Monday, November 19, 2007

Less Talk, More Development Please

Sorry about the late notice folks, turns out that there's a Renaissance meeting tonight down at City Hall. If you recall, the last Renaissance meeting held at St. Joseph's Hall was an unorganized mess, and still to this day, I feel really bad for dragging people down and having them hear that many of the locals just want more low to super-low income housing. Maybe they should consider moving to Irvine?

So if you are interested and have the time, the meeting starts at 6PM in the first-floor conference room at City Hall, 20 Civic Center Plaza. The meeting is open to the public but will not be televised. Too bad, because all of the good television shows are now in reruns, thanks to corporate greed.

8 comments :

Stephen Manning said...

I'll try to make it! I'll be in HB for possibly another hour.

Anonymous said...

U rock, Ben! Thanks for staying on this topic.

UrbanMessiah said...

Ben, fill us in, please! I got hammered with work today but am anxious to hear if was as tedious as the last! Hopefully not..

esteban said...

Learning Experience for me. Here's my brain dump of the experience.

Vincent Sarmiento; didn't even know this guy existed before. He sounds competent and as frustrated as most of the public at some of the ca-ca that the council wants to obsess about. I am sure he's a black sheep but he seems to play nice with the rest of the council.

It's amazing to me that Claudia is so extremely concerned to make the point that we are Santa Ana and we have these unique needs and requirements (i.e.: she insinuated we need a LOT of extreme low income housing.) but on the extreme opposite Pludio's favorite thing to talk about is what "other cities" (Portland, Seattle, etc.) are doing. I understand there are take-aways when looking at other success stories, but success stories and meetings of the "mayoral minds" about how to handle parking while sitting in a hotel conference room is not relevant. But thanks for reminding us you're out there rubbing shoulders with your mayor buddies.

I was not disappointed with the planning department, they know what they are doing. I can see that they have a huge challenge trying to explain things to the council. They have a tough road. Their recommendations regarding low income housing and blending it is the norm in today's standards. I want my tax dollars spent raising median income not subsidizing extreme low income housing so people can stay poor.

Oh and by the way; City Councils guiding redevelopment should DEFINITELY BE PUTTING THEIR CHILDREN TO SLEEP DISCUSSING ZONING AT THE DINNER TABLE AND IN THEIR PRECINCTS UNTIL THEY ARE BLUE IN THE FACE. This is a critical decision. Talk to cities that have done it locally.

So Here's some of the disconnects that really need to be addressed.

1) Community feedback vs. property owner actions: The people that are scared they will lose their house are right to be scared if they are RENTERS (which many are I'm learning.) These people WILL get squeezed out because their landlord will sell to the top bidder and they won't have anywhere to live. The city council should be careful who they are committing not to disrupt their housing.

2) "incenting retailers to stay open later" - how about holding up your end of the bargain when people pay business license fees, Santa Ana? I see bootleggers, illegal vendor dudes walking around selling hands full of calling cards, those guys don't pay for a business license and compete with your fully licensed, struggling businesses on 4th street. Start protecting these business owners investment in Santa Ana by cleaning up the competitive landscape!

3) "Bringing together Cultures" concern: All of the revenue that get in it's car and drives over to a nice clean target in Tustin to shop includes Mexican Americans, White Americans, Asian Americans, and illegal immigrants alike. A nice place to shop is pretty unifying.

4) the reason there is no theaters to go see movies is because it will cost so much to keep up the facility. Go speak to the managers of the movie theater at The Block at Orange, or go into the Block's public bathrooms. That's the challenge you face. People who recreationally vandalize and deface private property. If we could do something about the idle hands that tag this city to death, then I wouldn't have nearly as much to warn investors and developers about.

5) At the end of the day, making this city better is about bringing together the new and the old. It's about comprehensively working toward a sustainable city. When I can walk through the neighborhoods of Logan and Lacy at 11 PM every night safely, and their residents can come wandering through my neighborhood without vandalizing it...we've accomplished something. Let's start there. ;-)

Ben Dayhoe said...

Esteban, that was a fantastic write-up. Thank you so much!

The meeting went better than I hoped for, but I now have a lot more concerns about the leadership in this city after hearing some of the pussy-foot comments from certain council members.

I'll add my take in the early morning post.

Anonymous said...

There is a list of all Renaissance Plan meetings on the city's Web site -- follow the link on the front page to the Renaissance Plan page.

Also, when talking about low and even extremely low income housing, remember, these incomes are taken from the median OC income. So, while I don't know what low and extremely low are off the top of my head, I'm pretty sure moderately low income for a family of four is about $65,000. In areas like OC where the median is skewed by extremely HIGH incomes, "low" doesn't necessarily translate to "poor."

One other problem with city council meetings is, of course, once one talks, they all feel like they have to say something, even if they have nothing to say.

DakotaSoda said...

Estaban
Thanks for all the info, very informative!

santa ana scorekeeper said...

From: http://www.ci.santa-ana.ca.us/pba/planning/documents/Meeting_dates.pdf

Redevelopment and Housing Nov 20, 2007 6:00 pm 22 Civic Center Plaza, Council Chambers

I'll try to make it.