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Anaheim : City to Plot Strategy for Its Growth in Future

Anaheim has become the largest city in the county, the ninth largest in the state and 63rd largest in the country. And to oversee the city’s continued growth and planning into the 21st Century, officials Thursday kicked off a program they call Vision 2000.

Essentially, what the home to Disneyland, Anaheim Convention Center and Anaheim Stadium is trying to figure out is “what will Anaheim look like in the year 2000,” said Norman J. Priest, the city’s community development and planning executive director.

To answer that question, the city has organized about 50 community leaders and city officials into various groups.

Together, during a series of interviews and workshops, members of various committees will ask what’s good and bad with Anaheim, where should the city be in 25 years, what the current problems are and how they could be solved, and what the potential problems of the future are and how they could be avoided, Priest explained.

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The City Council earlier this year allotted up to $55,000 for a contract with Price Waterhouse to help oversee the strategic planning program, which is expected to be completed by December, said Dave Morgan, resource development manager.

City Manager William O. Talley told officials gathered for a luncheon at Anaheim Stadium on Thursday that Anaheim plans to “act” and not “react” to changes in the next 25 years.

“We think we’re at a crossroads of what we’re going to look like,” Talley said.

One turning point is the Anaheim Stadium area itself, he says.

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Despite pending litigation, city officials are furthering plans for high-rise office development surrounding the stadium, including office towers and parking structures on part of what now is the stadium parking lot.

The California Angels have protested the proposed structures and have filed a $100-million lawsuit against the city and the developers, who include the Los Angeles Rams.

The development was promised to Anaheim Stadium Associates, partially composed of heirs of the late Rams owner Carroll Rosenbloom, as part of the package that lured the football team to Anaheim in 1978.

The lawsuit, filed in 1978 and in trial since last December, has cost each party millions of dollars. The fate of the stadium’s development and the Angels’ future in Anaheim rests on the conclusion of the case. The dispute with the Angels, Talley said, is “something we’re going to have to solve” before definite plans for the area’s future are made.

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