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What's Worse Than eminent Domain?
Sad Day on Main Street
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Project Objections
Opinions and Editorials

Scott Weimer 1-17-08
Mike Silva 2-7-08
John Scott 2-14-08
Harry J. Krebs 2-14-08
Lennie DeCaro 2-21-08
Peter Katz 2-28-08
Newspaper Articles
(Newest Listed First)
GG Journal 9-18-08
OC News Story 2-20-08
GG Journal 1-17-08
GG Journal 1-10-08
OC News Story 1-4-08
OC Register Story 1-3-08
Real Estate Journal 10-8-07
GG Journal 10-4-07
OC News Story 10-3-07
GG Journal 7-26-07
GG Journal 6-28-07
OC Weekly Expose' 4-26-07
OC Register 4-26-07
GG Journal 4-12-07
OC News Story 4-11-07
OC News Editorial 4-11-07
OC News Editorial 11-17-06
GG Journal 10-26-06
Letter to the Editor
From the Garden Grove Journal February 7, 2008
Whether the Historic Main Street condo deal was done "technically" correct legally or not is yet to be determined via the Appeals Court. However, this deal stinks. The bottom line is the City sole sourced the sale of our parking lot to "their" public relations firm, The Sheldon Group. No other bidders or projects were even considered for our parking lot.
The selected firm actually lists the City of Garden Grove as one of their clients, can you say, conflict of interest. The selected firm is not even qualified to build such a project; they are not architects, contractors, developers, or engineers. I simply looked up their qualifications on their own web site, unless it is updated after they read my letter.
There was no environmental impact report (EIR) required, which is simply unheard of these days. Picture this, they are going to build a 5-story, mega-high density (100 units on 1.5 acres) condo project in the City's only historical district, and an EIR was not required - impossible. If you or I were trying to build such a project in such a location, we would still be fighting the EIR and City staff to obtain zoning and building permits.
The actual design and construction are a disaster. They intend to build a sub-terrainian parking structure 25 feet from the historic buildings that are 100 years old. I hope The Sheldon Group has a lot of insurance, as I am pretty sure most of the buildings (ours included) will have substantial damage and cracks as the earthmovers dig down some 30 feet behind our structures. The west side of Historic Main Street will have 0 parking during the 2-year construction period.
The project has approved tandem parking, which was illegal citywide until this project. Basically tandem parking requires the back car to be moved prior to using the front car, this design will surely generate a 50% utilization factor.
This fight is not personal for anyone on Historic Main Street, including Mr. Weimer as insinuated by The Sheldon Group. The vast majority of property and business owners, some 95% has been involved with this fight since day one and has contributed their time and money. In fact, only 2 property owners on the entire street actually support the project.
If The Sheldon Group actually believes these delays will make their project more profitable, they are out of touch with reality and should simply delay the project on their own. Every major lending institution (Countywide, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, etc.) is having tremendous financial troubles, so I believe project financing as well as future condo buyer financing will be hard to find. However, if the Sheldon Group is happy with the delay as noted in last weeks article, this view point simply supports my argument that they are unqualified to build such a project, as every builder (KB, Lennar, DR Horton, etc.) in the nation is trying to extricate themselves from such projects. Just Google the facts on the current status of the lending and construction industries.
The bottom line is that this project stinks and will destroy what is left of Historic Main Street. If this is the City's goal, then they will surely accomplish it if the Appeals Court rules in their favor. Until then, we have no choice but to fight, as any compromise simply delays the inevitable, the complete destruction of Historic Main Street.
Mike Silva
I am a civil engineer and have lived in Garden Grove my entire life. Our family (grandparents and parents) has owned property on Main Street for the last 50 plus years and previously owned and operated Tony's Coffee Shop in the 50's and 60's, as well as Kaye's Kitchen through 2004. We still own the building that now houses the Main Street Café.
Send your contributions and letters to:
Save Historic Main Street
12866 Main Street #100
Garden Grove, Ca. 92840