CYPRESS : Agreement Near on Track Development

Officials in Los Alamitos and Cypress announced a tentative agreement this week in a dispute over the development of the area around the Los Alamitos Race Course.

Details of the settlement won't be released until all parties give final approval to the settlement, said Los Alamitos City Manager Robert Dunek.

Cypress City Manager Darrell Essex said he was thrilled by the tentative accord, which could end years of controversy involving the race track property.

"I think from a substance standpoint we are right on," Essex said.

In May, just one month after voters approved a development plan for the race track, Los Alamitos sued Cypress and developers of the Cypress Business and Professional Center. The suit alleged that the environmental impact report, an analysis of the project, failed to address the impact of traffic. Although not located in Los Alamitos, the park would be next to Katella Avenue, one of the city's main thoroughfares and the only route to nearby freeways.

The lawsuit halted development of the 75-acre business park and angered Cypress officials. After years of thwarted attempts to develop the race course, voters had finally approved the business park proposal, a scaled-down version of earlier projects that created a furor of opposition.

Since voters approved the project in April, owner Lloyd Arnold has pumped millions of dollars into the race course and the adjacent golf course. Arnold could not be reached for comment about the proposal.

Both the Los Alamitos and Cypress city councils are expected to review the agreement at their next meetings, scheduled for Aug. 13, officials said.

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