A group of business owners along Bristol Street have banded together to see if together they can find a way to remain on their portion of the corridor, which the city plans to widen from four to six lanes,’ according to the O.C. Register.
If you at all drive through Santa Ana you know the area in question. It is a strip of businesses on the East side of Bristol, just south of 17th. These include a martial arts dojo; a McDonald’s and an optometrist.
What makes this case interesting is that the Washington Square Neighborhood Association has gotten involved and there has been a bit of a ruckus as the neighbors want to see these businesses torn down so they can get a promised green strip.
Former Santa Ana Councilman Tom Lutz is the President of the WSNA. He has been asking questions about the effort to save these businesses, such as who is going to pay to remodel them to the new dimensions demanded by the street widening?
Former WSNA President Lynette Verino, who is also on the Santa Ana Community Redevelopment and Housing Commission, is involved in the effort to save these businesses.
Reportedly the plans for a green strip have been in place for awhile. They city has already knocked down a dental business that was on the corner of 17th and Bristol, as you can see in the picture above. You can also see in that picture what the green strip notion is all about.
The city envisions widening the street from four lanes to six, with a raised median in the center, a 15-foot-wide parkway and a 10-foot-wide sidewalk to accommodate increasing pedestrian traffic. City staff is recommending a 150-foot-wide project, according to the O.C. Register.
I don’t know who exactly Verino is involved with but I hear that SAUSD Trustee John Palacio, who tells me that he is a political consultant, has reportedly shown up with this group to at least one meeting. The business owners include real estate broker Jeronimo Chavez, acupuncturist Yong Lee, tax agent Catalina Phan, Dave Shah, representing Genbu-Kai Karate School, optometrist Robert Gonzales, Jim Turner, representing Genbu-Kai Karate School, dentist Kent Ochiai, dentist Veronica Rosales and McDonald’s restaurant owner Larry Kaplan.
The business operators are recommending a 120-foot-wide plan that they say would result in the same width of sidewalk, along with uniform, drought-resistant landscaping, façade improvements and shared parking that could serve as a model for re-use of older buildings, and likely save money, rding to the O.C. Register.
So should the WSNA get their green strip or should the City of Santa Ana find a way to keep these businesses open?