La Mesa to transform golf course into city park

SAN DIEGO — Faced with declining revenues, the operators of the nine-hole Sun Valley Golf Course in La Mesa will suspend operations at the close of business Thursday and return the land to the municipal government, city officials announced Monday.

The 13-acre section of MacArthur Park will revert to city control on June 30, when officials will conduct inspections and begin landscaping work, fill holes and perform maintenance on irrigation systems.

The city is preparing for the future of the 22-acre park on short-term and long-term tracks.

For the short term, the city hired a landscape architect to prepare a draft design that will include open space for public use, a jogging/running trail and new access points. Additional amenities could include a re-designed nine-hole recreational disc golf course, a dog park and a community garden.

The city also plans to solicit ideas for a potential public-private partnership for what is currently the golf course clubhouse, putting green and driving range.

A community meeting to present the first-phase design concept is scheduled for August. The park will be re-opened for passive use as soon as possible, with additional amenities being phased in as partnership agreements are put into place, according to the city.

The city is also soliciting proposals from planning firms to address the longer-term future of MacArthur Park.

The course has been leased by the city to Sun Valley Golf LLC for 20 years. The lessees have been under a month-to-month deal since March, and recently informed the city of the intention to terminate the contract.