ANAHEIM — Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development (OCCORD) and four Anaheim community leaders announced today that they have filed a lawsuit against the City of Anaheim to stop the $158 million bed-tax subsidy for luxury hotel developers in the Anaheim resort. The lawsuit contends that the subsidy itself was a gift of public funds and alleges violations of the Anaheim City Charter and the California Environmental Quality Act. Community leaders also allege violations of the Ralph M. Brown Act and intend to add these allegations to the lawsuit if the City fails to cure them. Here is the complaint that was filed today.
Over the past four weeks, Anaheim residents have turned out in large numbers to express outrage and disappointment with the City’s decision to approve the subsidy, which will deprive vital city services of necessary revenues for the next fifteen years, while getting nothing for the community in return. This giveaway was approved at a time when the City is already laying off librarians, outsourcing park maintenance and graffiti clean-up, and lacking sufficient funds to keep promises made to residents.
“Already, our kids don’t have enough access to libraries, parks, and open space,” said Plaintiff Dr. Jose Moreno, Member of the Board of Education for the Anaheim City School District. “By giving away future revenues, this $158 million subsidy ensures that our kids won’t have those resources for the next 15 years.”
“The City of Anaheim had an opportunity to negotiate a great deal for Anaheim residents and workers in exchange for what developers wanted, but instead of negotiating, they gave away the store” said Eric Altman, OCCORD Executive Director. “Ironically, subsidy proponents point to the wildly successful LA Live development around LA’s Staples Center as an example of what they want for Anaheim, but LA Live provided measurable community benefits – good jobs, affordable housing, and important community resources – in exchange for city subsidies.”
OCCORD and community leaders will announced the lawsuit at a press conference in front of Ponderosa Elementary School library in Anaheim. The City had promised residents that the school library would be open to the public after hours, but the promise has not yet been kept due to lack of funds.
OCCORD is a nonprofit organization committed to economic development that benefits everyone who lives and works in Orange County’s diverse communities.