By Katrina Van Duzee/Garden Grove Journal
Several residents of Santa Ana attended Tuesday’s Garden Grove City Council meeting to speak against the city of Santa Ana’s talks with Chivas USA to convert the 100-acre Willowick Golf Course into a new soccer stadium.
Although the golf course is located in Santa Ana, it is owned by Garden Grove and affects neighborhoods bordering the two cities. Critics of this potential project cited environmental hazards, increased traffic and safety concerns as realistic effects of building a stadium of this magnitude.
Currently Garden Grove is not discussing this opportunity with Chivas or Santa Ana and is waiting to hear more information on the matter, City Manager Matthew Fertal said.
“Your concerns are our concerns and we are anxiously awaiting additional information from the city of Santa Ana as to what exactly they are proposing,” Fertal said. “We are concerned about the environmental impacts such a development would create also.”
Chivas USA is a Major League Soccer franchise currently based at the Home Depot Center in Carson. It shares a stadium with the Los Angeles Galaxy team.
Also, the ongoing project of installing a solar photovoltaic system on the rooftops of several Garden Grove city buildings was unanimously accepted as finished by the city council Tuesday.
The city received $1.5 million in funding from a grant by the Department of Energy in 2009 to facilitate a project aimed at generating lower energy bills. The council approved a no-bid contract with Chevron Energy Solutions to install the system atop the carport at the City Municipal Yard buildings and the Public Safety building.
Construction of Chevron’s rooftop solar panel system cost $1.4 million and should generate 75 kilowatts a year, enough to power the yard’s buildings and operations, according to Chevron.
“I think it’s great we are doing what we can to generate our own power,” Charles Mitchell said. “But are these solar panels going to be relocated if the municipal yard is moved for new development.”
The city expects to save almost $54,000 the first year on energy related costs. Talks about redeveloping the yard in 2020 could lead to cutting into this savings, if the yard were to be relocated.