Planning Commission forwards controversial Town Square deal
Posted: 10/25/2010 07:35:00 PM PDT
GRAND TERRACE - An agreement with the company behind the Town Square development will go to City Council for approval, despite an outcry from residents and planning commissioners who said the city got the raw end of the deal.
The Planning Commission voted 3-2 on Thursday to recommend approval of the deal with Jacobsen Family Holdings, which is developing the Stater Bros. project at Barton Road and Michigan Avenue.
That means the City Council will host a public hearing on the agreement at its next meeting, scheduled for Nov.9.
The agreement establishes that Jacobsen will not have to pay fees for things such as storm drains - because Stater Bros. and other stores in the development won't add to the load for these services. The agreement also prevents the city from tacking on additional fees for the next five years.
HOLD ON HERE: Paved Parking Lot equals run off. This will impact storm drains. This will add load for the need to clear drains through out the city so that the added run off can get down stream. Darcy McNaboe is flat out wrong in the following statement.
"In essence, even though it looked like an unbalanced agreement in favor of the developer, in the context of all the things the city can change, it actually brings parity to the agreement," Commissioner Darcy McNaboe said Monday.
At the meeting, however, six members of the public spoke against the agreement; none spoke in support of it.
"(The developers) can afford to pay their fair share," said Cynthia Bidney, who lives near the project. "We can't afford for them not to."
Commission Chairman Doug Wilson said the agreement gave away too much of the city's interests for too little.
This is a rare voice of restraint on Commission Chairman Doug Wilson's part. It is about time. Developer fees are held in a fund which is used to insure that infrastructure is paroperly done for a development Some of those fees may be returned when the developer has made the required improvements or when the improvements have not been made by the city in a timely way. For the fees not to be sitting ready for city use then there is little hope for rapid correction of a need not dealt with by Jacobsen.
"The developer received up to 18 years of guaranteed entitlement and all of the protections ordinarily included in a wish list," Wilson wrote in an e-mail. "There were no performance guarantees for the city. I understand the economic times, but agreements like this usually include a caveat that address(es) Acts of God, including sour lending climates."
This contract and agreement or relationship was started during the Schwab Era and is soiled with the same lack of performance guarantees that Schwab allowed in nearly all major contracts This allows for Horse Trading This Planning Commission Approval should be reversed by the City Council until a solid contract including performance guarantees are all inclusive in the agreement Recall this is also an RDA project and as such failures of Doug Jacobsen could become the liability of the Redevelopment Agency of Grand Terrace.
Vice Chairman Matthew Addington also voted against the agreement.If the City Council approves the deal, it will stay in place for eight years. The council will then have two chances to renew the agreement, for five years each.
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