After months of delay, the Anaheim City Council tonight is scheduled to give final approval to ordinances that would establish new design guidelines and zone changes for the commercial recreation area around Disneyland and the Anaheim Convention Center.
The changes are the result of more than a year of study by city officials seeking to renovate the aged tourist area and make it more appealing for continued growth.
While city and Disneyland officials laud the changes as overdue improvements to the area, some developers and small business owners have been concerned that the new plans are too restrictive.
Existing businesses and new projects that have already been approved will not be immediately subject to the new guidelines. However, business owners oppose a provision that calls for putting up smaller signs in the crowded commercial area within the next 15 years.
And developers are upset about a provision that would bar certain future businesses, such as fast-food restaurants, convenience stores and Laundromats.
Existing landowners object to the fact that if they remodel or sell their property, they will have to give up portions of it to create larger setbacks from the street.
In addition, nearby residents have complained that the changes may make the area look better, but they do nothing to reduce the noise and traffic produced during the hectic tourist season.
Currently, there is a building moratorium in the commercial recreation area, a 1,040-acre zone roughly bounded by the Santa Ana Freeway, Orangewood Avenue, Ball Road and Walnut Street. The moratorium will expire in September unless it is renewed or amended. That date will coincide with the date the new ordinances--if approved tonight--will take effect.