One Broadway Plaza Activists Take Dispute to CA Supreme Court

SANTA ANA, CA — Daniel R. Wildish, a long-time California real estate attorney and managing partner at Wildish and Nialis, in Orange, Calif., today filed a Petition for Review at the California Supreme Court level on behalf of CAGE, the Coalition for Accountability in Government Ethics.

The group is an active and growing community activist organization that consists of Santa Ana residents, tax payers and various community associations that continues to fight to force the City of Santa Ana to bring a special election, this after city officials changed the requirements with regard to the building of the One Broadway Plaza project, a 37-story office tower in the city.

Wildish’s petition comes as a result of the Fourth District California Court of Appeals opinion issued on December 2, 2011, in which it overturned Superior Court Judge Derek W. Hunt’s Writ of Mandate filed last summer. Hunt’s ruling ordered the City of Santa Ana to submit the question of any change in the stipulations and conditions of Measure A in a special election of the voters. More specifically, his ruling found that the City of Santa Ana did not have the right to waive the builder’s requirement to prove the structure was 50% leased prior to breaking ground and beginning construction.

Though petitions for review are rarely granted, Wildish believes that the Court of Appeals made a significant error and omission in its ruling by failing to acknowledge the conditions called out in Measure A, an initiative put before the voters in 2005. In that initiative, Wildish contends, the vote did concern the development project as a whole and did not pertain merely to a zoning amendment, a position that Wildish suggests is a form of over substance. “It was clear that the voters were simply voting on whether or not the entire development at One Broadway Plaza should go forward, and, if so, the conditions under which such construction would be allowed,” Wildish states.

“CAGE’s beef is that the city has ignored certain stipulations in the measure, one of which is to waive the need for the builder to pre-lease the structure 50% prior to breaking ground,” Wildish points out. “After a thoughtful review of the conditions contained in Measure A, Judge Hunt upheld CAGE’S contention that a special election would indeed be required for the city to allow any changes in the originally voted-upon Measure in order that the project be allowed to move forward.”

  5 comments for “One Broadway Plaza Activists Take Dispute to CA Supreme Court

  1. junior
    January 8, 2012 at 7:59 am

    The issue in this appeal is that the City and the developer be held accountable to the voters for promises made. It is important that the will and the vote of the people, which required the developer to prove that the structure was 50% leased prior to breaking ground and beginning construction, be upheld.

    A few dedicated individuals have born the burden of opposing this ill-conceived development by carrying the legal effort forward. They have done an outstanding job in looking out for the interests of those that will be effected by this poorly designed development.

    Legal costs for these residents of Santa Ana are in the tens of thousands of dollars, with more costs to follow. Any help in raising funds to carry this fight forward would be greatly appreciated. Here is one thought – how about a fundraising Mardi Gras block party?

  2. cook
    January 8, 2012 at 9:49 am

    There were two ordinances, A zoning one and the DA one.

    The voters voted on the zoning one.

    Since the voters did not vote on the DA one, I don’t see how the court can give any relief.

    • January 8, 2012 at 7:43 pm

      Cook,

      I guess your logic works; if you ignore the fact that the modification of the Zoning Ordinance had a statement included that placed a condition upon that modification, the 50% leased out provision.

      • junior
        January 8, 2012 at 8:21 pm

        Bingo!

      • cook
        January 9, 2012 at 11:01 am

        The Zoning Ord that the voters voted on did not have the 50 percent lease. (almost sure)

        The 50 percent lease was in the DA Ord, and the voters did not vote on that one.

        I guess I will have to stop by the city and have a look at the two Ord’s (unless someone has a PDF file they can email me)

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