Cypress Council: $330K for Race Track “Vision?”

(Cypress, CA, 2/25/2017)   [Editor’s Note:  There are at least two causes for concern about Cypress’ City Manager’s proposal:  1) Is it a good use of taxpayer money, which George Pardon addresses first.  2)  Under what conditions might it be a good use of taxpayer money?  & 3) What should be the City’s goals for such a study, both of which I will address at the end of George’s article.]

1.  Is this a good use of taxpayer money?

By George Pardon:  At this Monday’s Cypress City Council Meeting (2/27/2017)  Agenda Item 9 under New Business proposes spending $330,000 of the City’s money to develop a vision for the future development of the race track property.

When the school district sought a zone change to rezone MacKay School and the District Office, the city didn’t pay for it.  Most recently, the city has asked two developers to propose plans for the city’s 13 acre site but the city isn’t paying for it.

While there might be some value in the city taking the lead on how the race track property should be developed in the future, the implication is that the city and the residents didn’t provide any input into the last process.  Just like the city takes the lead on Environmental Impact Reports, the property owner reimburses the city.  After all, who is the primary financial beneficiary of the rezoning of the property if not the property owner?

If the city has an extra $330,000 to spend, maybe they need to hear from the residents as to how they think it should be spent.

One statement in the agenda item may indicate the catalyst behind this push by the city to have this property rezoned: Continue reading

Cypress, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Seal Beach Election results

(11/8/2016) by Dave Emerson:  [updated at 12:55 AM by JM Ivler]

NO on GG wins by over 2% [371 votes].

Los Alamitos City Council: Meet our new and old City Council members. Josh Wilson and Richard Murphy.

LAUSD. All incumbents won.

Seal Beach District 2: 1.8% difference. 36 votes. Tell me again how your vote doesn’t count… Moore over Winkler
Seal Beach District 4: Sustarsic over Phillips (not even close) 69.8 to 30.2

City of Cypress City Council: Johnson and Yarc stay (weren’t they “Yes on GG”?)

RCSD: No changes in leadership. Kalish came in close losing by 78 votes and 0.9% for position four out of three. Better luck next time.

 

10 pm:  No new precincts reporting for Cypress or Los Al. . . results coming in more slowly.  As of 9:30 GG had slightly expanded it’s lead after the first of 32 Cypress precincts had reported in.  We are also adding the Los Al and Cypress School Board Races,as well as updating the Council races

This is also a place for local residents to discuss the results of these and other local races, in the comments section below.  Please observe our policy of keeping comments and language relatively civil, dag nab it!

Click here if you want to check on our projections and how to interpret the initial results.

Click here if you want to go directly to the Registrar of Voter’s results pages.

9:30 pm results: GG’s lead growing:

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Fact-checking “Yes on GG” Flyers

(Cypress, CA, 11/2/2016)  by Dave Emerson:  Many residents throughout Cypress awoke last Sunday to find a letter from Council Member Jon Peat on their front porch.  Unfortunately, much of the information in the letter was incorrect, as is much of the info in those expensive flyers folks are getting from the Racetrack’s owners.

Here’s just a few examples of the mis-information running wild courtesy of the Racetrack owners and their friends:

The myth of a free park:

1.  ”The owners will be gifting 20 acres…[for a park]” (Cypress Councilman Jon Peat letter, 10/30/16)

WRONG!  GG says nothing about any gift!  All that exists is a 10/24 non-binding letter from Dr. Allred saying the Race Course “intends to” gift any balance due after the City pays the Track owners over $10 million for the 20 acres.   

That letter from Dr. Allred is not a promise, just a statement of intent, and includes at least one specific condition which would cost Cypress taxpayers millions.

Let’s say I wrote a letter to the Los Alamitos City Council saying “I fully intend to give my home to the City of Los Alamitos someday after I no longer need it, to build a library on, as long as the City pays me the first $1 million of my home’s value, and up zones all the surrounding properties to allow for apartments, effective immediately.”   Would anyone say I was giving the City a free library?

What’s wrong with my generous offer to “give” Los Alamitos my home?  Pretty much the same as what’s wrong with Dr. Allred’s offer: Continue reading

Fiction Or Fact: A Measure GG Analysis

fictionorfactSo, Cypress residents awoke to this letter on their doors. Is it FICTION or FACT? We analyze the letter below:

Statement: “Measure GG gives us a voice in what will be developed”

Fiction.

Today Cypress residents already have a voice in what can be developed there, and it is very limited. In the late 1980’s Cypress residents voted for Measure D. Measure D set all that land aside in a specific zoning called PS, or Public Space. This zoning LIMITS what can be built on the land to a specific set of very clear set of possible uses. There can be no housing. No office building. No retail. No commercial. No industrial. current zone allows things like a golf course, a race track, parks, cemeteries, religious institutions. The People of Cypress already said, back in the late 1980’s, what they wanted there.

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Measure GG: What’s the History?

(Cypress, 10/12/2016)  A well researched look  at recent changes affecting Measure GG and what’s gone before it by long time Cypress resident George Pardon:

Insufficient changes last month:

At the Cypress City Council Meeting on September 26, the Race Track submitted deed restrictions that lowered the height of projects in the Mixed Use Area along Cerritos to 60 feet and agreed not to put refueling stations in the Town Center.  While these are welcome changes, it is important that residents know that there are still a significant number of allowed projects in the initiative that vary dramatically from what the Race Track is presenting in their flyers and in the conceptual plans shown on their website.

Some important history, Measure D, 1987:

For the benefit of some background, it’s important to remember that there have been a number of rezoning efforts on the Los Alamitos Race Track/Golf Course property (LART) since Measure D.  Measure D was passed by voters in November 1987 for the purpose of assuring “the maintenance of the quality of life in the City of Cypress and to preserve for the citizens and future generations of Cypress that adequate open spaces and greenbelts shall be available for their use and enjoyment.”

At the time Measure D was passed, the LART property was approximately 300 acres with its borders going from Katella to Cerritos and from Denni (Lexington) to Walker.

1990: 75 acres upzoned:

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Problems with Cypress’ Measure GG:

California Chrome cropped(Cypress, CA, 10/3/2016, by Dave Emerson)  Do you get a feeling of “here we go again” as you read the pro-GG Flyers or Ballot Argument?

2012, Measure L: The Race Track owners promised a 33 acre Continuing Care Seniors’ Facility if we’d approve Measure L.   What Cypress almost got was a  240 bay ProLogs truck terminal.  And, especially if GG passes, that ProLogis Terminal may come back, because ground has yet to be broken for the Senior Housing that was approved last year by Cypress.

2013, Measure A:   The Track’s two owners  were back with glowing descriptions of a park & homes on 47 acres.  Cypress voters were not about to be tricked two years in a row, and rejected Measure A by more than 2 to 1.

2016, Measure GG:  Now they want us upzone all 170 acres they have left! 

They promise, but can’t guarantee a 32 acre “town center” with a “vibrant mix” of uses.  The “town center” could just as easily be  32 acres of ten story office and commercial buildings! Continue reading