Referendum and Lawsuit Drive Opposition to 2525 Main Street Project
Despite objections by north Santa Ana neighborhoods, the 2525 North Main Street apartment project was adopted by city council on January 21. A lawsuit has been filed by a coalition of neighborhood advocates and opponents who also intend to gather signatures in support of a referendum. At last count, the project will include 256 apartments. The 5.93 acre site has been bifurcated with a portion of the site being either leased or sold to
the Discovery Cube (on the other side of Main Street) for museum parking. In addition to an uptick in vehicular traffic, we can also anticipate throngs of pedestrian traffic crossing Main Street. At the city council meeting, Mayor Pulido made a thoughtful proposal to join forces with the Discovery Cube and acquire the Red Roof Inn to resolve the Discovery Cube’s parking concerns. Councilmembers Bacerra and Vice Mayor Villegas also made valiant efforts to either deny the project or submit it to the voters. However, the project was ultimately approved by a vote of 4 to 3. Councilmembers Solorio, Iglesias, Sarmiento, and Penaloza voted for the project. It should be noted that Councilman Solorio continued to drive the project forward despite a groundswell of opposition from neighborhoods both in our ward and throughout the city.
The 2525 project will generate significant additional vehicular traffic on Main Street and could adversely impact property values. Proponents of the project (including Councilman Solorio) have argued that residential uses generate less traffic than commercial uses. However, there are significant differences in the timing for traffic flow between office and residential uses. The presence of museum parking on site will further compound problems associated with traffic flow in and out of the project and create significant and ongoing uncertainty.
The project also sets terrible precedent for two reasons. First, the city amended the land use designation for the property prior to completing a global update to the general plan. It’s like buying a car before updating the family budget. Second, the city council has apparently accepted the argument that a long-standing office and/or other commercial use should be re-purposed for apartment use. Therefore, what happened on Main Street could just as easily happen on Broadway or 17th Street. The Floral Park Neighborhood Association is therefore remaining steadfast in its opposition to the project.
The North Santa Ana Preservation Alliance is seeking volunteers to start gathering signatures for a referendum petition. A referendum would place this issue on the ballot to let the registered voters of Santa Ana decide the outcome of the project. To get it on the ballot, 15,000 signatures from registered voters must be gathered by February 21. You needn’t be a registered voter to volunteer, as long as you’re at least 18 years old. The Orange Neighborhood Association recently gathered over 13,000 signatures to oppose a project so we know it can be done. To volunteer, click HERE. You can look for news and updates on our Facebook page and FloralPark.com.
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Summer 2019 newsletter
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