Earlier this year, the grand jury, an appointed panel of Orange County residents, took on the topic of “The Dissolution of Redevelopment: Where Have We Been? What Lies Ahead?”
The report, which examined redevelopment agencies and projects acoss the county, had some praise and some criticism of Garden Grove’s redevelopment activities.
The city’s efforts to redevelop large portions of Harbor Boulevard into a hotel-entertainment district rebranded as “International West” were lauded as a successful project which cleaned up a “seedy” part of town, created 2,000 new jobs and brought 11 major hotels (and the tax revenue they generate) to the Big Strawberry.
But the report also referred to a proposed condominium development on Grove Street west of the city’s historic Main Street as a “not-so-successful” project and characterized the city’s efforts there as “overreaching.” It called for mediation in the ensuing dispute between the city and developer, and the Garden Grove Downtown Business Association.
The response prepared by City Manager Matt Fertal and Mayor Bill Dalton rebuts those findings, rejecting the Grand Jury’s claim that “the city failed to adequately address citizen concerns” about the issue.
As it turned out, a lawsuit by the GGDBA (although eventually unsuccessful) delayed the project so long that it became economically unfeasible. When redevelopment ended, the state decided that the project was not an “enforceable obligation” and won’t proceed.
The council will meet at 6:30 p.m. in its chambers in the Community Meeting Center, 11300 Stanford Ave.