With 5 members voting aye, 2 members voting nay, and 1 member abstaining, the Assembly Local Government Committee moved AB 1910 out of committee today and on to Assembly Appropriations. Sort of. The 5th member and deciding vote, Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), who has expressed skepticism throughout, made clear that his deciding vote to move the bill out of committee was contingent on a pledge from bill author Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) to significantly reduce the scope of the bill by amending it in three (3) areas to his satisfaction before it reaches Appropriations; otherwise he has Ms. Garcia’s pledge to drop the bill in the 2022 session, not to mention that absent that “satisfaction” the bill is more likely than not to meet the same fate in Appropriations that it met back in January as AB 672.
In addition to maintenance of 100% local control over any decision to repurpose a parkland golf course as affordable housing per a requirement that the resultant housing be at least 25% of the finished development and the finished development be at least 15% open space, the only golf properties subject to qualification under the program must meet the following limiting conditions: 1) The subject golf property must be deemed “underutilized;” 2) the subject golf property must be in a community that rises to a certain level of “population density;” and 3) the subject property must be in a community deemed “park poor.” And per today’s discussion, all three limiting conditions or criteria must be “objectively measured” in order to pass muster.
What do “underutilized,” “population density,” and “park poor” mean in concrete terms? What are the metrics of each? How are they to be “objectively measured?”
Those are the devils of these particular details – devils to be hashed out with Local Government staff, Assembly Member Bloom, and by implication Assembly Appropriations Chair Chris Holden (D-Pasadena).
Who or what will serve as the final arbiter of whether real meat can be put on the bones of these three vague admonitions? That’s not entirely clear. Will golf be invited to provide input on how real meat can be put on those slender bones? It’s not uncommon to invite opponents of bills to do just that; to determine in this case whether a bill that started out as a case of legislative overreach can be pared down to obviate opposition. That too is entirely unknown as of late Wednesday afternoon. Should golf seek such dialog cum input? Again, way too early to make that call, albeit that’s a call that would need to be made fairly quickly to have meaning.
Lots of questions. No real answers yet. Golf has gotten this far by being unified. And make no mistake about it; a bill that began as a disaster promoted by a corrosive and practically libelous narrative is now a much more limited proposal accompanied by a respectful narrative only because the game has been unified in its response. And united we will remain in deciphering the curiouser and curiouser course of this bill and then charting a course capable of achieving a best possible outcome – an outcome we trust all understand is constrained by a number of political and other considerations.
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