(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:
- My offer, like Dr. Allred’s is not a promise, it’s merely me saying what I intend to do sometime in the future. Should I live long enough. And not change my mind.
- I want the City to do something now, based on what I say I intend to do at some future time. Just like the racetrack owners want an immediate up zoning of all their property and about 20 adjoining acres in return for keeping zoning permitting a park on 20 acres which may be donated (except for the first $10 million, which the City must pay) 10 – 15 years from now, long after the vacant land around the RaceCourse has been filled with apartments, high rise and mid rise commercial, office, and multifamily buildings and heaven (or perhaps Hades) only knows what else.
- The City has to pay to demolish my house and build the library. In the case of the RaceTrack, the City will have to pay to demolish at least some if not all of the Racetrack Grandstand, which Dr. Allred himself said will be almost impossible to demolish! Then Cypress taxpayers must pay to remove any asbestos, toxic waste, horse poop, and God knows what else. Then the taxpayers actually develop the park, parking lot, fields, turf, equipment at an estimated cost to the taxpayers of $30 – $50 million! That’s if the future landowners actually keep Dr. Allred’s “intent.” Otherwise, they could sell it to a private developer as an event or performance center (imagine the traffic!) for a profit under the new Measure GG zoning.
- Did you notice the track owners flyers show a nice greenbelt meandering through the massive neighborhood to be built next to it. What a lovely gift to the developers. . . at all Cypress taxpayers expense!!
Some gift! Frankly, it boggles my mind that a City Councilman, sworn to uphold the best interests of the City of Cypress would even put a claim like that in print and sign his name to it.
Three more myths from Councilman Peat:
2. ”Building heights will be limited to a maximum of 60 feet.”
WRONG! GG has a 99 foot limit. A questionable subsequent deed restriction might lower that to 60 feet on some of the property, but not all of it, since much of the property included in Measure GG doesn’t even belong to the Racetrack owners! And what’s so great about a 60 foot limitation–are six story condos, apartments, & office buildings all that much better than ten story buildings?
3. ”GG gives voters a chance to have a stronger say…”
This may be the most deceitful statement of all, because GG takes all 170 acres out of Measure D’s requirement that any future zone changes must be approved by the voters.
4. “Voters will have approved a thoughtful, centralized, family-oriented space concerned citizens have helped design.”
Please read the initiative, all 77 pages, by clicking here. There are many project alternatives allowed that are not family oriented. During that “thoughtful” 2 month preparation of Measure GG there were absolutely no environmental or traffic studies to determine the impacts on our city such as traffic or school overcrowding.
A first-hand account of those “design meetings:”
I actually went to one of the “design meetings with concerned citizens.” The owners came into the room with a plan. The “concerned citizens” told them it stunk. So the owners had a second meeting with almost the same plan, but changed a 10 acre park to a 20 acre park. The “concerned citizens” asked if there was a specific plan for the area, and we were told that it was just changes of zoning and NOT a promise of ever actually building a “centralized, family-oriented space.”
You are voting to change the zoning. You are voting to up-zone the current Public Space zoning that requires a vote of the people to change it. If GG passes the new zoning will provide the developers a great deal more money (up to five times the value) and remove your rights to control what actually can be built on the land by giving up the requirement that any changes require a vote of the people.
An unwelcome blast from Cypress recent past:
All of this inaccurate information and presentation of best-case scenarios only reminds me of the Racetrack owners’ 2012 Measure L.
I remember the flyers picturing senior homes, assisted living & a nursing home all together on 33 acres
I also remember how, after Cypress residents voted to pass L, the senior facilities quickly changed into a 150 bay truck terminal. Until we voted against the track owners’ Measure A by a 2 to 1 margin, and ProLogs realized how much Cypress residents opposed overdevelopment in the Racetrack area.
Well, that land is still vacant, still zoned to allow for a truck terminal, and ProLogis might decide to buy it back if GG passes. 11/5 update: It looks like the track owners’ marketing people must be reading our blog! After we’ve mentioned the lack of groundbreaking on the proposed “Barton Place” 244 home development, suddenly a photo appears of a previously unannounced “groundbreaking” of the project, with six people holding shovels and white hard-hats and standing in what of appears to be a Race Course skip loader, like they use to shovel manure. I will refrain from further comment, except to note that the accompanying article in the Event news indicated completion is still two years away, and even the model homes won’t be opening for about 9 months. Last time I checked, 9 months was the time it takes to have a baby. Model homes are normally built much faster. Which means the property owners will have plenty of time after the election to sell the land to ProLogis before really breaking ground on anything.
Meanwhile, the track owners’ continue to attempt to deceive with us, this time with deceptive flyers regarding GG and picture only the very best possible results.
Don’t be fooled again! Vote NO on GG.