A few of the NIMBYs in Santa Ana’s Park Santiago Neighborhood are now raising money to try to launch a ballot referendum to stop the approved 2525 Main St. luxury apartment development.
This attempt to overturn the City Council’s recent approval of the project is beyond ridiculous.
The fact remains that a three story office building at this location would have generated over 1,000 more trips per day than an apartment development – and that was true when this project was double in size. Since then the apartment development has been whittled down from 496 to 256 units, per the revised EIR.
This did not stop the NIMBYs from showing up at the City Council meeting when this project was approved to bleat about the traffic concerns – completely disregarding the fact that this project has been cut down by half.
I attended many of the public hearings leading up to the ultimate approval of this project and I heard firsthand how insane the NIMBYs were. They actually were demanding that the property be turned into a parking lot, a park or a museum. Why in the world did they believe they had the right to dictate how the site would be developed? It is insane.
We should count ourselves fortunate that the developer did not decide to build a new office building! I work at such an office plaza, in Irvine, and can attest to the fact that office buildings generate traffic all day and into the night. Such projects often include restaurants and some retail and services. They are busy all day and into the evening.
The luxury apartment concept is not new to our area. Just go north of Park Santiago to the City Place and you will see luxury apartments that have caused zero problems.
The NIMBYs are mad not so much at this project but rather at their loss of power. They used to rule our city. Now they can barely elect anyone to the City Council. Most recently they succeeded in electing Phil Bacerra in the Ward 4 Special Election. However that was our last at-large election. Bacerra was not able to win in his own Ward! He will have to work hard to get reelected in a few years. The NIMBYs will presumably be able to elect one of their own in Ward 3, but they have lost the rest of our city. That is a comeuppance that they are having a hard time dealing with.
Santa Ana needs good development projects. They generate much needed tax revenue and also provide funding for affordable housing and for our parks. They provide jobs too. And note that the developers are not stupid. They are building housing because that is what our market is demanding!
There is zero demand for more office space in Santa Ana. Drive around and you will see plenty of empty office buildings and retail spaces. There is no future there. The demand in Santa Ana is for one thing – housing.
Building luxury apartments will help to keep our kids in town as they develop their careers and will also attract more young professionals. That is a good thing when you consider that only 3% of our residents have graduate degrees!
The NIMBYs will fail to stop 2525. They should instead focus on improving their own homes. In fact many of the NIMBYs have homes that are dilapidated. Check out the photo above for just one example! That house is falling apart but the owner is more worried about a luxury apartment development than his own mess.