Whether or not the state’s “fleet reduction” plan to sell 11 properties for an estimated $2 billion makes the slightest bit of fiscal sense remains to be seen (see CP&DR Blog April 29, 2010). As the state wallows in a $20 billion deficit, the most palpable impacts of the sale may fall someplace other than Sacramento, including Costa Mesa.
Wary of intensive development of the 150-acre site of the Orange County Fairgrounds, residents of the City of Costa Mesa will vote on whether to amend the city’s general plan requiring voter approval for any future zoning changes or major developments. The intent of the plan is to ensure that any future, post-sale uses will remain consistent with the site’s historical uses.
As residents of one of the nation’s oldest master-planned cities, Mission Viejo voters will be asked, essentially, to decide whether the city’s planners got it right the first time.
Measure D, billed by its backers as the “Right to Vote Amendment,” would update the city’s general plan to require all projects seeking a “major amendment of planning policy documents” to not only go through the city’s existing approvals process but also receive final approval via a popular vote. The measure is intended, say backers, to provide an extra layer of protection against projects that might be inconsistent with or detrimental to the city’s character.
If California cities are truly running out of money, how can some of them afford to maintain the yard police?
That’s what I kept thinking when I read the new stories about the City of Orange prosecuting homeowners who replaced their lawn with drought-tolerant plants and bark.
With concern rising that a private entity may attempt to purchase the Orange County Fairgrounds for development purposes, public officials are hurrying to put together bids of their own for the 150-acre site just west of the Costa Mesa Freeway.
The City of Irvine has agreed to pay the neighboring City of Newport Beach $3.65 million to settle a lawsuit over Irvine’s approval of a mixed-use plan for 2,760 acres. The Irvine Business Complex plan seeks to bring as many as 15,000 housing units in mixed-use developments to an area near John Wayne Airport that is currently dominated by office buildings and industrial parks.
In this roundup of news: The Orange County planning director resigns only days after the Board of Supervisors ordered a task force to overhaul the department; Irvine amends its agreement with developers of the old El Toro base; Stockton's downtown redevelopment takes a hit; Santee sues San Diego County over jail expansion; Palo Alto adopts a private street ballot initiative.
Orange County’s Planning & Development Services department “is in critical condition,” according to an internal county audit released in late July.
Two members of the board overseeing the Orange County Great Park who sued the public agency over access to executive recruitment information should have their attorney fees paid, the Fourth District Court of Appeal has ruled.
A courtroom is not the location to settle disputes over regional fair-share housing allocations. So ruled the Fourth District Court of Appeal on June 30 in a closely watched case involving the City of Irvine. As a result of the ruling, the city apparently is stuck with having to plan for development of 35,000 additional housing units — equal to about half of its existing inventory – over the next five years.
Opponents of the proposed construction of two houses on a coastal bluff in San Clemente may pursue their lawsuit to overturn the California Coastal Commission’s approval of the projects, even though the suit was filed after a statute of limitations had ostensibly expired, the Fourth District Court of Appeal has ruled.