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crazy4wdw
04-25-2007, 03:49 PM
Zoning Change Allows For Low-Income Housing Near Disneyland

April 25, 2007: 02:21 PM EST

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)--Disneyland was not The Happiest Place on Earth after local officials Wednesday paved the way to place low-income housing at its gates.

The City Council approved a zoning change 3-2 early Wednesday that would permit construction of condominiums inside a 2.2-square-mile resort district. The housing proposal includes a 26-acre parcel just a few blocks from Disneyland and across the street from Disney-owned land that could be the site of a future theme park.

The vote came despite a Disneyland lawsuit and a possible election fight. Supporters said affordable housing was desperately needed for workers in the city's massive tourism industry who share cramped quarters or commute hours because they cannot afford Orange County housing prices.

"We work for Disneyland and we deserve this housing," said Susana Hernandez, a Disneyland Hotel employee who shares a one-bedroom apartment with six people in Anaheim. "They just want to make money. They don't care how we work or in what conditions."

Developer SunCal ***. has said it wants to build 1,500 housing units at the site, including 225 affordable apartments. It has also agreed to shoulder Anaheim's legal expenses as the city fights the lawsuit, the first ever filed by Disneyland against Anaheim.

Opponents said it would be a bad precedent to allow non-tourist uses in a district that brings in about $70 million in hotel bed taxes each year.

"Allowing residential development in the resort area will stunt future growth of the local economy and significantly reduce future tax revenues," Disneyland spokesman Rob Doughty said in a statement. Disneyland is a division of Walt Disney Co.

The zoning change still faces several hurdles. Disneyland is suing the city related to environmental documents tied to the change.

The group Save Our Anaheim Resort Area, which includes Disneyland and owners of nearby hotels and businesses, wants the issue to be decided by voters. Members announced Tuesday that they have gathered the 20,000 signatures needed to place the measure on a February 2008 ballot.

DancingBear
04-25-2007, 03:57 PM
A bit of a twisted slant on the issue. A condo developer is going to provide a relatively small number of units (15% of the total number of units being built, and quite possibly a much smaller percentage of the square footage, as usually the low-income housing units are smaller than the average "regular" unit) for its residential project, and that makes it "Disney vs. low income housing" instead of "Disney vs. large developer."

C'mon. It's usual practice now in urban residential development that the developers agree to (or are required to) provide a limited number of low-income housing units in order to be allowed increased density on a site. The developers don't do it because they're incredibly civic-minded.

raidermatt
04-25-2007, 05:11 PM
Except that Disney vs. large developer isn't accurate because Disney does support development. They just want a more upscale development that instead includes hotels and condos that would not likely include ANY "affordable" housing. Affordable being a relative term of course.

A little more detail from a Yahoo article. Have to laugh at Disney's new reason for opposing... Global Warming. Because condos and hotels would of course not contribute anything to global warming.

Anaheim council OKs Disney-adjacent housing development
The project, which includes low-cost units, is approved on a 3-2 vote. Entertainment giant calls it a 'bad precedent.'
By Dave McKibben, Times Staff Writer
9:45 AM PDT, April 25, 2007

Over the strong objections of Disney and dozens of tourist officials, the Anaheim City Council voted 3-2 early this morning to approve a controversial residential project in the city's resort district.

The six-hour public hearing, which began Tuesday night and spilled into this morning, was the council's second attempt to settle the dispute that had lingered for nearly a year.

About 150 resort workers, many from Disney, attended the meeting in support of the development, some wearing stickers that read "Yes in Mickey's Back Yard" (YIMBY). The dozen employees remaining at the meeting cheered when the project was approved.

The council members who voted against the project were Harry Sidhu and Mayor Curt Pringle.

In a prepared statement, Disney said it was disappointed by the vote and looked forward to a citywide vote on the matter.

"This is a bad precedent and if allowed to stand is likely to lead to several more proposals to permit non-tourist uses in the resort area," the statement read.

Chamber officials said Tuesday that enough signatures had been gathered to put a measure on the February ballot that would prevent residential projects within the city's resort district.

According to a Disney statement, "We intend to work in coalition with community leaders, tourist officials and business leaders to insure the voters of Anaheim have the opportunity to decide whether the Anaheim resort area should be preserved."

In February, the council deadlocked 2-2 on whether to allow the 1,500-unit project near Disneyland and California Adventure. The project, which would include 225 low-cost units, would replace some 300 mobile homes on the property at Katella Avenue and Haster Street.

In the two months since the council deadlocked, Disney and tourist officials have raised the stakes in their campaign to keep housing-intensive development out of the resort district. The entertainment giant has sued the city to block the project, and — along with business leaders — is seeking a citywide vote to keep the area dedicated to tourism.

In a new argument Tuesday, Disney officials provided city officials with an inches-thick packet asserting that the residential project would exacerbate global warming because of the traffic it would generate.

The city and Disney have enjoyed a relatively cozy, fight-free relationship for 50 years, but the housing debate has created friction in town. Some argue the resort district, which sends the city millions in tax revenue, should be dedicated exclusively to tourism; others say there is a pressing need for working-class housing in the area.

In a staff report prepared for Tuesday's meeting, the city revealed what part of its strategy would be in fighting the Disney lawsuit, which demands that the environmental analysis the city approved to move the project forward be nullified.

City staffers said the project was consistent with the goals of the city's 2004 update to its general plan: "Encourage mixed-use development to create places where people can live, work and shop in order to reduce potential traffic trips."

Staff documents also pointed out that the 26-acre property had been used for residential purposes for decades as a mobile home park and "there are no new significant environmental effects" that weren't analyzed when the 2004 update was completed.

Disney officials said the thousands of people who would be living in the proposed units would be out of place in a district designed for tax-generating, visitor-friendly uses. Tourist officials say the resort area makes up less than 5% of the city's land but generates nearly 50% of the city's general fund. Disney wants the parcel to be developed as an upscale hotel-condominium project.

raidermatt
04-25-2007, 05:12 PM
By the way, perhaps the most important thing to note in this is the more confrontational relationship between Anaheim and Disney.

DancingBear
04-25-2007, 06:27 PM
They just want a more upscale development that instead includes hotels and condos that would not likely include ANY "affordable" housing.The article you posted has a statement that Disney supports a hotel/upscale condo use on that property, but I wonder what that really means, in that Disney is also in that article against "non-tourist uses" (so perhaps that's a lot more hotel than condo in that mix that Disney supports).

mt2
04-25-2007, 09:21 PM
said Susana Hernandez, a Disneyland Hotel employee who shares a one-bedroom apartment with six people in Anaheim.

How can they legally have that many people in a 1 bedroom? I do understand that things happen but :eek:

raidermatt
04-26-2007, 04:22 PM
The article you posted has a statement that Disney supports a hotel/upscale condo use on that property, but I wonder what that really means, in that Disney is also in that article against "non-tourist uses" (so perhaps that's a lot more hotel than condo in that mix that Disney supports).

I'm guessing you're right, that its primarily hotel, timeshare, etc. that they support. That said, however, I'm sure there are also some contradictions in Disney's position.

Certainly they are using some confrontational tactics in this whole process. First they threatened (in a somewhat veiled and legal manner I'm sure) one of the council members with conflict of interest allegations to try to keep her (I think it was a her) from voting on the issue at all. It succeeded about a month ago, but I guess she got a contrary legal opinion from her or the city's lawyers.

Now Disney is throwing Global Warming into the debate, which borders on the ludicrous, and clearly has nothing to do with their real reason for opposing this particular development.

Yes, this kind of stuff goes on all the time between businesses and governments, but it is still siginficant in that Disney and the city have usually been able to resolve disagreements prior to them reaching this point.

I also think Disney is facing a tough battle in getting the residents to vote against the development. After all, it's a trailer park right now, and its apparently destined for some kind of development.

fey_spirit
04-27-2007, 04:46 PM
I don't care why the do it - only that they do it...
Does it matter why we feed and shelter those who need our aid? Or only that those people get fed and sheltered?

Of course I'm a bleeding heart liberal who actually does belive I am my brother's keeper.

C'mon. It's usual practice now in urban residential development that the developers agree to (or are required to) provide a limited number of low-income housing units in order to be allowed increased density on a site. The developers don't do it because they're incredibly civic-minded.

fey_spirit
04-27-2007, 04:50 PM
Well heck - if they're so worried about this then they're gonna have to shut down the parks... esp WDW! I mean, look at all the traffic that produces - it's practically it's own privatly owned city...

In a new argument Tuesday, Disney officials provided city officials with an inches-thick packet asserting that the residential project would exacerbate global warming because of the traffic it would generate.

DancingBear
04-27-2007, 05:09 PM
I don't care why the do it - only that they do it...
Does it matter why we feed and shelter those who need our aid? Or only that those people get fed and sheltered?

Of course I'm a bleeding heart liberal who actually does belive I am my brother's keeper.Save your chest-beating. I wasn't making a commentary about the need for low-cost housing. I was commenting on the media's depiction of the nature of the dispute.

kc10family
04-30-2007, 06:08 PM
Low-income housing in that area will be a bad idea. CM's will not be able to afford that high "low-income houseing" and it will change the makeup of the area, it could even cause the Park to have less visitors than it already does.

MasterShake
04-30-2007, 06:21 PM
I don't care why the do it - only that they do it...
Does it matter why we feed and shelter those who need our aid? Or only that those people get fed and sheltered?

Of course I'm a bleeding heart liberal who actually does belive I am my brother's keeper.

If only we could bottle the rage and use it as a cheap source of energy for low income families.......

YoHo
04-30-2007, 06:44 PM
Low-income housing in that area will be a bad idea. CM's will not be able to afford that high "low-income houseing" and it will change the makeup of the area, it could even cause the Park to have less visitors than it already does.
Have you seen Anaheim? Unless the housing is built on top of I-5. I don't see how it would even be possible to know the difference and of course, it's not exactly an urban paradise anyway.

kc10family
04-30-2007, 06:55 PM
Have you seen Anaheim? Unless the housing is built on top of I-5. I don't see how it would even be possible to know the difference and of course, it's not exactly an urban paradise anyway.
Yes, I sure have. And I agree with you, however to add housing the way some people think, would be very bad. Picking a different location would be better.

Estimates say the "low income" range will be at $640,000.

These houses and others could be built int he platinum triangle where the zoning allows it and they at least would be away from the major tourist area.

Just wait if these 1500 units are built they will increase traffic and then later the same people that move in to them start protesting because the fireowrks, traffic and other noise is too much and disney should do something about it.

Bad idea all around.

Another Voice
04-30-2007, 07:05 PM
it will change the makeup of the area, it could even cause the Park to have less visitors than it already does.
Have you actually seen the area? Do you know what's going on?

The place is currently - and has been for a long time - a trailer park. It's surrounded by empty lots and abandomed building. The place is riddled with drug dealers, hookers, rats and homeless. All of this on land that Disney owns.

How - exactly - will a condo development with a few "low income" units is going cause the place to be worse??

the same people that move in to them start protesting because the fireowrks, traffic and other noise is too much and disney should do something about
But the land that Disney claims is for the "third park" is ALREADY surrounded by housing. The only reason the condo development is in the "resort district" was to accomidate Disney's desire to develop the strawberry field. The residents were there BEFORE Disney moved in. Do you think Disney has the right to simply destroy home values of existing neighborhoods?

MasterShake
04-30-2007, 07:22 PM
The place is riddled with drug dealers, hookers, rats and homeless. All of this on land that Disney owns.



I had no idea that things were so bad in Anaheim, but it could be argued that these are tourist amenities.:confused3

JohnZ46
04-30-2007, 08:46 PM
Gee, makes you wonder why the devloper wants to build a condo complex in the middle of a drug and hooker infested ghetto.

Who's going to want to buy an expensive condo and then have to dodge drive-bys to get home.:confused3

Another Voice
04-30-2007, 08:55 PM
Gee, makes you wonder why the devloper wants to build a condo complex in the middle of a drug and hooker infested ghetto.
That's actually the point of the whole situation. While Disney has let its land decay into urban blight. there are scores of developers that want to do something with that land. Without the fake "resort" restrictions, the entire property will be developed in very short order. Orange County has been booming for over a decade now and it's not going to stop. The area around the stadium is being developed with housing, restaurants and street level retail. The area south, in Garden Grove, is booming with big new hotels and restaurants. The only rotten area is now Disney's property and the land suckered into the phony "resort zone". Disney doesn't want to develop the land and they'd rather see blight rather than have a competitor move close to their hotels.

Anaheim has finally had it Disney's politics and weaseling. So now the City Council is going about and properly running the city again.

Disney is happy with rot, the citizens of Anaheim aren't. Disney is, afterall, nothing but a business the plants keep telling us. Business means competition, and if Disney can't compete then it's time to let better run companies in.

JohnZ46
05-01-2007, 12:45 AM
Personally, I think that view is a bit melodramatic. Disney is neither evil or virtuous. It's just a business answerable to it's stockholders.

The developers are also just a business looking to earn a profit. They're offering the low income housing as a loss leader to convince the city council to change the zoning. Painting Disney as the big bad corporation trying to stomp the altruistic developers is just a little too soap opera. It's all merely modern business and political spin.

Given how things turned out with California Adventure, it's only natural that Disney would have put it's plans on hold. However, I do agree that Disney owes it to the city of Anaheim to come forward with it's intentions and make some sort of commitment in regard to maintaining the property it has bought if it wants Anaheim to continue to respect the resort zone agreement.

Personally, I think the best solution is to have the people of Anaheim vote on the issue. It's their city and they're the ones who will be most affected by the final decision.

However, if I lived in Anaheim I'd want to consider the fact that, once the condos are sold, developers will move on to another area. If Disney develops the property they'll be there to be answerable for how it affects the community. Love it or hate it, Disney is part of the Anaheim community.

fey_spirit
05-01-2007, 10:32 AM
You know it's a pity that tones don't travel through the internet well... there's no rage here at all...

The first part was true, and all I was saying is that I don't care if things get done to help the poor becaus someone somewhere either has to meet certain regulations (The builders someone was talking about earlier) or to improve their image (celberties everywhere) - as long as it gets done, who cares why?

Either way so long as what needs to get done, gets done - I'm good with it.

And if you're referring to the "bleeding heart liberal" - I was joking... teasing... tounge in cheek. The fact is I am amused with that title when applied to myself because the Right Wing Nazis all think I'm a liberal terroist, and the bleeding heart liberals all think I'm a right wing nazi...

Truth is I don't mind at all if Disney doesn't want low income housing set across from them, for many reasons I actually agree that it would be a bad idea... one of which was already mentioned - the cost of living in the area - along with the fact that it would be bad for Disney business, and that the traffic flow would be a bit much for those who ended up living in the residential areas.... after all Disney traffic tends to be excessive.

What does bother me is that Disney hasn't stated any of that (according to the articles I was given to read) that says any of that. They've given us such ridiculous responses as "Global Warming"... yeah right. So first Disney can't even be honest about their reasoning.

Second their tactics suck; threatinging someone with legal action, throwing their weight and money around to try to be the biggest bulley on the block? Why not hearald to the image of the company and try being honest and honerable... it wouldn't be hard.

Just say "yes, I do belive that this would be a bad move for Disney - for Disney, for our customers, and for those who would be moving in across the street, maybe worst of all for those moving across the street." couple that with action, like finding another site to recommend for the intended project and they could get what they want, help the people this project is intended to help and come off smelling like a rose... everybody wins.

But as for rage? No not really, so Disney has turned corrupt on us... oh well if I went into a rage and boycotted every company that I don't like I would have to live naked on the streets and eat Only Ben and Jerry's ice cream - because in America 2007, most all of them are corrupt. Me? I learned a long time ago to accept it, change it when I can - and just roll with it.


If only we could bottle the rage and use it as a cheap source of energy for low income families.......

Another Voice
05-01-2007, 11:30 AM
Painting Disney as the big bad corporation trying to stomp the altruistic developers is just a little too soap opera.
No one is painting Disney as acting evil just so they can act evil. Disney is a business, and they've grown rather arrogant in their position. Internal politics and personal ego have begun to warp their business decision making; that's not a good thing for the company.

The simple fact is that the entire "resort district" was created to support a world that never happened. Disney's pulled back it's plans for development and what they did create turned into a flop. Anaheim has paid a heavy price for holding up its end of the bargin, while Disney rather pubically refuses to uphold theirs.

Anaheim needs to fix the problems before they get worse, but this is going to cost Disney money. They refuse to allow that to happen - no matter the impact to Anaheim, its citzens and its visitors. Hell, I'm an Orange County tax payer and I'm going to be paying off Disney's freeway bonds for the rest of my life. I can only imagine how people in Anaheim feel having paid for a $750 million renovation to Anaheim Stadium at Disney's command only to see Disney run away their responsibility.

The "resort district" is now simply too large for Anaheim's needs. Disneyland and California Adventure can not support the number of hotel rooms that were planned, there will be no "third gate", there will be no grand "Hyperion Theater" hosting the Emmys. Disney has given up the rights to control the land, it's time to allow natural development to occur.