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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2007, 6:22 AM
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Exclamation Orange County: Projects and Developments

Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Anaheim: Project could get second chance

A developer is asking for reconsideration of its residential zoning request, which the City Council rejected after a protest by Disney.

The City Council will have to vote on whether to hold another hearing, City Attorney Jack White said.

On Tuesday, developer SunCal made the reconsideration request on the zoning change, which would have paved the way for its 1,500-home project proposal near Disneyland.

The plan died in a 2-2 vote last week.

Councilwoman Lucille Kring abstained because of a potential conflict of interest.

But she now is seeking clarification from the Fair Political Practices Commission about whether the abstention was required.
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Old Posted Feb 22, 2007, 6:23 AM
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Wednesday, February 21, 2007
O.C. fares well in road funds
Nearby counties say they've been shortchanged in the state's highway funding recommendations.
By ELLYN PAK and BRIAN JOSEPH
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

A state agency recommended that Orange County get $361.5 million in state bond money to help ease congestion on three freeways.

Local transportation officials attended a hearing in Sacramento on Tuesday to laud California Transportation Commission staffers who proposed that Orange County receive funding from Proposition 1B, a $19.9 billion bond measure approved in November for major freeway improvements.

The commission is expected to make a final decision next week in Irvine.

The state funds, which would be matched by the Orange County Transportation Authority, will help ease congestion on the Orange (57) Freeway, Riverside (91) Freeway and the Garden Grove (22) Freeway near the San Diego (I-405) and San Gabriel River (I-605) freeway transitions.

"We've got solid recommendations from the staff of Caltrans and the commission," said Art Leahy, OCTA's chief executive. "The projects have merit."

He said the commission – which he expects will approve funding for the Orange County projects next week – knows OCTA has a solid record of delivering projects.

Representatives from various regions lobbied for their own projects and recommended how and when the $2.8 billion out of $4.5 billion earmarked for Southern California counties should be doled out over the next two years. Projects in Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino counties garnered far less support.

There's no timetable for distribution of the remaining $6.8 billion in Prop. 1B funds.

Next year, transportation agencies will vie for their share of the remaining funds, roughly $1.7 billion, for projects not approved this year.

Leahy said OCTA's readiness to launch the projects before 2011 helped secure the state funds.

The California Department of Transportation, which nominated specific statewide projects, recommended in December that OCTA receive $405.3 million for four projects. OCTA had nominated 10 projects.

Riverside County is slated to receive $112 million out of $814 million requested. Employees of the California Transportation Commission, which oversees funding for highways and mass transit, gave a nod to widening I-215 between the Corona (I-15) Freeway and Scott Road and building a regular lane on the 91 between the Eastern (241) Toll Road and the Corona (71) Expressway.

"We want to work with the CTC to ensure that during future rounds of funding, we get some more projects paid for," said John Standiford, a spokesman for the Riverside County Transportation Commission.

Los Angeles officials, including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, said Monday that they deserve their "fair share" of bond funds and that the list of projects earmarked for funding shortchanges the state's biggest population center.

About 12 percent of spending will go to projects in Los Angeles County, which contains 28 percent of the state's population.

"It's not fair to say everything in the state has to stop because there's a Los Angeles project that needs funding," Assemblyman Todd Spitzer, R-Orange, said, referring to a proposal to widen the 405 in Los Angeles County. "Orange County projects scored very high because they have a lot of merit and they're ready to go.

"I believe clearly these Orange County dollars are in jeopardy," he said, referring to Los Angeles County lobbying.

Los Angeles County could receive $327.9 million out of $1.78 billion requested, including money to widen the Santa Ana (I-5) Freeway between I-605 and the Orange County line and adding carpool lanes that would connect the 22, I-405 and I-605 freeways.

Orange County's wish list

Recommended for 2008:

•Add northbound auxiliary lane on the Orange (57) Freeway from Lambert Road to the Los Angeles County line; $111.7 million.

•Add lane on westbound Riverside (91) Freeway by connecting auxiliary lanes through interchanges at the 57 and the Santa Ana (I-5) Freeway; $36 million.

•Add westbound auxiliary lane on the 91 from the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway connector through the Tustin Avenue interchange; $47.5 million.

•Add one lane on eastbound 91 between Lakeview Avenue and the Weir Canyon Road interchange, and one lane on westbound 91 between Weir Canyon and the Imperial Highway interchange; $48 million.

Not recommended:

•Reconstruct San Diego (I-5) Freeway/Ortega (74) Highway interchange in San Juan Capistrano; $38 million.

•Complete west leg of the Gene Autry Way transit-way by building a car-pool ramp to the I-5/Katella Avenue interchange in Anaheim.
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Old Posted Feb 22, 2007, 6:24 AM
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Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Public responds at harbor hearing
About 200 attend the last in a series of public outreach meetings for the marina area's upgrade project.
By LAYLAN CONNELLY
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

DANA POINT – About 200 people showed up Tuesday night for the last in a series of public outreach meetings held by the Dana Point Harbor Department.

Most of the meeting was dedicated to discussing parking changes and circulation to the launch ramp.

It was the last meeting before the county comes up with a concrete plan and starts environmental studies before the proposal is sent to various agencies for approval.

"We have a lot of work to do on what this final program will look like and how we will pay for it," Harbor Department Director George Caravalho said.

The county is grappling with how to fund the project, after an increased estimate of $40 million for harbor renovations was revealed in January.

Total cost for the marina work – which includes reconfiguring slips and renovating docks – would cost $85 million, consultants said.

Several options have been kicked around to cut costs, including phasing the project or leaving out portions, such as walkway improvements.

Many boaters have come out in recent months to dispute the plan. While they agree the harbor needs upgrades, some boat owners worry that their fees will increase or they will be shoved out.

The plan calls for removing 1,150 slips under 29 feet, and adding 750 in the 30-foot and over range – leaving a net loss of about 400 slips. One attending came with a sign the said "SOS – Save Our Slips."

San Clemente Mayor Jim Dahl, who has had boats in the harbor since 1967, said he opposes removing small boat slips.

"I think this harbor redevelopment plan is a really an egregious assault on the small boaters," he said.
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Old Posted Feb 22, 2007, 6:24 AM
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Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Brea decision on Walgreens nears
Bankruptcy court hears Brea's arguments against turning Tower Records into a pharmacy.
By ERIC CARPENTER
The Orange County Register

BREA – A Delaware bankruptcy court judge heard more than two hours of arguments in the city's bid to prevent a Walgreens pharmacy from opening in a prominent downtown location. A decision is expected by Tuesday.

Tower Records, which filed for bankruptcy and closed its store on Brea Boulevard in January, is seeking to reassign its lease to Walgreens.

But the city is arguing that a pharmacy is inappropriate for the regional entertainment and dining district. A pharmacy conforms to city zoning, but conflicts with the area's guidelines for what types of businesses would be appropriate.

Walgreens would occupy half of the 30,000-square-foot space and sublease the other half.

Attorneys for the city and for Tower and Walgreens presented arguments to the judge on Tuesday. A written decision is expected within a week, Assistant City Manager Terry Matz said.

The city also filed a temporary-restraining order Tuesday, asking that the judge prohibit Walgreens from posting any signage in the business until the issue is decided.
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Old Posted Feb 22, 2007, 6:25 AM
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Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Nine out of 10 say life is good in Irvine
Results of annual survey put Irvine in top 5 percent of city services
By SONYA SMITH
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

IRVINE – Life is good here.

Once again, that's the reaction of residents in the city's annual satisfaction survey. Sixty-one percent of the respondents said life in Irvine is "excellent," 36 percent said "good," 3 percent said "fair" and less than 1 percent said "poor."

True North Research, which prepared the report, said the results again put Irvine in the top 5 percent of cities in terms of service performance. But the authors suggested that the city focus on managing traffic congestion, growth and housing affordability.

Other interesting results:

• Growth: Fifty-two percent of respondents said the city has been growing too fast in the past five years, 39 percent said the pace is OK, and 1 percent said it has been too slow.

• Emergency preparedness: Last year about half of the respondents said they were prepared for a disaster. This year 62 percent felt adequately prepared for a disaster.

• Transit: Forty-three percent of those asked said that someone from their households would regularly use a transit system linking the Irvine Spectrum Center, Irvine train station and Great Park.

• Priorities:Residents' ranking for six city projects are: completing street-construction projects quickly; coordinating traffic signals; creating pedestrian-friendly signals; expanding recreational programs; building a city library; and providing free wireless Internet service.
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Old Posted Feb 23, 2007, 4:55 AM
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Thursday, February 22, 2007
Santa Ana seeks restoration grant
The city will apply for state funds to refurbish a 1914 Tudor Revival house that is being moved to a public park.
By AMY TAXIN
The Orange County Register

SANTA ANA – The city is applying for a $1.25 million state grant to restore a historic home that will be moved to Cabrillo Park.

The Twist-Basler House, which was built in 1914 and later used as a convalescent home, will house nutrition and fitness workshops after it is moved to the park.

Currently the Tudor Revival house is on property scheduled to house 1 Broadway Plaza, a 37-story officer tower poised to become the county's tallest building.

Developer Michael Harrah said he hopes to move the house "as soon as possible" once he gets the permits to wheel it down the street on a trailer in sections.

The city expects the transfer could take place in March, said Gerardo Mouet, director of the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Agency.

Santa Ana's City Council voted Tuesday night to apply for a California Cultural and Historical Endowment grant for the house, which is on the city's list of historic properties.

Harrah must lease at least half the space in the office tower before starting construction. He said he is working on lease agreements with tenants.
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Old Posted Feb 24, 2007, 5:36 PM
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Saturday, February 24, 2007
Consultants say Orange Coast should sell Canadian island
Advisers suggest the college use money from the sale to support other programs.
By MARLA JO FISHER
The Orange County Register

COSTA MESA – Rabbit Island should be sold and at least some of the proceeds used on a field station closer to home, experts told officials Friday at Orange Coast College.

"We think you have the seeds of a very nice field station program that can lead directly to careers," consulting team leader Susan Lohr told a college audience. "We would like to see some funding to enable students to participate and faculty to develop one."

The 40-acre wilderness island in British Columbia donated to the college in 2003 is estimated to be worth $1.5 million – money that officials say would be more useful for making upgrades to the popular sailing center in Newport Beach.

But plans to sell were protested vehemently by biology professors and students.

College officials subsequently invited national consultants to come and make recommendations on the island's fate.

After two days, the team reported that the college has spent nearly $500,000 on the island and would continue to spend at least $150,000 a year.

The facility has other disadvantages, experts said, including the fact that it is too small to support a significant program and its location in Canada means it would not be eligible for federal grants.

Lohr and her team recommended that OCC explore other opportunities with some of the sale proceeds, including a marine biology center being developed near Mendocino that is looking for a community college partner.

The Northern California area could be reached within an eight-hour drive.

The team will issue a formal report in the coming weeks. A vote is expected in March.
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  #8  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2007, 10:41 PM
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There's a crazy amount of development going on in Orange County. The platinum triangle area and A-town project in Anaheim have great potential. Irvine has lots of highrises going up, but they are so secluded from the street, which imo is just as bad as a gated community, of which the OC has plenty.

Granted Jamboree Road in Irvine, where most of the action is happening is more like a freeway than a street, but still...

There are some interesting projects planned for Santa Ana as well. I'm curious about the cityplace project across from Mainplace mall. Its been under construction for a while, but I'm not really sure what it's going to look like. For some reason I haven't really been able to find any renderings of it online. Any one have any idea about this one?

There's also a two tower condo project going up on Macarthur and Main in Santa Ana off the 55 - but I'm not really sure what this one is all about either.
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Old Posted Feb 26, 2007, 12:00 AM
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What's the tallest tower in OC right now?

Which u/c or proposed tower is the tallest?
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  #10  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2007, 5:40 PM
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The tallest tower in OC (literally) is the elevator drop ride at Knotts Berry Farm. The tallest office building is in the South Coast Metro collection of highrises in Costa Mesa. There is a proposal for a 37-story building (One Broadway Place or One Broadway Plaza, I don't remember) to go somewhere in Downtown Santa Ana, but I think the developers have put the project on hiatus until they can get a certain percentage of the building leased.
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Old Posted Feb 27, 2007, 3:08 AM
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Its hard to say if that tower in Santa Ana will ever materialize, however some of the planned towers for Lennar's A-Town project in Anaheim will be pretty substantial in size (between 20 -35 floors) if I remember correctly.

Land has already been blocked off and is in the process of being developed around Angel stadium - its one huge construction site right now. I'm not sure if Lennar's project is underway yet, but hopefully it will start soon.
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  #12  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2007, 3:14 AM
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Monday, February 26, 2007
Sand-to-Disneyland line may gain ground
Idea for transporting people from Huntington Beach to the theme park could get a boost from OCTA grant.
By JENNIFER MUIR
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

An idea to build a transit line stretching from Disneyland to Huntington Beach could gain some momentum today.

Officials from five cities in north and west Orange County are hoping to score up to $250,000 in grant money from the Orange County Transportation Authority to study the possibility of a transit service connecting the tourist destinations, possibly along an existing railroad corridor.

"It's a difficult, long commute going from Huntington Beach to Anaheim, weaving through the cities," said David Webb, Surf City's deputy public works director. "The need for this is really strong. There's obviously a strong commuter connection, and the route connects two major tourism destinations."

But news of the idea has inflamed residents living near the railroad corridor in Huntington Beach. About 25 people plan to attend an OCTA board meeting today to protest, resident Shari Noriega said.

"It's extremely frustrating because we have vested interest in our city and … we're not being given any information about this," said Noriega, who is worried about the project's effect on property values.

The proposal is among those submitted by 18 cities vying for a share of grant money from OCTA's Go Local program. Each of Orange County's 34 cities was eligible for $100,000 grants, offered to encourage cities to think of ways to link to Metrolink lines.

The best plans will qualify for cash to fund further study. In all, $30 million is set aside.

"The goal of this program is to get people to think outside the box," OCTA spokeswoman Andrea West said. "The cities are the experts, so we're looking for them to tell us what they think would be the best."

Huntington Beach will head the project to evaluate possible transit lines stretching from the sand to Disneyland through Garden Grove, Stanton, Westminster and Anaheim.

The study will include evaluating the possibility of a transit line along 18 miles of Union Pacific Railroad tracks from the Metrolink station in Anaheim to the intersection of Ellis Avenue and Gothard Street in Huntington Beach. It will evaluate ways to move people to the beach and into the Disneyland Resort area and also will review other possible transportation routes.

The type of transportation – such as light rail, monorail or bus – also has not been determined. The study could take up to a year and a half to complete, Webb said.

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Old Posted Feb 27, 2007, 3:16 AM
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Monday, February 26, 2007
Placentia to review downtown redevelopment
By SUSHMA SUBRAMANIAN
The Orange County Register

PLACENTIA – City officials are looking into adding more area to the redevelopment project after an initial plan projected more housing developments and less retail space than expected.

The city originally embarked on the redevelopment project, now 100 acres centered along railroad tracks downtown, because the bedroom community was not drawing the sales tax income it needed to maintain certain city services in the long run.

The current plan would produce just slightly more income, but it would still fall far short of the profits that city officials had anticipated.

A council study session on adding land to the redevelopment area will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 401 E. Chapman Ave.

Council members asked staffers to look into adding to the current project part of the Chapman corridor, home to the Bargain Basket complex, and part of Orangethorpe and Placentia avenues, between Orangethorpe and the Orange (57) Freeway.

David Bergman, a financial expert with Moule & Polyzoides, the design firm that drew up the specific plan, highlighted those areas as prime locations for big-box stores.

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Old Posted Feb 27, 2007, 8:14 PM
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Disney sues Anaheim over plan
The company, defending its resort zone, seeks to block a revote on a housing plan it opposes.
By Dave McKibben, Times Staff Writer
February 27, 2007

Maintaining its aggressive posture, Disney officials filed suit Monday against the city of Anaheim as part of the entertainment giant's continuing efforts to thwart a residential development in the resort district.

The suit comes as the Anaheim City Council ponders whether to reopen debate on a controversial proposal to build 1,500 condominiums and apartments, including 225 units for lower-income residents, near Disney's amusement parks. The project was killed this month on a split council vote.

Disney says its action is the first time it has sued the city where Disneyland was born more than 50 years ago. The city and Disney have historically enjoyed a close-knit, fight-free relationship.

Anaheim is also locked in a legal fight with one of the city's other icons, the Angels, over the team's name.

Disney's legal challenge signals a new, hardened approach to maintaining the tourist-friendly environment of the resort district. Disney has spent years trying to buff up the resort area, going back to the days when Walt Disney expressed revulsion at the cheap motels and tacky retail outlets that had taken root outside the gates to Disneyland.

In addition to Disneyland and California Adventure, the resort area now includes Downtown Disney, new hotels and more upscale restaurants.

Disney officials say the 8,000 or so people who would be living in the proposed units would be out of place in a district designed for round-the-clock tourist-friendly uses. Disneyland President Ed Grier said allowing the project would set a "dangerous precedent." Disney prefers that the 26-acre parcel be developed as an upscale hotel-condominium project.

Housing advocates and some council members favored the apartment-condo proposal's inclusion of lower-cost units because it would replace a mobile home park and be convenient for entertainment workers making modest wages.

In its lawsuit, Disney demands that the city nullify the environmental analysis it approved for the large residential project, next to an area where Disney may build a third theme park.

"This lawsuit speaks to how important we view this Anaheim resort area and that we make sure the vision sticks," said Disneyland spokesman Rob Doughty.

Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle said he was not surprised Disney officials decided to challenge the residential project on legal grounds.

"There's no question this is a very significant issue to them and they are using all the means by which they can express that concern," he said. "They've told me there have been a lot of concerns in the past, but they felt they could work through those."

Disney's action comes less than a week after the project's developer, SunCal Cos., appealed a 2-2 council split that ultimately doomed the plan. SunCal argued that Councilwoman Lucille Kring, who would have been the swing vote, should have been cleared to vote on the proposal even though she had a possible conflict of interest.

In a letter delivered minutes before the council meeting, Disney attorneys argued that a wine bar Kring planned to open nearby could create a conflict of interest. City Atty. Jack White then told Kring she might face criminal or civil penalties if she voted, which prompted Kring to abstain.

Disney's letter noted that in a similar case, a councilman in Truckee, Calif., was advised not to vote on a housing project because it was determined that he could gain financially from an influx of new residents.

If three Anaheim council members agree to reconsider the project next month, it could come back to the council in April.

Pringle, who is opposed to residential development in the resort area, said he finds himself in "an awkward" place.

"I support Disney's position," he said, "yet I certainly don't want to put the city and taxpayers in an improper place if we're being sued."
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Old Posted Feb 28, 2007, 2:16 AM
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Tuesday, February 27, 2007
O.C. snubbed in transit fund boost
New funding recommendations add money for projects in surrounding counties.
By BRIAN JOSEPH and ELLYN PAK
The Orange County Register

SACRAMENTO – Orange County failed to garner any more transportation dollars after state officials appeared to cave to Los Angeles' demands to dole out $1.7 billion more in available state bond funds.

On Monday, the California Transportation Commission staff released an amended list recommending that the agency distribute all $4.5 billion in a state bond account this year, two days before the commission is expected to make a final decision Wednesday in Irvine.

Staff recommended no additional money for Orange County, while recommending $789 million more to Los Angeles, including $730 million for a proposed carpool lane on northbound Interstate 405.

That $789 million accounts for nearly half of the $1.7 billion added Monday. Among those recommended, the two projects from L.A. are the largest.

"We just don't understand why they would do that," said Carolyn Cavecche, chairwoman of Orange County Transportation Authority. "It is unthinkable that they're going to allocate that money and not include an Orange County project."

Under the recommendations, Los Angeles now receives 25 percent of the total funding, an increase of 13 percentage points. Orange County, meanwhile, saw its piece of the pie shrink to 8 percent, which is in line with its 8.3 percent share of the state population.

Two weeks ago, Orange County fared well under a California Transportation Commission staff report, which recommended that O.C. receive $361.5 million, or nearly 13 percent, of the $2.8 billion the commission originally intended to allocate this year.

Los Angeles officials, however, were miffed that the report recommended only $327.9 million, or roughly 12 percent, for L.A. when the county accounts for nearly 28 percent of the state's population. Prominent officials, including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, lobbied heavily for the $730 million to build the 405 carpool lane.

Last week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger joined Los Angeles officials in urging the CTC to allocate this year the entire $4.5 billion available for "mobility improvement" from the $19.9 billion transportation bond approved by voters in November. The agency initially planned to allocate the $4.5 billion over two years – $2.8 billion in 2007 and $1.7 billion in 2008.

"Unfortunately, what's happened is that politics seem to have been played," Cavecche said. "It's realistic but sad… It's really ridiculous."

State officials denied Monday that L.A.'s lobbying efforts had anything to do with the new recommendations. Orange County officials said they were disappointed that priority was not given to projects – including new lanes on the Riverside (91) Freeway from the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway to Gypsum Canyon Road – that are ready for construction.

"These projects are supposed to be the ones with biggest impact," said Art Leahy, OCTA's chief executive officer. "We still think the additional funding for the 91 ought to be approved."

OCTA officials had asked for about $48 million for the project, which was also endorsed by the California Department of Transportation.

Orange County officials said they would work hard to retain the $361.5 million the county is slated to receive for improvements for three freeways and lobby for funding of additional projects.
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Old Posted Feb 28, 2007, 2:59 AM
Buckeye Native 001 Buckeye Native 001 is offline
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Well, maybe if Orange County would add a light rail line or two and not just expand the bus service and lanes on the freeway...
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  #17  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2007, 3:48 AM
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Tell me about it. Crossing the Orange Curtain everyday is such a hassle.
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  #18  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2007, 3:52 AM
Buckeye Native 001 Buckeye Native 001 is offline
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Wait, didn't Measure M pass? Why are we bitching about not getting enough money from the state?
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Old Posted Feb 28, 2007, 6:19 PM
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Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Great Park transit routes laid out
By SONYA SMITH
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

IRVINE – City planners and consultants envision visitors traveling around the Great Park by trolleys, buses or monorail, and have laid out plans for four options for the City Council to consider for a mass transit system.

In a study session Tuesday, the Council discussed the options for Great Park transit to run among the Great Park, Lennar Corp. development, the Irvine Spectrum Center and the Irvine train station. The council will not make a decision on the transit system until June when staff will present one preferred system.

Each transit system varies in route, type of transit and price. For example, a monorail or bus on an elevated platform would cost $78 million per mile, while trolleys running only on the ground would cost $29 million per mile.

One option previously considered – Personal Rapid Transit – will no longer be studied as an option. In Personal Rapid Transit small, driverless cars are charged by an electrical rail and seat two to four people per car.

Staff said the technology is too new and is not viewed as a viable option by the Federal Transportation Administration or the California Public Utilities Commission.

The Great Park transit system is projected to open in 2012. The first phase of the park is to open in 2009. There are plans for a shuttle system for the park for the interim.

To pay for the transit system, city leaders plan to allocate the unused state funding once allotted to the CenterLine transit project, which voters rejected in 2003. The amount equals about $125 million

But, to use that money the city needs approval from the California Transportation Commission. It also needs to find about $120 million in matching funds.

A one-year study of the transit system will cost about $5.6 million, with $1 million from the Great Park Corp. and the rest coming from the Irvine Redevelopment Agency. The money pays for studies of the transit options, recommendations for a system and engineering and environmental reviews.

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Old Posted Feb 28, 2007, 6:21 PM
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Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Garden Grove drops theme park contract
Garden Grove officials say there was no evidence of financial backing or progress in developing a movie studio partnership.
By DEEPA BHARATH
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

GARDEN GROVE – The search for theme park investors and developers is continuing after city officials broke off a contract with a developer because they were not satisfied with his progress.

The City Council voted in October to contract with Chris Yang, giving him 90 days to drum up support for a theme park in the city-designated 520-acre resort area called InternationalWEST on Harbor Boulevard, where city officials envision hotels, shops, restaurants and a theme park.

Yang was expected to forge a partnership with a studio to bring movie-based rides and attractions to the city.

City officials dropped the contract after Yang failed to come up with a $500,000 deposit, Economic Development Director Chet Yoshizaki said Tuesday.

"He showed us the financial backing on paper, but we didn't see any further evidence of that," Yoshizaki said. "We basically terminated the contract because of nonperformance."

Yang said he did not agree with the way city officials revised the contract five times between Oct. 30 and Dec. 7. His proposal was to build a "city-within-a-city" in Garden Grove, complete with a theme park, shops, restaurants and condominiums, he said.

"They completely changed everything," Yang said. "It doesn't make sense for me to put billions of dollars on one theme park. This city doesn't have the infrastructure to support it."

Yang says it's not that he can't dole out the $500,000 deposit. It's just that he won't.

"Why should I?" he said. "The contract I signed was not close to what it is now."

Yoshizaki maintained that Yang's representatives were fully aware of the changes.

"It was his responsibility to communicate with his spokespersons," he said.
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