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Deal possible on housing near Disney property - OC Register, 7/15/07


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  • Deal possible on housing near Disney property - OC Register, 7/15/07

    The Walt Disney Co. and a developer may have reached a compromise on a fight over a housing proposal near Disney property.

    The two sides met over the weekend and may ask the City Council to postpone a vote on the issue Tuesday, said Frank Elfend, a consultant for developer SunCal.

    The council is scheduled Tuesday to set the date on a referendum to overturn residential zoning on the plot where SunCal wants to build 1,500 homes in the Anaheim Resort. A Disney-funded group collected enough signatures to put the item on the ballot and has also sued the city over the proposal.

    The group, called Save Our Anaheim Resort, planned to urge the council to repeal its decision on residential zoning instead of setting an election date. SOAR was set to hold a picnic Saturday to rally its members in preparation for Tuesday's meeting.

    Chris Lowe, Disney's governmental relations official, said Sunday that he was unaware of a compromise.

    The housing debate has been among the most contentious and divisive issues that long-time residents can remember, resulting in a lawsuit, three proposed ballot measures and nationwide media attention, including a spoof on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."

    More at the link...
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  • #2
    Re: Deal possible on housing near Disney property - OC Register, 7/15/07

    The Orange County Register modified the story a few hours after the Original article was posted.

    A developer that has been locked in a land-use dispute with the Walt Disney Co. said Sunday it will ask the Anaheim City Council to postpone a vote on the issue this week.

    Frank Elfend, a consultant for developer SunCal, said the two sides met over the weekend to examine possible solutions. SunCal wants to build 1,500 homes on about 50 acres that Disney wants to use for hotels and resort-related construction. The issue could be put to a public vote.

    "We want to do what's best for the residents of Anaheim and the economic engine of the resort," Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle said. "We'll be interested to hear what SunCal will come with at the 11th hour."

    Tuesday, council is slated to set a date for a referendum to overturn the land's residential zoning designation.

    "I think all parties agree that a continuance on Tuesday would be a good way to initiate positive dialogue," Elfend said.

    Disney spokesman Rob Doughty said there was no compromise: "SunCal approached us and we were open to hearing what they had to say. We remain focused on the long-term protection of the Anaheim Resort area."
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    • #3
      Re: Deal possible on housing near Disney property - OC Register, 7/15/07

      And also in today's OC Register, an editorial..

      Nevertheless, the area around Disney has improved dramatically in a short time. Disney made good on its promise to build a second theme park, California Adventure, along with Downtown Disney and the Grand Californian Hotel. The new zoning was an "up-zone" – i.e., existing owners did not lose any value, but instead were given additional development rights for their properties, with existing uses grandfathered in – and the area remains the city's prime economic generator. Taxes generated from hotels and other tourist venues were earmarked to pay off the bonds, with Disney pledging to make up any difference between the tax dollars and the cost of the bond.

      Fast forward to early this year, when the SunCal development firm took an option on a mobile-home park within the Resort Area and sought a zoning change that would allow high-density residential uses. The company stands to gain a fortune merely in the zone change itself, given that residential uses are currently the most highly valued land-use in the area. Meanwhile, Disney views the approval of the project as something that would undermine the entire Resort Area concept. Councilman Harry Sidhu, an opponent of the SunCal plan, told us that if he approves the change on one property, then he would have to approve it for any property. Before long, he and other Disney supporters reason, the whole purpose of the Resort Area would evaporate, and the area would be filled with nontourism uses that would obliterate the tourist-oriented feel of the area.
      Much more at the link
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