By Hyung SEOK LEE
The Verdugo Hills Golf Course Committee, which is spearheading the fight to keep the local golf course from being turned into a condominium development, met last week to further explore its options. The organization has partnered with numerous local organizations, such as VOICE and Sunland Tujunga Alliance, to keep the community golf course, a course that has been serving the public for nearly 50 years.
“People from different parts of the community are all coming together to try to save one place in our community. I never played golf, but I see the course as a safe place in the community,” member Karen Zimmerman said.
The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), which was released in May, addressed 14 elements of the impact the new housing would have on the community. When this statement was released, the public was permitted to evaluate and post commentary for 90 days on the given report. During that 90 days, 30 organizations and hundreds of letters were sent to the City of Los Angeles in response to the report. Several areas were said to have been understated, according to VHGC Committee representatives, including the number of residents living in each house.
The golf course currently is without a Conditional Use Permit, which disqualifies it from being recognized as a golf course. The permit expired in 2002 and has not been renewed. The permit costs anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000. The committee is currently trying to think of ways to finance this permit.
Committee members also want to raise awareness that the course is still open and operational. Organizers are concerned that many people believe the course has closed. To increase the visibility of the course, proposals such as the installation of “Malibu Lights” or giant signs were discussed. With the greater publicity, it is believed that more support will be garnered for the site.
Many local organizations and schools have held fundraisers at the Verdugo Hills Golf Course over the years. Rosemont Middle School holds its annual golf tournament there; the course has provided students, families, and organizations throughout the Crescenta Valley and surrounding areas with an easy Par 3 golf course with a driving range for practice.