PREVEN REPORT--The County of Los Angeles owns twenty golf courses—why not turn one or more of them into a park?
The courses are huge and beautiful. They appear on Google Earth as lush green oases in a vast desert of asphalt. They are like scaled-down versions of New York City’s Central Park. Most of them occupy between 30 and 150 acres of green space.
And yet they’re all off-limit s to the public—-except to that tiny fraction of the public who happens to play golf, which is expensive and incredibly time-consuming.
It takes about four hours to play a weekend round of golf at an 18-hole County course. The cost is $40, according to the County’s website; and that’s not including the golf clubs. Renting them can be as much as $60 per day. Buying your own can cost well over $200.
Why should Angelenos who don’t have a lot of money get excluded from so much of the County’s public green space?
There are County golf courses in some of LA's most “park poor” neighborhoods. Converting one of those courses into a park could be a game-changer for the community--and it would still leave nineteen County golf courses available for play.
What's the downside?
(Eric Preven and Joshua Preven are public advocates for better transparency in local government and are occasional contributors to CityWatch. A piece they wrote for CityWatch "It’s Time to End LA’s Secret Meetings: What Do City Council Members and LA’s County Supervisors Have to Hide?" won the LA Press Club award for Online Political Commentary.)