YORBA LINDA : Council Votes Down Retail Center Plan

The City Council has turned down a proposal to construct a retail building at the northeast corner of Imperial Highway and Yorba Linda Boulevard, one of the city's busiest intersections and the location of some its most prized commercial property.

Council members voted unanimously against the 8,400-square-foot development Tuesday because of a bitter disagreement over where to place the entrance to the parking lot on the one-acre site, one of many disputes that has plagued the proposal.

MS Partnership had been seeking the city's approval for the project for four years and has already spent about $1.5 million, said Mark Linder, an attorney for the developers. So far, the partnership has been talking to potential tenants but has none lined up, he said.

City traffic experts have opposed plans to place an entrance to the project's parking lot on Arroyo Street and an exit at Valencia Avenue. City officials said the entrance and exit would be hazards because they could ultimately interfere with traffic on Imperial Highway and force customers to take sharp right turns. Instead, city officials recommended placing the entrances and exits on Yorba Linda Boulevard.

But Jack Greenspan, a traffic engineer hired by the developers, said a Yorba Linda Boulevard entrance would be more dangerous. He said drivers trying to make left turns into the center would have to go across double right-turn lanes.

Council members said they feared the project would worsen traffic at the intersection, which some call the city's worst.

"That place would be terrible from a traffic point of view," said Councilman Henry W. Wedaa. "I would never go into that shopping center."

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