Brea Leaders Accused of Violating Open Meetings Law

Brea city council members will hold a special meeting Monday to decide how to handle a complaint that they violated California’s open meetings law when they approved a controversial housing development.

According to a staff report, nearby resident Stephen Blagden asked the city to set aside its June 3 approval of the so-called Madrona Project. He said opponents weren’t given a chance to respond at that meeting and prior meetings when new information was presented by the developer but was not available to the public.

“The public is entitled to the same information provided to the City Council,” according to the June 10 letter sent by Blagden to the city council. “Meaningful public comments are dependent upon being informed with the same information available to the City Council.”

Blagden is a resident of neighboring Hacienda Heights. The Madrona Project is a 162-unit housing development planned for 367 acres of currently undeveloped hillsides.

Opponents have raised concerns about the property being overrun by wildfires, which they say has happened several times in recent decades.

If the open meeting law, commonly known as the Brown Act, was violated, the city council could correct the issue by rescinding its action and voting again on the issue. But city management argues there was no violation.

The Brea council meetings starts Monday at 10 a.m. Click here to view the agenda.

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