Monday, April 18, 2016

A Land Swap? Nobody's Talking...

NO INFORMATION AVAILABLE
I mentioned in my preview post about the Costa Mesa City Council meeting Tuesday, April 19th, that there was an interesting item on the Closed Session agenda, and that I'd try to get more information.

WHAT'S THIS ALL ABOUT?
Well, nobody's talking about Item #3, which reads:
STONEWALLED
I tried to get a comment from the CEO's office several times since Tom Hatch is the negotiator.  I was told I'd get a call back - that didn't happen.  I tried Tony Dodero, the Public Information Officer, since this is public information.  No luck.  I tried the CEO's Office again this afternoon and was told, "That's all we've got."  That seems like a curious response, so I tried Vanguard University, but got no response.

IF YOU WANT TO ASK, BE THERE BY 5:00
So, how is one expected to inquire about this issue during the Public Comments segment that's available at the beginning of the Closed Session - at 5:00 p.m., before they adjourn to the 5th Floor Conference room?

WHAT'S THE STORY?
Without more information it looks like some kind of land swap is in the works.  Two of the properties are located on Newport Boulevard and Santa Isabel Street.  They share a common property line and appear in this Google Earth image to be commercial buildings.  This apparently does NOT involve the corner lot.
IS THIS A LAND SWAP?  IF SO, WHY?
So, is the City negotiating with Vanguard for some kind of a land swap involving our Civic Center Park, located on Fair Drive between the Police Headquarters and Fairview?  If so, what the heck is  going on?  Why are they considering giving up that open space that so many of the nearby neighbors complained about losing when it was considered as a possible site for a library/community center or affordable housing?
SO MUCH FOR TRANSPARENCY
It appears the only way the taxpayers of this community will learn about this deal is when it's done.  In the meantime we can only speculate about this transaction.  That seems very wrong.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Oh I'm sure our esteemed (choking) mayor and mayor pro tem (choking again) wouldn't sell off park land for development. Righeimer made a point to drive that home when he thought someone was afraid they'd sell Moon Park, remember? Said he never has, and never would sell parkland for development. (that damned cough again- choking nearly to death here).

4/19/2016 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

This so called "transparency" in city negotiations is a joke.
It only applies to labor negotiations, especially negotiations
with public safety employee associations.
The rest? Closed, "no comment", " that's all we have", etc.
Nothing to see here.
Remember in November.

4/19/2016 11:08:00 AM  
Anonymous lovemygarden said...

So a month ago the MPT went on a rant when talking about the Smart Growth Initiative. He referred to a flier that said that the City Council majority could rezone parks. Well, here’s the proof that not only can they rezone, but in fact they intend to do it. I don’t think that Vanguard is looking for parkland, so don’t be surprised to see offices or dorms go up on that park.

That draft environmental report for the General Plan update said that the City isn’t meeting its goal of providing 4.26 acres of parkland per 1,000 persons, but no worries because when we add an additional 21,000 people to the city, the needed number will jump up to 471 acres. So what if swapping that park for a few buildings moves us further away from the goal? I hope those who claim we need more sports fields take note of this.

4/19/2016 11:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

Anything is possible when the Steve and Jim consider rooftop patios as open space.

4/19/2016 03:36:00 PM  

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