The struggle to bring tourist attractions to Garden Grove’s Harbor Boulevard area may be diverted into a courtroom, as residents of the Travel Country RV Park have filed a lawsuit designed to stop their eviction.
A 600-room Great Wolf water park-hotel project is slated to be built on a site that includes the RV park, which is located on Harbor just north of Garden Grove Boulevard.
The city and its redevelopment agency have agreed to help relocate the estimated 40 remaining families to other affordable housing and pay some of their costs.
“Travel Country residents will benefit from the development of this project by receiving the city’s financial assistance to move into better living conditions and quality of life environment,” according to Matt Fertal, Garden Grove’s city manager.
“Residents will go from living in confined, aging trailers to more attractive and practical housing,” he said.
But residents, who are being represented in court by Public Counsel, a non-profit pro bono law firm, don’t want to go.
“Garden Grove is our home, it’s where our children go to school, and it’s where many of us work,” said Marina Limon, a 23-year resident of the park who is the lead plaintiff in the case of Limon v. Garden Grove Agency for Community Development.
“The city has told us we have to leave our neighbors, friends and homes and we’re really nervous about where we’re all going to end up. There’s not a lot of affordable housing.”
Garden Grove will provide relocated tenants with moving costs and the difference between their current and future rent for up to 42 months. According to Fertal, the lawsuit is holding up financing for the project, which the city hopes will generate over 600 jobs and $8.5 million in local tax revenues.
The Great Wolf project would be a major step forward in the city’s efforts to develop Harbor into “International West,” an entertainment and tourism zone running from the city’s border with Anaheim to the Garden Grove Freeway and beyond.