Top Irvine Planning Official to Work for City’s Nemesis

Doug Williford has stepped down as head of community development in Irvine and is going to — of all places — the Southern California Association of Governments.

It’s an interesting bureaucracy for Williford to choose as his next workplace considering that SCAG slapped Irvine with over 40 percent of the county’s housing requirements, mandating that the city to build 35,660 new housing units, including 21,000 units of affordable housing, according to the Orange County Register.

The city filed a lawsuit against SCAG and argued that the housing allocation wasn’t an equitable distribution. Irvine lost.

SCAG’s process — which results in state-mandated general plan and zoning requirements for city housing — has been criticized as opaque and arbitrary. An editorial in the Register said SCAG is “its own judge, jury and executioner” because it isn’t checked by any legislature or court.

Williford, who officlally left the city last week, said he wouldn’t comment until after he starts his new job in early August.