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What's Worse Than eminent Domain?
Sad Day on Main Street
Chain of Events
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
OBJECTIONS RAISED BY THE MAIN STREET PROPERTY OWNERS
AGAINST THE CONDO PROJECT
1.  This condo project involves an illegal transfer or property. The land that the City is selling to the Developer was partially purchased by the Business and Property owners on Main Street in 1955, with their own monies and before the City was even incorporated. It wasn't until 1973 that these parcels were eventually placed in the City's name, only to be held in trust for the use and benefit of the Garden Grove Downtown Parking District which was also formed by and has been operated from the beginning by the Business and Property owners under the California Vehicle Parking District Law of 1943. The property is now being sold without the approval of the Property owners, the Business owners or the Parking Commissioners.
2.  The Council's approval of this project also included a circumvention of the State's procedural sale approval process for the Garden Grove Downtown Parking District. State Street and Highways Code 31779 states "the Board of Parking Commissioners shall have possession and complete charge, supervision and control of all parking spaces located within their Parking District". In this case the Parking and Main Street Commissioners were not included in the approval process and ended up having no charge, supervision or control regarding the disposition and sale of the parking spaces and lots.
3.  Staff and the City Council then also circumvented the City's own procedural approval process for the Main St Historical District; GG Municipal Code, Title 2, section 090 (b) "It is the Parking and Main St Commissioner's duties to review all proposed building and site plans in the District and make recommendations to the Planning Commission and the Agency for Community Development, as appropriate, relative to the approval, denial, or modification of plans based on it's conformance with the regulations and criteria of the Main St Historical-Retail Combining Zone". Once again the Parking and Main St. Commissioners were never afforded the opportunity to formally review, vote on or make recommendations regarding the plans to this project.
4.  City Staff then devised a scheme of transferring of the parking lot from the City to the Redevelopment Agency first, and then to the Developer so that procedurally the Request for Proposal (RFP) and competitive bid processes could be avoided. Also if and when publicly owned property is to be sold from the city to a developer, is is a State mandated requirement that this property would have had to have been first made available to other city, county and state agencies such as schools, parks or other types of uses that would benefit the public good, not one of their favorite, hand-picked, campaign contributing developers.
5.  In order to legitimize transferring of the title to the property from City to the Agency, Council had to first make the arbitrary determination that Parking Lot #1 is blighted, had been deemed surplus and was no longer needed for parking. That determination of blighted and surplus was necessary and was made by Council solely for the intent of creating justification for the taking of the parking lot from the Property and Business owners for the benefit of the Developer.
6.  In the meantime, the Developer increased the size of the project by 25% after his obtaining of the Exclusive Negotiating Agreement from the City Council.
7.  Then to add insult to injury, Council approves the selling of the property to the developer at less than current market value; ($15,000. per condo unit). California Health & Safety Code 33433 & 33437.5 states, "It is the intent of the Legislature that property conveyed from a redevelopment agency to a developer pursuant to a redevelopment plan, shall be sold for full market value at it's highest and best use, and shall not be the subject of real estate speculation." Furthermore property sale was approved with no Health & Safety 33433 report, as required by California State redevelopment law.
8.  We allege that all these improprieties were planned and strategized by the City Council when, acting as the Redevelopment Agency and in direct violation of California's Brown Act, met in "closed session" to discuss all aspects regarding the development of this project including: financing, recorded covenants, scope of development and off-site improvements, city parking requirements, required Parking District actions, physical condition of property at close of escrow, condition of title, indemnities of Sheldon and the City, representations and warranties of the City, potential highest and best use of property and potential alternative land uses, conditions precedent to close of escrow, due diligence time period, environmental condition and remediation of property and terms of purchase price. In order to comply with the State's transparency laws, redevelopment agencies are allowed only to meet in "closed session" in order to discuss the land price with negotiators, and nothing else that would compromise the people's right to know and understand all other aspects of a future, Agency sanctioned, development project.
9.  The construction of this project will result in a loss of net parking area to the property and business owners, thus constituting a 5th amendment taking of property without compensation; equating to inverse condemnation.
10.  The parking study was also flawed. First and foremost it contains several inaccuracies and misrepresentations but secondly, it was prepared by a City Councilman from the City of Orange, who is also a receiver of campaign contributions from this very Developer, Steve Sheldon.
11.  We have also challenged the validity of Council and City Staff's arbitrary determination and public filing that this project does not call for an Environmental Report, despite the fact that numerous and significant land use, population, housing, traffic, and historical preservation issues are in fact at issue, and therefore legally warrants a Report.
12.  Variances were unreasonably granted the Developer regarding numerous city zoning, building and public safety codes, including but not limited to the lack of parking garages, the code-prohibited tandem and shared parking arrangements and the reduction of net public parking area available to Main Street Businesses.
13.  Notifications of Public Hearings to all affected parties were not fulfilled in accordance with State law. See Petition.
14.  We also argued unsuccessfully that the proceeds from sale of the parking lot, if sold, should be returned to the rightful descendants; the Main Street property owners so they can then acquire substitute parking or build a parking structure, to make up for the spaces they will be losing. After all it was they who originally purchased several of the parking lots which make up this condo project area, with their own monies for the use and benefit of their own shopping district, not to be given away by the City to a special interest, campaign contributing Developer.
15.  Months before the project approval hearing in October, the City clearly mis-represented to the public, through their own mailer "Connections", that this particular "medium density" condo project had already been approved, when if fact it had not.
16.  This Developer is also a past consultant with the City of Garden Grove, with employee status as per CA Gov. Code 82019 and Fair Political Practices Act Title 2, Division 6 of the CA Code of Regulations, and is therefore exempted from entering into development contracts with the City as per CA Gov. Code 1090, particularly when the consultant work itself was to create a "Community Vision" campaign to determine the need for "future development projects" to be included in the City's General Plan amendment. Clearly a conflict of interest.
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Save Historic Main Street
12866 Main Street #100
Garden Grove, Ca. 92840