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California bill proposing converting muni golf courses halted

By and |  January 21, 2022 1 Comments

A bill in the California Legislature, authored by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, that proposed converting California public and municipal golf courses into affordable housing has been struck down in committee.

The decision, issued on Jan. 20, does not close the door completely on the bill, however. Garcia may refile the proposal as a one-year bill that would restart its journey through the California Legislature after a 30-day wait.

The entire bill is online at the California Legislative Information website. The first paragraph reads:

“Upon appropriation by the Legislature of $50 million from the General Fund, the Department of Housing and Community Development shall administer a program to provide grants to cities … to incentivize making publicly owned golf courses in densely populated areas available for housing and publicly accessible open space.”

The bill originally died in a legislative session in late 2021, but Garcia made AB 672 a two-year bill, which means it came back for a short consideration window in January.

On, Jan. 12, Garcia (@AsmGarcia) tweeted, “My bill #AB672 passed Asm Housing & Local Govt Cmt today! It will create a voluntary incentive for public agencies to consider municipal golf courses for affordable housing & open space. This is about providing more tools to address housing issues and think outside the box.”

Jason Fuertes

Jason Fuertes

Jason Fuertes, superintendent at Industry Hills GC at Pacific Palms Resort in Fullerton, Calif., says besides taking away the places that many kids and beginners first learn the game, the bill would also hurt the people who work in the industry, especially Hispanics.

“It creates a problem within the Hispanic community, you’re taking away jobs,” Fuertes says. “My dad and I, we’re part of the Hispanic community … Golf paved the way for my dad and for me to be successful. If it wasn’t for golf, who knows where we’d be. And now she’s trying to take away jobs to a big part of the Hispanic community out here in California.”

Golfdom Research Editor Mike Kenna, Ph.D., added on the dangers of this bill.

“Unfortunately, the nongolfing public does not understand that the municipal golf courses in their communities are part of park systems that provide soccer, baseball, swimming, picnicking, biking, pickleball, tennis and myriad of other recreational pursuits,” Kenna wrote. “If not supported by the local government, these recreation areas would not be part of life in any California city or suburb.”

This article is tagged with and posted in Industry News

About the Author:

Sarah Webb is Golfdom's former managing editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University, where she studied journalism and Spanish. Prior to her role at Golfdom, Sarah was an intern for Cleveland Magazine and a writing tutor.

1 Comment on "California bill proposing converting muni golf courses halted"

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  1. M West says:

    The golf industry (& communities) need to fight this hard. There is an active move to push this bill through & those who would be affected negatively should it pass, have to organize to push back. We don’t need more housing at the expense of open space, trees, clean air, less traffic and a sport that is enjoyed by so many, including young people.

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