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  1. #1

    • Darkbeer
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    Newdevelopments in the Anaheim Resort Housing Issue - 7/11/07

    http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister...le_1761969.php


    A developer-backed group is pushing for a ballot initiative to fight back at a Disney-led coalition that is trying to halt the developer's housing plan.
    The initiative would require voter approval of any project on 52.9 acres of Disney property, mostly a strawberry field, near the site of SunCal's proposed residential complex, the group announced Wednesday.

    The pro-housing group plans to ask the City Council to put the item on the ballot, a way to avoid collecting signatures.

    "It should go on the ballot for everybody, not just the small guy," said Diane Singer, chairwoman of the Coalition to Protect and Defend Anaheim. "It's just about making it even, leveling it all out. Everybody plays by the same rules."

    A Disney spokesman declined to comment. The Disney-funded group is behind two ballot measures opposing developer SunCal's housing plan.

    The conflicting ballot proposals are the latest in a yearlong dispute about whether housing should be built in the Anaheim Resort, a 2.2-square-mile area around Disney's theme parks that was reserved for tourism uses, such as hotels.
    More at the link....
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  2. #2

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    Re: Newdevelopments in the Anaheim Resort Housing Issue - 7/11/07

    PRESS RELEASE

    Committee to Protect and Defend Anaheim Asks Council To Place Anaheim Resort Initiative On Ballot

    Initiative would make the Disney Corporation live under the voter-approval requirement they seek to force on other Resort District property owners


    Anaheim, CA – The Committee to Protect and Defend Anaheim will ask the Anaheim City Council to put before Anaheim voters an initiative requiring the Disney Corporation to abide by the same voter-approval that Disney is trying to impose on other Resort District property owners through its SOAR Initiative.

    Specifically, this initiative would require Anaheim voters to approve any future development proposal on the property commonly referred to as "the strawberry farm" located in the heart of the Resort area along Harbor Boulevard near Katella Avenue. Disney’s SOAR Initiative imposes additional land-use controls and restrictions on property not owned by the Disney Corporation – but it conveniently allows Disney, as owner of the single largest undeveloped tract in the Anaheim Resort, to circumvent any similar voter approval process.

    "Disney is pushing an initiative requiring resort district property owners, no matter how small, to ask Anaheim’s 136,000 voters to approve any zoning change," said Anaheim resident Diane Singer. "But they don’t want to put the same requirement on themselves."

    "Disney ought to play by the same rules they want to impose on everyone else, and this initiative will do that," said Singer. "We’re aren’t thrilled by ballot-box zoning, but if Anaheim voters are asked to impose that on the Resort District, they deserve the option of choosing an initiative that applies equally to all Resort District property owners – including Disney."
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  3. #3

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    Re: Newdevelopments in the Anaheim Resort Housing Issue - 7/11/07

    And a related story from the LA Times from July 9th

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...ck=2&cset=true


    Much of the housing debate in Anaheim has centered on the 2.2-square-mile Resort District. Disney and tourism officials say they are not opposed to the notion of creating more low-cost housing, but they believe the resort should be dedicated to tourism and the enormous tax revenue it yields.

    "The community needs to address housing for all segments of the community," said Disney spokesman Rob Doughty. "We've never said it's not an important issue. But we also need to protect the resort area as the largest single source of funds for Anaheim."

    Religious coalition leaders say they are staying out of the high-profile housing fight in the Resort District, partly because some members have sided with Disney and others don't believe the entertainment giant can be beaten in the courts or at the ballot box.

    Instead, they are concentrating on the Platinum Triangle, a sprouting urban village where about 9,000 homes are planned within five to 10 years.

    None of those units have been designated as "affordable." But the Platinum Triangle land next to Angel Stadium is in the city's redevelopment zone and developer Archstone-Smith and Hines has plans for up to 1,100 apartments, 20% of which could be available to low-income families.

    The potential glitch is that under terms of the Angels' 1996 stadium lease, homes must be approved by the team owner, now Arte Moreno. Councilman Harry Sidhu said he was not opposed to building low-cost homes on the stadium property, but sees it as unrealistic.

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  4. #4

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    Re: Newdevelopments in the Anaheim Resort Housing Issue - 7/11/07

    OK, here is what I think is going on...

    FYI, SOAR is the Disney funded group, CDPA is the SunCal builders funded group, both groups do have other supporters and donors, but the major funding comes from Disney and SunCal.

    SOAR has already submitted one referendum (cancelling the specific zoning change) and has enough signatures for an initiative (Zoning/Land Use changes must be approved by voters in the current Resort Area).

    CDPA has taken polls and found out that both SOAR issues will be approved by the voters.

    The next City Council meeting is this Tuesday, July 17th, in the evening.

    The Council has to make a decision, whether to rescind the zoning approval and drop the matter, or place the matter on the ballot for the voters to vote on. (The Initiative, if submitted and found to have enough signatures would go straight to the ballot).

    While just dropping the matter might happen (Ms. Kring is the swing vote), most folks think the council will place it on the ballot.

    Now, the council has the power to place the referendum to overturn the zoning change on a upcoming ballot (either February or June) or have a special election (there is a time window that the council must follow). Most folks think they will place on the February ballot (Presidential Primary).

    Now, if either event happens as is, more than likely, the SOAR proposals are approved, and SunCal's project is basically cancelled (SunCal doesn't even own the Mobile Home Parks, they have a contract to buy the properties at a specific price with a certain time frame, but they don't have to buy, though they might have to pay a cancellation fee to the parks though).

    But SunCal is looking at a major profit (The land values go up tens of millions if the zoning change happens), so they want to fight on.

    Solution, have CDPA come up with something to confuse the voters, which is why we have the new proposal regarding the Strawberry Farm zoning.

    CDPA did a similar tactic during the gathering of signatures for the SOAR proposals, setting up a rival set of tables, and a non-binding petition (which anyone could sign, not just registered voters of Anaheim) and then a card to "rescind" your signature on the SOAR referendum.

    This time, they want the third proposal to get some voters confused, which ones do I vote on if I want to keep the area for business use?, etc.

    One problem, and it should be interesting to see how the council handles it. Do you cave in to CDPA and just place the third measure on the ballot (which I don't think will happen, if it does, then SunCal has a LOT of power), if not, then SunCal will have to go to the Secretary of State and go through the approval process to get an approved measure (correct legal wording) and petitions started. Then they have to get the signatures and submit them to the Register of Voters. That will take time, my educated guess, a few months (maybe as long as 8, 2 months to process and then 6 months to get the signatures needed). Then if they get the signatures, it will finally go to the ballot.

    So if the SOAR proposals get approved for the February ballot, then the CDPA couldn't be on the same ballot if they have to gather signatures.

    So you might see the council decide that the best time for the vote is June, but all that means is that the council is delaying a vote (the Zoning change is in limbo until a vote is taken) to benefit one side (SunCal).

    Should be interesting to follow this in the next week or so, a lot of behind the scenes stuff will have to come out in public.....
    Last edited by Darkbeer; 07-12-2007 at 08:39 AM. Reason: Fixed typos and modified wording to make the info clearer
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  5. #5

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    Re: Newdevelopments in the Anaheim Resort Housing Issue - 7/11/07

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, democracy just don't work...


    I've tried to work out where this land is that's intended for the housing. Does anyone have an exact address, like the streets that border it? I know where the Strawberry Farm is. But I've seen conflicting attempts at trying to define the housing land.

    Flash Earth:
    http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=33.80....3&r=0&src=msl

    Or draw it on Wikimapia:
    http://www.wikimapia.org/#y=33800690...14&l=0&m=h&v=2
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    Re: Newdevelopments in the Anaheim Resort Housing Issue - 7/11/07

    The voters of Anaheim should run Lorri Galloway out of town on a rail. She is the one that's in cahoots with SunCal and Frank Elfand so tell me there is no conflict of interest there. The resort area was zoned for resort purposes and should stay that way. I am by no means against low-cost housing but not in the resort district. There are other sections of Anaheim that they can develop for housing and if anybody says that it should be close to their jobs at the resort that's garbage, I have to drive 30 miles each day to work!!
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  7. #7

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    Re: Newdevelopments in the Anaheim Resort Housing Issue - 7/11/07

    this was a deal that eisner made in order to control what was being built around disneyland resort. Affordable housing is important in any area of socal from what I have heard. Frankly disney could make a bundle by selling the strawberry farm or developing it themselves. I don't think there will be a third gate anytime soon since DCA will take at least 5 years to rework and lots and lots of money.

  8. #8

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    Re: Newdevelopments in the Anaheim Resort Housing Issue - 7/11/07

    Quote Originally Posted by monotonehell View Post
    I've said it before and I'll say it again, democracy just don't work...


    I've tried to work out where this land is that's intended for the housing. Does anyone have an exact address, like the streets that border it? I know where the Strawberry Farm is. But I've seen conflicting attempts at trying to define the housing land.

    Flash Earth:
    http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=33.80....3&r=0&src=msl

    Or draw it on Wikimapia:
    http://www.wikimapia.org/#y=33800690...14&l=0&m=h&v=2

    Here this has a decent map showing loction.

    http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister...le_1326330.php
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  9. #9

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    Re: Newdevelopments in the Anaheim Resort Housing Issue - 7/11/07

    Some news from the weekend...

    http://www.micechat.com/forums/showthread.php?t=71279


    A developer that has been locked in a land-use dispute with the Walt Disney Co. said Sunday it will ask the Anaheim City Council to postpone a vote on the issue this week.

    Frank Elfend, a consultant for developer SunCal, said the two sides met over the weekend to examine possible solutions. SunCal wants to build 1,500 homes on about 50 acres that Disney wants to use for hotels and resort-related construction. The issue could be put to a public vote.

    "We want to do what's best for the residents of Anaheim and the economic engine of the resort," Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle said. "We'll be interested to hear what SunCal will come with at the 11th hour."

    Tuesday, council is slated to set a date for a referendum to overturn the land's residential zoning designation.

    "I think all parties agree that a continuance on Tuesday would be a good way to initiate positive dialogue," Elfend said.

    Disney spokesman Rob Doughty said there was no compromise: "SunCal approached us and we were open to hearing what they had to say. We remain focused on the long-term protection of the Anaheim Resort area."
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    Re: Newdevelopments in the Anaheim Resort Housing Issue - 7/11/07

    So, what will happen this week.

    First, we know that the City Council has to take action on the Referendum. And while they might be able to postpone action for a short time period, the law requires quick action once the referendum is submitted and signatures verified by the Register of Voters. But SOAR cannot rescind the submission.

    The City Council has one of two choices, either Repeal the Zoning Change or place the Referendum on the Ballot. Now the City Council has some choices as of the date. As early as October, or as late of November 2008.

    But I seriously doubt that the City would call a special election, due to the extra costs, so there are three main choices, the Presidential Primary election in February, the June Primary for state and local offices and the Presidential Election in November.

    Now, if it goes to an election, the Zoning Change is in limbo, and no work can be done on the project.
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  11. #11

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    Re: Newdevelopments in the Anaheim Resort Housing Issue - 7/11/07

    Thank you Darkbeer for this riveting news! I being an outsider to the area have been wondering for months how all this was playing out.
    I have said this before, but when you take a look at all the money that has been spent there on S Harbor enhancing the resort atmosphere... it just does not make sense to throw down low-income housing in that area. for God sakes, is it the only real estate available?? Everyone has known for years the future intentions for that property. Maybe all the pressure will push the opening of the third gate, just to make the land grab! Certainly the financial gains for the city will be substantial with hotels/resorts/parks.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Newdevelopments in the Anaheim Resort Housing Issue - 7/11/07

    It looks like SunCal is looking for a time out to regroup, the question is why?

    Well, one reason would be that they think that Councilperson Lucille Kring might decide to Repeal the Zoning Change, which means that the fight is over and that Disney/SOAR prevails and that the project is basically dead.

    Or the fact that the City Council will place the referendum on the Febraury 2008, where the cititizens of Anaheim more than likely will approve the Repeal, and the same result happens, project cancelled.

    The other issue is the proposed third ballot that CDPA requested be place on the ballot by the City Council. But I seriously doubt that will happen tomorrow, first off, the City Clerk has stated the submitted wording is not legal, and needs to have changes made, second, if the council allows the initative to appear on the ballot withouit gathering the required signatures of the registered voters of Anaheim, it will cause too much backlash and hurt the chances of the City councilperson fo being re-elected in the next election. It is just too hot of a potato right now.

    Now, if SunCal gets its postponement, then they have time to get the wording legal, and then start the gathering of the signatures needed. The Initative is not a solution to the problems SunCal has, but IMHO, is basically the last major thing they can do, but it really only works if it is on the same ballot as the SOAR ballot measure(s).

    So in most cases, the project as proposed is going to not be allowed to built.

    So SunCal can just walk away, or come up with a new proposal that would be agreeable to the Anaheim Resort Businesses, more than likely a mix of Hotels and some housing. But then SunCal will have to do a lot more work.
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  13. #13

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    Re: Newdevelopments in the Anaheim Resort Housing Issue - 7/11/07

    What are the options of SOAR.

    Currently they are pressuring the City Councilperson to just Repeal the Zoning change, and not have it go to a ballot. I presume they will continue to do that, no matter if the matter is postponed one month.

    Now SOAR does have the Initative that they have been gathering signatures for. They have stated they have enough signatures for the measure to be approved, but have not yet submitted them to the Register of Voters.

    Now SOAR can make a deal with SunCal and agree not to submit the initiative, but I don't think they would do it for a couple of reasons, first off, they are almost to the end of the 6 months they are allowed to gather and submit the petitions, so they would lose all the time and effort but into the measure. And the measure protects the entire Resort area, and would at least for a few years more than likely not have any new Housing projects be proposed for the area. That is too big of a concession, so I seriously doubt that it will happen.

    About the only type of compromise that Disney might agree to is that they came to an arrangement with SunCal to purchase the rights of buying the Mobil Park Land. SunCal can get a moral victory, and the project goes away.

    Should be interesting to see what happens in the next couple of days....
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    Re: Newdevelopments in the Anaheim Resort Housing Issue - 7/11/07

    Thanks again, Dave for keeping us posted on what's going on. Your posts make it easy to follow a very confussing situation. I look forward to hearing about the next step.

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    Re: Newdevelopments in the Anaheim Resort Housing Issue - 7/11/07

    Interesting letter that the former Mayor of Anaheim wrote recently...

    An Open Letter to Fellow Residents of Anaheim


    By Tom Daly

    It’s troubling to watch the battle being waged in our city over whether land-planning standards approved in 1994 will be honored in the Anaheim Resort District, which includes Disneyland and nearby properties.

    I was mayor when the council approved these standards with a unanimous vote, after years of careful analysis. Now, a developer and three members of the City Council want to gut them by allowing high-density housing in the Resort District. This fight is hurting our city and dividing us.

    It didn’t have to be this way.

    The Resort District was created to preserve the integrity of the city’s most valuable financial asset. The idea was to revive the area and protect it into the future from incompatible development—exactly the kind of high-density housing project proposed by SunCal for a 26-acre parcel within the Resort District. All of the property owners in the District agreed to the same ground rules when the Resort zoning was created. Now, someone wants to come in after the fact and change the rules to make a fast buck.

    Make no mistake: This is not Disney vs. Anaheim. It’s Anaheim vs. the wrong project in the wrong place. Anaheim deserves to safeguard its good planning just as any city in Orange County.

    As someone who sat on the City Council for 14 years and has lived in Anaheim all my life, I’m asked by puzzled friends and neighbors all over town: What’s really going on here? Isn’t there housing being built nearby?

    Well, yes, there is. The city has approved more than 10,000 new housing units within a few blocks of the property in question. What’s more, Anaheim already provides more subsidized affordable housing units than any other city in Orange County.

    Our fellow Anaheim residents on the Planning Commission took a thorough look at the rezoning proposed for the Resort District and resoundingly said no. Two members of the City Council have said no. As residents, we also cannot back down because there are important principles at stake here:

    1. Ensuring sound and well-reasoned planning in the Resort District;

    2. Honoring commitments made to all of the property owners in the Resort area who agreed to tourism-related zoning, not just Disney; and


    3. Guaranteeing the city’s treasury by protecting the most important financial asset the city has: The Anaheim Resort.

    Tens of thousands of residents signed a referendum against SunCal’s proposal, and a coalition of nearly every citizen’s group in Anaheim stands with them. I’m proud to be one of them.

    We should be celebrating the city’s strengths and successes, not allowing clever propaganda to divide us. Our goal is this: we want our agreements honored and our commitments kept.

    On Tuesday, the City Council can do the right thing and repeal their mistaken zoning decision. Or they can continue to jeopardize the city’s planning standards and future finances. It’s up to us as residents of Anaheim to decide whether this fight should escalate and how it should end. The council works for us. They don’t work for SunCal — or Disney.


    As Anaheim residents, we all have a stake in what happens.
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