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SEAL BEACH : Final Bixby Ranch Hearings to Convene

With the final round of public hearings on the 223-home Bixby Ranch project less than two weeks away, some residents are preparing for battle.

The Old Ranch development plan, the city’s first major residential proposal in more than a decade, calls for homes bordering the golf course near Seal Beach Boulevard and commercial development on about 3.5 acres at Lampson Avenue.

Tentative plans include a hotel and restaurant, plus expansion of the Old Ranch Golf Course.

The Planning Commission approved the project’s environmental impact report on June 28 but rejected the overall development plan. The Planning Commission’s role in Seal Beach, however, is to advise the City Council, so its recommendation is not the final word on a project.

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Community activist Donna McGuire asked the City Council on Monday night to allow residents to make the final presentation at the end of public hearings.

“To allow Bixby to have the last say in a project that we’re going to have to live with is very, very unfair,” McGuire said. “The people of that area are so concerned, we really need the last say.”

City Council hearings on the project are scheduled to begin on Nov. 13 and may continue into December, said Lee Whittenberg, director of development services for the city.

Council members assured McGuire that residents with organized presentations and materials will be given the opportunity to go beyond the typical five-minute limit for public comments. But city officials said the project applicant usually gives the final rebuttal.

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“I do really think you have to give the council a little bit of credit to be able to listen through this,” Councilman George Brown said. “I don’t think it matters who’s the last one to speak.”


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