Barger Cancels 'Hand Over' of Eaton Canyon Golf Course to Pasadena, Wins Praise from Nervous Hastings Ranch Neighborhood

Course operators had intimated new city park would attract the homeless, crime

Published : Monday, June 11, 2018 | 5:38 AM

A Lower Hastings Ranch Association meeting Monday expected to be dominated by protest against the proposed hand over of the Eaton Canyon Golf Course to the City of Pasadena will be a lot quieter than originally anticipated.

Stealing the meeting’s thunder somewhat, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger announced Sunday that the County of Los Angeles will retain ownership of the Eaton Canyon Golf Course, and will “work to ensure that the facility is maintained at the highest possible standard.”

“Our new reputable operator at the course has enabled us to not only provide a valuable recreational resource for the community but also attract a new clientele for the future,” said Barger.

Barger’s office said Sunday, that course management, maintenance and the overall quality of the facility has improved dramatically under CourseCo., who will continue as the operator through a contract with Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation.

Neighbors reacted with high praise for Barger and the decision.

“This is great news for homeowners and golfers in Pasadena and the area,” said one, Katherine Guarino. “I am so glad our elected representatives heard the concerns expressed by their constituents and responded to them!”

Monday night’s meeting, hosted by the Lower Hastings Ranch Association as a forum to discuss issues that impact Pasadena, is still planned for 7 p.m. at Raffi’s Catering and Banquet, 3887 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. in East Pasadena.

Tensions were running high in recent weeks over the issue, with the golf course itself intimating that homeless would overrun the possible new city park if the County gave the property to Pasadena. Pairs of photographs show idyllic scenes of activities at the golf course on the left next to images of homeless people in Pasadena city parks on the right. Links on the golf course’s “Save Easton Canyon Golf Course!” site features news stories about homeless suspects in Pasadena committing crimes.

An email the golf course sent to its members last week about the meeting said, “We need as many of you who can, to attend and voice your opposition to the transfer of the golf course to the City of Pasadena who has said they will close it.”

When Pasadena Now first reported the possible hand over of the golf course to Pasadena, a Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation spokesperson pointed to the golf course’s diminishing revenues over the years.

“Furthermore, Eaton Canyon Golf Course … is located only 3.6 miles away from the Altadena Golf Course, also owned by Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation,” said Department Public Information Officer, Terry Kanakri.

Mayor Tornek said at the time his understanding is the County was reviewing the financial viability of all its golf courses.

“Golf as a sport is declining nationally and it’s an expensive proposition to maintain a golf course,” Tornek said. “So if the County doesn’t have a financially successful course, it looks for alternatives.”

Barger’s announcement Sunday means the County will allow the golf course more time to operate.

“I am very encouraged by the input I have received by all of the stakeholders and I support giving our golf course an opportunity to succeed and flourish,” Barger said in the statement.

She added, “I want to invite the community to utilize this course as much as possible. Your patronage as regular golfers and diners at the restaurant helps keep the facility vital, and helps us attract a new generation of golfers.”

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