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Garden Grove : City Council Approves 2 Key Building Plans

Development plans that will greatly affect future growth and design of two key areas of the city have been approved by the City Council.

The two specific plans--one for the Community Center area, the other for the area known as the Harbor Corridor--cover new construction and major rehabilitation without changing existing land uses.

The plans “hopefully will encourage and stimulate redevelopment and revitalization of both areas,” said Nancy Erickson, the city’s senior economic development specialist. They are intended to “promote high quality and economically successful developments through new development standards with a better balance of land use,” she said. Viewed by city officials as “policy documents,” the plans are also expected to improve traffic circulation, Erickson said.

The Community Center Specific Plan covers an irregularly shaped area bordered roughly by Chapman Avenue and the Garden Grove Freeway on the north and south, and 9th and Brookhurst streets on the east and west, excluding most residential neighborhoods.

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One land owner who opposed the Community Center plan from the very beginning is Hatim K. Addal, who said it originated because of his intentions to sell his property on the northwest corner of Century Boulevard and Euclid Street to a convenience store developer.

In January, Addal’s property was in escrow for $1.2 million when the council imposed a moratorium on new development until the specific plan could be drawn up. Following the council action, the sale fell through. Addal is now trying to sell the property for $1 million, he said.

Another property owner, Nick Koumis, told the council at last week’s meeting that the plan “ties my hands” by limiting improvements he can make. “There’s no incentive for improving the property,” said Koumis, the owner of a Garden Grove Boulevard automobile repair shop.

The Harbor Corridor Secific Plan covers the stretch of Harbor Boulevard between the Garden Grove Freeway on the south to north of Chapman Avenue and the segment of Garden Grove Boulevard between the freeway and West Street on the east and west. It is the focus of a major redevelopment effort that includes Plaza Alicante, a 400-room, 16-story hotel and an adjacent 10-story office tower on the northwest corner of Chapman Avenue and Harbor Boulevard. The project is scheduled for completion in December.

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Voting against the plans was Councilman Robert Dinsen, who objected on the grounds that the plans take away property owners’ rights.


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