Tuesday, August 27, 2013

McCarthy Muscles Mozayeni, And More

The Costa Mesa Planning Commission meeting Monday night lasted only 90 minutes, but it could have been much shorter.

DYNAMIC LEADERSHIP - NOT!
The agenda was thin, but Chairman Jim Fitzpatrick apparently felt the need to hear himself talk, so he yammered on and on about motels - his pet project.  When he was finished he congratulated himself by stating "Excellent!"  Geez!  His mirror must be his best friend.

REALLY?
One of the things he told the half-dozen of us in the audience was that on September 4th the Planning Commission is taking a little road trip.  Seems they're going on an "affordable housing tour", but they're going to Irvine for the tour!  Guess we don't have any such housing in the city.

PENDING ORDINANCES
Commissioner Jeff Mathews told us that there are many pending new ordinances in the works.  He listed one for Excessive Use Of Services Ordinance, Nuisance Ordinance,  a Shopping Cart Ordinance, a Hooka Lounge Ordinance, and a Group Home Ordinance.

SHORT EXTENSION
Public Hearing #1, the request from developer Al Mozayeni for a one-year extension on his proposed project on Anaheim street - to be piled on top of the three previous such requests.  Commissioner Colin McCarthy was ready for him, though.  He might just as well have stepped down from the dais and slapped him around a little, because that's kind of how it looked from the cheap seats.  Even after a compromise motion to extend his opportunity to develop his project for only 6 months was made, McCarthy was merciless, flat-out stating that we'd never see that project completed.  I must say that I understand his anger, but NO commissioner or councilman should EVER berate an applicant standing before them.  His behavior last night is only one symptom of the character deficiencies so many of the council sycophants demonstrate every day.  Finally, after nearly an hour of discussion, the commission voted 3-1 - McCarthy voting no - to extend his opportunity for six months. 

CONTINUED
The second Public Hearing, Peter Zehnder's project on Santa Ana Avenue, was continued to the meeting on September 9th.  Zehnder, who was outside the auditorium before the meeting, did not attend this one.

AH, OK...
The commission agreed with an unidentified resident that the freshening of the Smart & Final store on West 19th Street should receive the nomination as the recipient of the Planning Commission Design Award.  Seems like we have a low threshold for that award.

SOFTER APPROACH - FIRST
The final item on the agenda found Code Enforcement Officer Fidel Gamboa, who described recent changes in the way Code Enforcement approaches violators.  New violators - folks with a first time offence - are just given a slap on the wrist and asked to fix the problem.  Should they fail to do so a citation may be issued.  Repeat offenders are treated more severely.

DISCRETION?
Gamboa described a significant level of discretion that the officers exercise.  I need to know more about this, because if we have rules they should apply to everyone, right?  I'll report back later.

BIA ON GENERAL PLAN
So, one down, two to go.  The next meeting I plan to attend is the meeting of the Building Industry Association meeting tomorrow with city staff to provide input on the General Plan.  It will be held in Conference Room 2 at City Hall at 2:00 p.m.  I'll report on that one tomorrow.




 
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13 Comments:

Anonymous where's my coffee? said...

Well now you can see why McCarthy wasn't, thankfully, elected.

Did Fitzy boy have anything worthwhile to say about motels? Since Riggy doesn't, I can't imagine he would either.

I wonder what they'll find along the lines of affordable housing. If its "project" type stuff, I hope they don't bring it over here.

8/27/2013 06:16:00 AM  
Anonymous sk said...

"Attitudes drive behavior. Your body language is a result of your mental attitude. By choosing your attitude you get in that mood and send out a message that everyone understands, consciously or unconsciously." Vadim Kotelnikov

Mr. McCarthy's attitude is simply unacceptable.

8/27/2013 06:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

Wow….Sitting through my first immigration trial at the Planning Commission last night was something…Took me thirty seconds after the Pledge of Allegiance to figure out McCarthyism is still alive…I had not been to a planning meeting since ABC Lumber wanted to rebuild on 17th street around 40 years ago…While I am personally against Al Mozayeni’s project because the density is too high, watching the Associate Justice call a citizen a liar and a waste of time was over the top…

The man said he had ninety grand out of his pocket in play…

Even if he is going to throw 16 families out on the street in the name of the almighty dollar, he still deserves to be treated with respect by the judge…

City staff basically begged the justices for the plan check fees from the project to come through the door…He did not get a year extension…Not six months from his existing October extension deadline…Six months from last night…. He is not going to be able to pull permits in six months from last night …I went out to the parking lot and recommended Mr. Mozayeni appeal to the city council, and have someone else speak for him next time he has to go before the court… …Like a Republican construction lawyer…

And I don’t want his project going forward, it’s the principle of human decency and how we are treated as a people…

It is hard to go up against three legal minds, a credit union, a credit reporting agency and the Republican Party when you’re an immigrant….The only other guy who ever voted against his three other extensions is…Mr. Mayor pro tempore Mensinger when he was an important Planning Commissioner on his way up to the higher court…

I miss the old days of riding my bike through the Mesa Verde fields before the Planning Commission allowed the build out there…Before there was a 405…Before there was a 55….Before South Coast Plaza….Just the Segerstrom warehouse buildings on College Avenue…

8/27/2013 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Mr Mozayeni is obviously not greasing the right palms. I can remember numerous properties around town the have sat vacant for years and years. The main difference being that they were bought , scraped clean, wrapped with a green fence and left to sit. Election after election you would see illegal campaigns billboards rise up behind the trash strewn raggedy green graffiti covered chain link temporary fencing. How long did Kona Lanes sit empty, or the parcel on Victoria, superior, Monrovia, Eastside? Etc etc etc. At least this project hasn't been scraped and left an eyesore . No , Mr. Mozayeni may be a developer but he's obviously not one of THEIR developers.

8/27/2013 09:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

If Righeimer & Co. were serious about cleaning up the bad motels, they would be working with the D.A. to prosecute a (civil) red-light abatement action to padlock the vice dens. Instead, they are using the problems as a way to shoe-horn extremely high-intensity, high-rise, high-density development into the updated General Plan, so that developers will pay beyond top dollar for the properties and still make a big profit, at the expense of the citizenry. I, for one, am disgusted.

8/27/2013 10:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

I know a ton about the motel business…..I have about 40 years experience with them…

Since members of the city council and commissioners like to peruse this forum, maybe I can say it here…

Before the laws made there way through the legislature and court system in California restricting the ability of the management and the police to keep the properties in line by changing the privacy rights of transient travelers, most of the motels/hotels in Costa Mesa had a strict set of rules to follow…

The bed tax generated from room rentals, the property taxes paid, the business license fees and the state revenue sharing supported the officers ability to enforce the local rules.

There was only one motel southbound on Newport Boulevard all the way to City Hall in Newport, and one on the northbound side leaving town…Harbor Boulevard had two until you got to Santa Ana…After the 55 was completed down to the fairgrounds, a few more popped up on Newport Boulevard northbound…When the 405 came through the north part of town at Harbor Boulevard, motels/hotels popped up all over the place down to Newport Boulevard.

If anyone was going to the beach and needed a place to stay, the choices were very limited, rooms were hard to get and you had to follow the local innkeepers rules…95% to 100% occupancy was simple…

The front desk folio’s were required to be presented to the beat officers as a matter of routine…Parking lots were patrolled as a matter of working the beat...Vehicle license plate numbers were required at check in…Identification at check in was required and had to match the party renting the room…All an officer needed to do was go to the front desk, look at the registration cards at any time…Entry was always provided as the check in card specifically stated you had to allow entry upon demand by management or law enforcement…It worked very well and was the norm all over this town…

All was well until the Ambassador Inn was built across from JC Penny at Wilson…Now called the Costa Mesa Motor Inn…This property was the very first to have kitchenettes that allowed guests to stay in their rooms and stay for an extended period of time at the same rate as the other properties without kitchenettes……$5.95 a night to compete with the new addition, Motel 6… People going to the beach with families for Bal Week or the fair were not stupid…Once the Ambassador was at 100% occupancy for a few years straight, everybody else in the business started having problems financially…

Then the 55 was extended down to 19th street driving guests to other properties during the extended construction process…Then the 55 opened and every motel/hotel on Newport Boulevard tanked….

Desperate people do desperate things….Including the owners of motels/hotels…

Believe me, as part of the past management team of the Wyndham Orange County across the street from the Performing Arts Center, the pimps, the hookers and the drug dealers were still there…Just called something different, with a different class of transient…They can afford security guards to make sure the client is protected from law enforcement.…

It all comes down to the economics of enforcement, whether it be the owner of the motel/hotel, the management or the local police department…

If our civic leaders want to clean out the 12 listed problem motel/hotels of the undesirable guests, they are using the correct method by inspecting and citing the owners to correct the physical problems of the properties thus causing long term repairs that vacate guest rooms for extended periods of time and financially punishing them and driving them to resent the rules even more…The same set of guests will return….

It is all in the guest tax, business license fees and revenue sharing from larger governmental bodies…Ensuring we have the proper codes in place to allow proper policing of these properties is just going to be the cost of having people with limited income needing a roof over their head…

Want to solve most of the pimp, hooker and drug dealing problems…Get rid of Craigslist and Backpage….





8/27/2013 11:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Eleanor, you are 100% correct. We need to vote Righeimer out in 2014.

These guys do a lot of talking and when they don't say anything, you have to ask, "Wassup?
"

8/27/2013 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Ken, I'm glad you recognized the McCarthyism in our city government today. It is very alive, unfortunately.
Just wait until campaign season is in full swing. You will see almost daily examples of it from the councildudes and their cronies.
I couldn't agree with you more about human decency and how we treat people. It's lacking with our current council majority and many of their friends, like McCarthy.

Thank you for sharing your experience and insight in the motel business. Like the unfunded pension liability in our city, the councildudes and friends talk about the motels, but have done very little so far.

Thanks again for sharing.
It was nice meeting you and your wife at the General Plan meeting in July.
I look forward to reading more posts from you.

8/27/2013 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Geoff,

Some very nice people are registering and commenting here now that the trolls are gone.
Of course we have a great group of people here to begin with.
Your new rules are great!

8/27/2013 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

kwahlf,
I agree, and I'm grateful for the participation. That being said, while I like to have folks post here who generally agree with me, I would REALLY like to have folks that disagree with me to dive in, too. Seems like those folks choose to stay away. Too bad for us all, I think.

8/27/2013 06:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

Thank you for the nice thoughts kwahlf ….

Since I am new to posting on your site Geoff, and my wife has been the one following this for years, I am not sure who usually plays the haters…

My wife and I used to post on AOL message boards in the UK for years, until they busted up that party after one particularly nasty encounter that got Steve Case involved…I usually got spanked with anything I wrote, just because I was a long winded blowhard know it all Yankee who lived across the pond and agreed with sending cruise missiles into some guys office in Iraq without so much as a twinge of guilt…They hated me…It sure kept my typing speed up….

I was kind of hoping to get sued by now or maybe barred from a council meeting or City Hall..Maybe even pulled over on Harbor by the one policeman who likes Righeimer…

So far nothing but seemingly nice people here who know you have big nuts, some secret agent equipment, that you like adversarial roles, things in order and don’t like some of the clowns over at City Hall.

I did read some older stuff here where some of your haters told you to bang it…

My experience on AOL told me that when you actually require people to have an account that can be verified, people are way more careful in what they say and do…

If you get rid of the Big Brother stuff, maybe your haters will be able to write again…

My real name is on this stuff I write for all to see if they choose…Since I used to work in a judges chambers behind the scenes, I am very careful in how I use the English language…

Thank you for allowing me to be a long winded, know it all blowhard on your site and for so far publishing my thoughts exactly as I have written them…

I like you, welcome the adversarial opinion…

8/27/2013 09:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

I agree, Geoff, that opposing ideas are more productive and interesting than universal agreement. Maybe they'll be brave enough to chime in.

8/27/2013 09:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Oh, they will be back. I liked the debate stuff, but the idiocy of the three (sometimes four) was just ridiculous.

8/28/2013 08:34:00 AM  

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