After a hard-fought lawsuit against the City of Garden Grove, on April 19, 2021, the 90- day Good Faith Negotiations for Willowick began for the negotiating parties and the City of Garden Grove. Willowick, a 102-acre site in the City of Santa Ana, but owned by the City of Garden Grove, has the potential to become a large-scale park and a space for 100% affordable housing, depending on the outcome of these next 90 days. Willowick is adjacent to mostly working-class, Latinx, and Vietnamese neighborhoods.
The 90-day good faith negotiation period is required under the CA Surplus Land Act. The only proposal that complies with the Surplus Land Act and the proposal the Rise Up Willowick coalition supports is the one submitted by the Trust for Public Land which proposes 90 acres of open space and 100% affordable housing with a rent-to-own option. This proposal centers the vision of residents for publicly accessible parks as well as affordable housing.
Despite all of our efforts, the City of Garden Grove is still trying to monetize this public land despite the fact that it has to comply with the law. It falsely asserts that Willowick should be appraised for $90 million, which given Willowick’s Open Space Designation is simply not true! The City of Garden Grove is making unfounded assumptions in order to prematurely end negotiations with Trust for Public Land’s proposal and maneuver its way out of complying with the SLA. This is an opportunity for a beautiful public park and accessible housing for the neighboring Buena Clinton and Santa Anita neighborhoods as well as the larger Central OC area.
Can we count on you to send a letter to the Garden Grove City Council members, and Santa Ana Councilmembers and tell them to follow the law and not circumvent the Surplus Land Act, which gives super-priority to Trust for Public Land’s proposal?