Anaheim Finalizes Rezone of Parkland to Industrial

The Anaheim City Council Tuesday night cast a final vote to rezone seven acres of parkland to industrial so the property can be sold to a developer, a move critics say could leave thousands of residents without adequate open space.

The land is between Anaheim Blvd and S. Lewis St., which is also close to the Platinum Triangle development, a high-density mixed-use zone where some 27,000 residents are expected to live when it is built out. City officials purchased the land approximately a decade ago for $2.9 million, and they expect to get three times that amount by selling it.

City council members in May approved issuing a request for proposals to purchase the site.

City officials say the land, which is undeveloped, is not suitable for a park because of its proximity to the 5 Freeway, citing environmental agencies’ advice against building parks near freeways. They also said it’s awkwardly shaped and provides residents with limited access.

They decided to sell the property even though Anaheim and much of north Orange County is “park poor,” with little or no open space for its residents.

Officials say they will  look for other property that is more ideal for a park. But that commitment wasn’t enough to secure a unanimous vote from council members. The vote to approve the rezone was 3-2, with Mayor Tom Tait and Councilman James Vanderbilt voting no. Council members Jordan Brandman, Kris Murray and Lucille Kring voted for the rezone.

“It’s a big, big mistake with consequences for a generation. And for that reason I’m voting no,” Tait said. “It’s owned by the people. Once it’s gone, its’ gone forever.”

Tait pointed out there are several parks in the city near freeways, including Miraloma Park, which just opened, and that, while the site might not be ideal, Anaheim is urban and fully built out.

Community Services Director Terry Lowe said the air quality advisement applied to parks with sports fields, not parks without them like Miraloma.

Councilwoman Kris Murray said she was comfortable rezoning the land with a commitment from Lowe that the city would strive to make finding a replacement site “a reality” and not some “pie in the sky” proposal.

Lowe said he and city officials would do their “absolute very best” to find a park site near the Platinum Triangle. However, he said the city isn’t currently in negotiations with any potential sellers.

  • kburgoyne

    Bottom line: They didn’t bind any commitment to replace the land with land more suitable as part of the agreement. If they were telling the truth and not just spinning a story, they would have initiated real commitments toward replacing the land as part of the whole agreement. Like directing the appropriate city officials to begin reporting on land options, requiring the money to be side aside for no other use, etc.

  • David Zenger

    They are now pitching this as a big win for the City because they think they belong in the business of flipping property – just like real estate speculators! Of course the City can also change the zoning to make its own property more valuable, which is just about the worst abuse of the planning process I can think of.

    Of course this sweet deal helps hide the inescapable incompetence of the purchase in the first place. And it also calls into question the original master plan for the Platinum Tragedy – tens of thousands of super high density apartment/condo dwellers and NO OPEN SPACE. Of course open space is expensive with zero return for Pringle’s buddies.

    The final irony is the redesignation of the property as industrial use – what the whole Platinum Trapeze used to be – with lots of productive businesses and jobs that were chased out by the consequences of Der Master Plan.

    Thanks Curt!

  • Kathleen Tahilramani

    It’s so comforting to see that BIG GREED is still alive and well in the OC. I would have had a stroke if this had been zoned as a park…..because it is “awkwardly shaped”. My my my – we just can’t have a park that is in an awkward shape… no way. The only shape that counts in Anaheim is $$$$.

  • Paul Lucas

    Jeez what a bad decision.

  • David Zenger

    P.S. I am giving substantial odds that the winning developer will be a client of Curt Pringle.

    Any takers?

  • David Zenger

    Hilarious that the Kleptocracy is suddenly so worried about air quality when Disneyland ignites and dumps heavy metals over our neighborhood almost every night.

    Oh, right. Economic engine, economic engine, economic engine….

    When it comes to open space, Kris Murray’s favorite comfort food is “pie in the sky.” Does anyone else remember her spinning a tale about a sports park on the OCWD site – a site coveted by Pringle client Hardin Honda?

    No one is holding his breath over that big lie, either.