A number of Santa Ana businesses and neighborhood groups, including the Santa Anita Neighborhood Association and the Santa Ana Business Council, as well as neighborhood leaders, congregations and others are beginning to voice their concerns about the proposed Santa Ana Streetcar project.
Below is an example of this opposition, in the form of a letter from the Santa Ana Community & Business Alliance to the Santa Ana city leaders:
July 7, 2014
City Manager David Cavazos, City Attorney Sonia Carvalho, Mayor Pulido, Council Members & City Staff,
SUBJECT: STATEMENT OF OPPOSITION TO SANTA ANA’S FIXED GUIDEWAY (STREETCAR) PROJECT CONNECTING TO GARDEN GROVE
Dear City of Santa Ana,
Over the next several years, construction of a fixed guideway project on Fourth Street will cause a contraction in spending in the corridor which over the course of the construction will result in a cumulative decline in aggregate demand for the products currently sold by merchants on this street. This will severely test businesses in a time when the economy has already severely slowed. The fact that the city has proposed this as their “preferred route” raises many questions as to whether this proposed plan is in fact a marker of sorting, and has re-reminded business owners on Fourth Street of the many previous attempts that have been made by the city since 1985 to agitate long standing businesses along this street.
This process of agitation began with the marked failure to redevelop the area originally known as the Fiesta Marketplace, this was first proposed in official records 85-432141. Redevelopment procedures for Fourth Street which would harm business owners re-emerged in the “Renaissance Plan,” which resulted in a series of policies of unequal and differential investment of public and private resources on this street beginning with the “Fourth Street Façade Program” and in the 2008 establishment of “CID” or the Community Improvement District for the same area which without the knowledge of a majority of the business owners was conspired to only benefit a few businesses along the corridor who profited from the tripled property tax assessments by way of what was referred to as “Property Based Improvement Districts” or PBIDs which was found illegal by the Grand Jury in accordance with the California Penal Code 993 and 993.5. The fact that now in June of 2014 the city has sought again to pursue a fixed guideway (streetcar project) though 4th street having again only informed “a few individual businesses” as was stated by City Manager David Cavazos in the first EIR proceeding on June 14, 2014 where only two business owners, out of 10 other residents who were in attendance, had attended. After inquiring further along the Fourth Street Corridor as to who had been informed it was found that a majority of the businesses along the corridor were uniformed about the upcoming project. This is disturbing because the businesses know that the city has no problem of communicating with business owners when they have a code violation, as only months before many of the businesses along the fourth street corridor were unsuspectingly ticketed for code violations during the Cinco de Mayo Event. This showing that the city has every ability to inform businesses of violations yet seem to have little ability to inform them of processes that may well affect their livelihood for years to come. It is felt by many that this guideway running down Fourth Street in fact constitutes not only a disenfranchisement but also a disservice to much of the Merchant constituency along this street.
Another concern is with regard to the Santa Anita Neighborhood directly behind the Willowick Golf Course. There are already visible signs of displacement occurring in this neighborhood and there are concerns about how the this guideway project will further affect the prospect of displacement of the residents in this neighborhood.
For all of the above stated reason as well as the following reasons:
- Lack of inclusion in the planning process,
- Questionable objectives for specified project, sorting
- Project costs
- Disruptive construction, vacant properties, displacement, and
- Public safety issues, this statement of opposition not only opposes this project route but also request an Equity Assessment be done to mitigate further affects in the rest of the city in relation to of unequal investment, borders, invisibilization, spatial homogeneity, exclusion from governance, serial displacement and social disintegration, all the injuries that would be caused by further sorting in the city of Santa Ana. The requirement for a transport equity analysis was initiated by U.S. Executive Order 12898 (1994) codified a renewed concern about the effects of the government’s activities on minority and low-income populations.
Madeleine Spencer, President
Emmanuel Ceballos, Vice President