By Jacob WilsonGarden Grove Journal
It’s a victory of sorts for Westminster, but it’s neither secure nor satisfying.
“We’re happy to stop the toll road proposition for now but believe it will be brought back in the future,” Diana Carey told the Westminster City Council. “We are going to stay on top of this.”
Carey is a Westminster traffic commissioner and chair of the I-405 Citizens Ad-Hoc Committee.
The Orange County Transportation Authority’s Board of Directors approved Alternative One of the “Interstate 405 Improvement Project” last Monday by a 10-6 margin.
The plan adds one general-purpose lane per side. The four-year project should cost $1.3 billion and begin in 2015. The bulk of the cost is for demolishing and rebuilding several bridges between State Route 73 and Interstate 605.
The plan provides minimal development for the cost, Carey said.
Because the start and end dates are still a ways off, the plan is subject to change. Westminster officials still prefer Alternative Two, which adds two lanes to each side for $1.4 billion.
“We are going to continue to fight for Alternative Two,” Carey said.
OCTA staff had recommended Alternative Three. That version also adds two lanes per side but includes toll roads. The estimated cost is $1.7 billion.
In even more local news, the council approved a correction. Retail centers of at least 50,000-square feet with 15,000-square feet of restaurant space will now need 257 spaces, up from 217 spaces required by current code.
In 2011, the council approved an ordinance requiring such centers to provide 217 spaces. That number was based on a misreading of a parking demand study that actually called for 257 spaces.
“An error was made, so our current standards don’t match the recommendation of the parking study,” said Ed Manfro, interim city manager.
City staff made the item urgent because it was considered time-sensitive.
“The need for an urgency ordinance is to make sure new projects don’t get approved under old standards,” Manfro said.
Officially, the council approved an interim ordinance, good for 45 days. The council will hold a public hearing on Nov. 14 before making the ordinance permanent.
Councilmember Frank Fry missed his second meeting due to illness. He and Mayor Margie Rice are set to retire in December.