First, read this article at the OC Register.
Doug Irving is one of the best reporters at the OC Register, not to mention a pretty nice and down-to-earth guy. But this article didn't sit too well with me, as well as several other individuals I spoke to about it.
Though, I wouldn't be too quick to blast Doug as he does bring up good points. Yeah, he does play up the “victim card” pretty nicely in this one but hold on, this is how I see it.
In recent years, the City seems to have developed an uncanny knack for missed opportunities, and I'm hoping that's the point Doug was trying to drive home; City, we're watching you this time.
Here are some key points from the article along with my thoughts:
- The property owners made a nice profit from their dealings with the city–even the code enforcement-violating ones. I'm sorry if some of them have seller's remorse but let me be clear; if someone offered me a huge chunk of change for my loft, I'd sell it in a heartbeat and move downtown.
- Calling your Ward a "slum" isn't the best choice of words, no matter how frustrated you are. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a slum as a densely populated usually urban area marked by crowding, dirty run-down housing, poverty, and social disorganization. This article seems to indicate that this definition could actually apply to what the Lacy neighborhood was prior to the City's intervention.
- I wouldn't say nothing has come of the City's convoluted plan to improve the City. The Santiago Lofts were built as part of this plan and our being here has resulted in some pretty great things for the City so far (exhibit 1, exhibit 2, exhibit 3).
- The City's plan of "buying up the crowded apartments and run-down homes that pocked the neighborhood, and replacing them with something newer, something better" does worry me. What exactly constitutes "newer and better"? More high-density apartments? No thank you. Let's not treat the people of Santa Ana like sardines please.
- The City needs to adopt a plan and announce an end date to this project. Things are so much more exciting when you have one (that's also a Lost reference). Once the end date is in place, Santa Ana needs to take the ball and run up field for six for a change, instead of dancing side to side gaining zero, or even worse, negative yardage.
- While I ask you to not crucify Mr. Irving for writing this article, I would like to present the fact that there is a severe dearth of positive articles written about Santa Ana in the Register; which is located less than a mile east of this so called "slum".
When and if the City does move forward with their plan, I hope they do it right. I hope whatever goes up in those lots (eh hem) causes drivers to slow down and be thankful they live/work in Santa Ana.