A Superior court judge has sided with Santa Ana’s Usual Suspects, derailing the One Broadway Project development and forcing its developer, Mike Harrah, to return to the ballot box, according to the Voice of OC blog.
The Santa Ana City Council amended the developer agreement last year, allowing Harrah to start the project without preleasing fifty percent of the building. However the judge ruled that this amendment was illegal because the voters approved the project, via Measure A, under a different set of rules.
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The reality is that Harrah likely would not have been able to come up with the money to build the project under our current sad economic condition. All the Usual Suspects have done is cost Santa Ana taxpayers a fortune in legal costs – and now we are going to be stuck with the bill for a special election.
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In this case the Usual Suspects were represented by Jeff Dickman, who is a member of the so-called “Coalition for Accountable Government Ethics.” What is ethical about overturning the will of the voters, who overwhelmingly approved Measure A – and the OBP Tower?
I hope Harrah will now start over and make this a mixed-use tower, with both living spaces and offices. And it would be great to put a public park on top of it, maybe even with an observatory.
I doubt the City Council will appeal the ruling so Harrah will have to roll up his sleeves and get back to work. I look forward to helping him make his case to the voters – again.
By the way, the judge’s ruling probably spells doom for Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez’ desire to run for an unprecedented fourth City Council term under Measure D. That measure gave her a third term but the voters were not told she would try to run two more times on top of that. She would have to go back to the ballot box to try to further amend Measure D and get the chance to run for two more terms.