Herald American

County to operate Norwalk golf course

NORWALK — The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation will take control of the city’s nine-hole golf course at 13717 Shoemaker Ave., next Jan. 4 and hopes to complete a $3.5 million makeover of the 11-acre facility by Sept. 1 of that year, under a 50-year contract approved April 7 by the City Council.

In a report to the council, Kurt H. Anderson, director of community development, said the city will retain ownership and oversee operations but will lease the facility to the county at no cost.

In return, the county will renovate the entire course, build a 92,500-square-foot, two-story enclosed driving range, bounded by a 100-foot high fence and a 3,200-square-foot clubhouse with a community meeting room.

The county also will maintain the course, pay all utility bills and staff there, saving the city about $200,000 a year, Anderson said.

He noted that in recent years the course has netted about $146,500 to $200,000 in revenue a year, but with annual operating expenses of $300,000 to $394,000, the course required a city subsidy. That will no longer be necessary.

Also planned is a golf academy for young people.

Golf rates for players are not part of the contract and will be set by the county, Anderson said.

He noted that concerns of residents to the south and west will be met by retaining tall trees along the course boundary, aiming lights downward into the golf facility and the driving range will be completely enclosed with a net ceiling.

“We will remove some trees at various locations and replant them based on the configuration of the new golf course,” said Jorge A. Badel, senior golf director for the county Department of Parks and Recreation.

“We operate 19 golf courses in Los Angeles County and 18 are adjoining homes. The safety of our neighbors is very important. We will respond to any concern within 24 hours,” Badel said.

Plans for the takeover have been underway for the past year but were delayed while the city and the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District negotiated for about a quarter of an acre of school land at the northwest part of the property, adjoining the Southeast ROP Academy, 12940 E. Foster Road.

Norwalk, which had been using the parcel as a maintenance yard, will purchase it outright from the district for $125,000. In return, the district will dedicate a 12-foot wide right-of-way from the course north past the academy to Foster Road to allow a second entry and exit site, in addition to those off Shoemaker, Anderson said.