Angels Play Hardball to Force Delay of Council Vote on Proposed Development

A rendering of the proposed project by LT Global.

The Anaheim City Council voted Tuesday to postpone a vote on a proposed  $450 million mega-development at the Platinum Triangle after the developer, Hong Kong-based LT Global Development, requested a continuance to quell opposition from Angels Baseball.

The project — which would put 405 condominium and apartment units, a 200-room hotel, and office and commercial space on a property adjacent to Angel Stadium — has strong support from city leaders and nearby businesses. But if the project were to go forward, it would sharply curtail the team’s ability to build its own developments around the stadium.

With that reality looming, team officials have sent several letters outlining a potential legal challenge, filed an appeal, and suggested the project might cause them to, yet again, look to make their home elsewhere.

On Monday, the team delivered a 326-page environmental analysis to city officials to bolster its claim that the city has rushed to approve plans for the development without conducting a proper environmental impact review as required by law.

That forced LT Global to request Tuesday that the council postpone a vote and public hearing on the development until October 18. LT Global officials said they’re confident they can resolve the team’s concerns by then.

“There’s been a lot of really positive dialogue over the last couple of weeks,” said Rich Knowland, a project consultant for LT Global, during Tuesday’s council meeting.

The city conducted a full environmental review of the Platinum Triangle in 2010. That review was based on zoning requirements and earlier development plans that have since fallen through, said city spokesman Mike Lyster.

The city argues that because the LT Global project proposes fewer residential units and uses than what the land is allotted for, they don’t need to produce a full environmental impact report for the project.

If the project is approved, the Angels would have 30 days to challenge the decision.

Although the baseball team has said an approval of the development might cause them to reconsider renewing their lease on Angel Stadium, they will have some difficulty finding other options.

The team recently reopened negotiations with Anaheim after a failed gambit to relocate to Tustin, which refused to pledge public dollars for a new stadium.

The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday night that the team is likely to stay until the end of its lease in 2029 while it figures out other options.

At least one other group has joined the Angels in their opposition to the project. UNITE-HERE Local 11, a labor union for hotel workers, says LT Global Development has refused to meet with them to discuss a labor agreement for the planned hotel.

Contact Thy Vo at tvo@voiceofoc.org or follow her on Twitter @thyanhvo.