove basing this appraisal on residential and commercial <br />uses is incorrect because these uses are currently not allowed by the City of Santa Ana on this <br />property. The Willowick property is currently zoned as open space. The appraisal assumes, without <br />justification, that the property will be rezoned. It is an appraisal based on a fictitious scenario. The <br />City of Santa Ana should have done its due diligence in pointing out the flaws in the City of Garden <br />Grove’s appraisal in the staff report. <br /> <br />Furthermore, not only is Willowick zoned as open space, the community has firmly stated they need <br />open space and not market-rate housing. This appraisal stands in complete contradiction to the <br />resident’s stated needs. The community has always stated their need for publicly accessible parkland <br />and their rejection of market-rate housing given it is not affordable to residents. The staff report also <br />fails to mention this. To make it clear, the ONLY project the community supports is that of the Trust <br />for Public Land as it is the only one that meets the community’s needs. <br />1 <br /> <br />