By Claudine Stines
Walnut – As you may recall, in October of last year, Standard Pacific filed a Writ of Mandate against the City of Walnut stating, in short, the Three Oaks property could not be sold, but would revert back to the original developer if not used for the purpose intended (swimming pool and recreational facility). While the Writ was filed, they did not act upon it, preferring to negotiate; negotiations have been going on since that time.
On Wed., July 22, the Walnut City Council was scheduled to review negotiations for the sale of the property in a closed session. After their review of the Purchase and Sale Agreement, the Council was to reconvene at their Meeting and announce the closed session actions, according to page 6 of the Council agenda.
Other developers did bid on the sale of the property for approximately $15 to $16 million, thus causing Standard Pacific to enter the picture. The Three Oaks property appraised at approximately $5 to $6 million – considerably short of the $20 million the City would need to build the aquatic park, per the conceptual drawing previously submitted on Oct. 8, 2014.
Depending on the financial outcome, the City may have to scale back to accommodate the shortfall, building only the recreation facility, one pool and parking – and develop a strategy to add the additional pool, amphitheater, etc., as additional funds are budgeted in the coming year(s).
As of this month, the renovation of the Walnut High pool has finally started; the estimated time of completion is not known at this time. You may not be aware that the renovation will cause the City to modify their summer aquatic program due to the configuration of the pool. They will no longer be able to support instruction for the smaller swimmers and some adult programs due to the new depth of the pool.
While Council members are in favor of the aquatic center, it appears even at this level of government the wheels of progress have been moving slowly. Council members need to hear from citizens; otherwise the momentum of this vision for the community will continue to move at an even slower pace.
Council members may be contacted, as follows: Robert Pacheco, Mayor (email@example.com); Mary Su, Mayor Pro Tem (firstname.lastname@example.org); Nancy Tragarz, Council Member (email@example.com); Eric Ching, Council Member (firstname.lastname@example.org); Antonio Cartagena, Council Member (email@example.com).