Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Why Historic Status May Speed Up Development of Verdugo Hills

Local writer Joseph Mailander shared the following with us today. We're publishing it here for your review and consideration.

I have seen a few people ask--and even a journalist asked me this morning--how does making an acre on the golf course a monument SPEED UP development?

The question almost answers itself, but I'll answer it anyway. Once you draw specific boundaries on a lot or on acreage, to designate one specific corner of a property for a specific use, you are ceding to the owner the right to avail the rest of the property to other uses. Their own uses.

Once you hand an owner boundaries, in short, the owner can stop just dreaming about development, and start submitting real plans to real City Departments.

Once the boundaries are drawn, the developer can say, "OK, I now know precisely where I can lay my streets and build my homes, and it's up to the city to respond to me, rather than me responding to the city about whether I can or can't build there."

I also hear, "Oh, we still have building and safety/planning/an EIR that we can use to block." Even GC Voice--which is disappointed in the deal--is saying that. Well, you didn't even have any of that on the table a month ago--and now, you do and have to hope for the best.

The other thing that's specific to this case: now that the city has 1) already walked away from a potential deal (which they did nine years ago), and 2) is working (by Council fiat) to draw real boundaries, the developer can make a far more bold case for any subsequent obstruction to plans. Should the city take any action to inhibit the developer's plans in the future, the developer can now challenge any obstruction as an attempt to devalue the property, constituting a taking. (There is even one such lawsuit transpiring presently in San Antonio). The developer can say to a court, "Why didn't they tell me that when they were drawing up the one-acre boundary? No, it's implicit I get to develop the rest of the site, if they decided to lay aside a single acre!" Pretty good case for the developer, I would think.

You're most definitely closer to development, not further away from it, because of the action Alarcon sped through Council between Friday and yesterday.

2 comments:

Sandra said...

Joseph, your a smart guy thats why im sp confused over your stupid answer. Please Joesph, show me a code,law,regulation,statute, anything that backs up what you are saying.

Sandra said...

Joseph, your a smart guy thats why im sp confused over your stupid answer. Please Joesph, show me a code,law,regulation,statute, anything that backs up what you are saying.