Proposed Bill Would Ease Conversion of Public Golf Courses to Housing in California

The California State Legislature will again consider a bill that would remove protections for municipal golf courses in the state, making it easier to rezone public golf properties for housing.

January 12, 2022, 8:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

The fairway of a golf course is visible amidst the rolling hills of Griffith Park above Los Angeles.

A glimpse of a fairway in one of the municipal golf courses located in Griffith Park in Los Angeles. | Eric Glenn / Shutterstock

Assembly Bill 672, proposed by California Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), would exempt municipal golf courses in high-density, park-poor areas from the Public Park Preservation Act and the California Environmental Quality Act, making it easier to rezone those areas into housing developments. Rezoned golf properties would be required to include 25 percent affordable units and 15 percent open-space, according to the text of the bill. (Assemblymember Garcia has also authored a bill to ban freeway construction in areas with high rates of poverty in pollution.)

The bill died in committee in April 2021 before being reborn as a two-year bill for the current legislative session.

The bill "would strip municipal golf courses of their park status protections and encourage their conversion to low income housing developments," reported Clara Harter for the Santa Monica Daily Press in April 2021. Assemblymember Garcia is quoted in the article justifying the bill as a necessary step toward meeting housing development mandated by the state's Regional Housing Needs Assessment process.

The Southern California Golf Association is opposing the bill, as explained in a release announcing the bill's temporary demise in April 2021. A column by Katy Grimes published by the California Globe provides more background and opposition, updated for the current legislative session. 

Thursday, December 30, 2021 in California Globe

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