By Katrina Van Duzee/Garden Grove Journal
The International West resort concept took another step forward at Tuesday’s city council meeting with the approval of a development agreement with the city of Garden Grove and zoning changes.
The council voted 5-0 to approve an amendment to the general plan, changing the land use designations of two properties from low-density residential use to International West mixed use zone. The council also adopted a development agreement between the city of Garden Grove and Garden Grove MXD, Inc.
Under this agreement the city of Garden Grove will have to pay $42 million to the developer, McWhinney Enterprises, to help with financing. This extravagant sum would be acquired through a bond and paid off with substantial tax revenue from the project, according to the city.
“We are very anxious to start this project; we love Garden Grove,” Great Wolf Resorts senior director/designer, Rodney Jones said.
The much anticipated water park will take up a 12-acre site located on the west side of Harbor Boulevard north of Garden Grove Boulevard and is comprised of six different properties.
The amendment to the general plan changes the zoning of the remaining two properties considered single-family residential land in order to allow for the sale of alcoholic beverages in the hotel and restaurants to be built on these properties, according to a staff report.
The 600-room, 12-story resort and water park to be is expected to begin construction this year, with completion scheduled for 2013.
Great Wolf will manage the facility, which will be built in partnership with McWhinney Enterprises from Colorado. It is anticipated the project’s construction will create 600 hundred jobs in Garden Grove and bring in around $8 million per year for the city of Garden Grove.
I hope the city looks not just at the needs of the city as a whole, but also at the needs of the residents who are directly affected,” resident Charles Dang, said about the project.
Several residents from Dang’s neighborhood on Leda Lane attended the meeting to make sure their private cul-de-sac located near the project was going to be preserved.
Other amendments passed at the meeting included a change to the annual Garden Grove Strawberry Festival’s hours. The festival will open at 11 a.m. on May 27, adding two hours to the event.
Also at the meeting, the Garden Grove High School football team was honored for its victory over Beckman High in the December CIF Southern Division Championship game.
It was the first CIF football title for GGHS in its 89-year history.