The company purchased the land for $7.6 million in 2005. Estimates of the likely asking price now have ranged as high as $15 to $20 million. The company is now proposing a 229-unit condo development.
Dale Thrush, another Gruel deputy, said Los Angeles does not have the option of acquiring the land through eminent domain, as golf courses are protected under state law. Under eminent domain, the two sides would name a price and a judge would decide between them.
Thrush said the project would require a zone change, but L.A. might be limited in its options because of an underlying plan amendment for that specific property allowing multiple residential units.
Glendale City Councilman Dave Weaver suggested that the EIR, when prepared, might list issues which cannot be mitigated. He said the L.A. city council could refuse to adopt a statement of overriding considerations to waive the mitigation.
Councilman Frank Quintero urged his colleagues to participate in a buyout, but he could not find support among the other four. Given the fact that the EIR could take a year or more, and the housing market remains flat, the other council members appeared ready to gamble that the price will come down.
So far, under $2 million has been pledged to the effort, through L.A. city and county. The Glendale council is due to vote next week on a capital budget which will cover most park funds available in the next 10 years.
Richard Toyon, a leader in the effort to save the course, outlined plans for a regional park facility to be called the Verdugo Hills Golf Course and Regional Park.