Are you wondering why the Santa Ana City Council meeting agenda for this Tuesday’s meeting was suddenly altered on Friday – to read that there should not be a public session regarding the proposed apartment development, The Addington, at 2525 Main St.?
It turns out that the acting City Manager, Steven Mendoza, got bamboozled by Mayor Miguel Pulido, who might be a lame duck in his last term but is still acting like his voice is the only one that matters on the City Council.
Mendoza indicated on Friday that the delay was due to issues with a traffic study, pertaining to the apartment development project. However Planning Director Minh Thai told the developer of the project that Mendoza was ordered by Pulido to pospone the meeting.
The Planning Agency has already finished the project’s EIR and they indicated that they approved of the project. While the Planning Commission later voted against the project they are an advisory body and the City Council can easily overrule them.
Here is the kicker – despite Pulido’s last-minute machinations the City Council, on Tuesday, can still vote to open the public session on 2525 Main St. They just need four votes – and that seems very likely to happen.
In fact there are only two City Council Members that, to my knowledge, oppose this project – and Pulido is one of them.
The City Council absolutely should vote to approve this project. The proposed project generates more funding for the City, provides for more affordable housing units, funds more park improvements and supports a series of benefits to the neighboring Park Santiago neighborhood that simply would not materialize if the site remained vacant or was developed into a new office building.
In its first year, the project will pay more than $16 million in permit fees, of this more than $5 million will go directly to the City’s general fund. The project’s net annual fiscal benefit to the City of Santa Ana will be more than $1.2 million annually or more than $1.1 million than the existing office structure. These funds can be used to fund much needed City programs and services including youth programs, education, city improvements, parks improvement and more.
The project will remit more than $3.5 million in property taxes annually, of that $1.5 million will go to the Santa Ana Unified School District. However, the project anticipates multi-family residents having far fewer children, so the cost to school children from the project will be less than $500k annually, resulting in a net benefit of more than $1 million to our school district.
The Addington proposal is consistent with all of the City’s General Plan goals and policies, and helps to support its Gateway Designation. This project helps to realize the goals for Main Street that previous City Councils established with the help of significant community input.
The plan for 2525 Main Street was the product of nearly a year of community input, and was sensitively designed to limit impacts to privacy, reduce car trips through surrounding neighborhoods, and eliminate the need for guests to park on nearby streets.
The City of Santa Ana is in dire financial straits. I cannot imagine that very many of our elected City Council members will vote to turn their backs on the vast tax revenues that will be created by The Addington. In fact given Pulido’s outrageous actions on Friday I suspect the vote to approve this project will now be 6-1 with Pulido casting the only “no” vote.
Pulido can vote no as he is terming out in two years so he won’t have to deal with the City’s financial problems much longer.
As for the Nimby’s who are opposing this project, one of them is now suggesting that residents of North Santa Ana should break away from the
City of Santa Ana and form their own city!
How insane is that? If anything this proves that the privileged, entitled Nimby’s in North Santa Ana don’t care about the rest of our city.
Ironically these Nimby’s are ignoring the real threat in the Santiago Park neighborhood – the lawless vagrants that live in Santiago Creek. The Addington project will include around the clock security not only in the apartment project but also in Santiago Park and in the adjacent neighborhood. This project will actually solve the vagrant problem and make us all safer in the process.
The public session on this project should be held on Feb. 5 at the City Council meeting. And the City Council should at last approve this project without further delays!