Deeds and WeedsAugust 5, 2009

Saving Verdugo Hills

In the July 20 issue of Golf World, we published this story by Geoff Shackelford about Sharp Park, a public golf course in Pacifica, Calif., that has drawn the ire of environmentalists who think the golf course is a bad use of the land and should be closed down.

As a golfer, I liked this story, from the Aug. 3 issue of the Los Angeles Daily News, much better: It chronicles the efforts of a Southern California community, Sunland Tujunga, which is fighting to keep a developer from turning a 49-year-old golf course, Verdugo Hills, into a housing community.

As the story explains, the developer, MWH Development/Snowball Investments, says it is willing to sell the 58-acre golf course back to the city, but only at a substantial profit. MWH bought the course in 2004 for $7.6 million. According to the newspaper, the developers opponents have said it wants at least $20 million to sell it back.

The local county supervisors have kicked in $1.7 million to start a fund to buy the land, so the effort has a ways to go.

"We're the last community in the city of Los Angeles that is the gateway to Angeles National Forest," Tomi Lyn Bowling of the Sunland Tujunga Neighborhood Council told the Daily News. "And we want it to stay a rural space that isn't Valencia, for lack of a better example."

--G.R.