The Fountain Valley City Council delayed action Tuesday about a proposed Fountain Valley Crossings rezoning plan to allow more public comment on the concept's environmental report.
Council approval of the environmental report is needed before the city can make zoning changes that could allow redevelopment of 162 acres in the southwest portion of the city. The largely industrial area bordered by Ward Street, Talbert and Ellis avenues and the Santa Ana River eventually could become a diverse blend of retail and entertainment venues and up to about 500 homes.
The city Planning Commission approved the report in May with some adjustments, especially to the intensity of housing in the "activity core."
People who packed the council chamber Tuesday were allowed to offer comments, and of the roughly 20 who did so, most were against the plan. As they have in previous comment sessions, they expressed worry about potential traffic increases and stresses on infrastructure and local schools, along with overall distaste for the plan's housing component.
Several suggested a public vote on the matter.
One of them, Patrick Tucker, said the Crossings rezoning is the biggest decision for the city in more than 20 years.
"This decision is bigger than the five of you," he told the council. "It's something that the entire city should have a say in, and if it passes, it passes."
Fred Voss echoed that call.
"It would be a criminal act of arrogance to proceed with something like this without receiving an opportunity for community residents to make their voices actually count," he said.
Plan supporter Matt Taylor said the feedback already gathered over the past year has improved the proposal. The area is ripe for redevelopment, he added.
"It's ripe for making it become consistent with what makes the city of Fountain Valley so wonderful," he said.
Mayor John Collins guessed the item would return to the council in a couple of months, and he encouraged residents to read and comment on the environmental report. It is available at fountainvalley.org/DocumentCenter/View/5836 or at City Hall, 10200 Slater Ave.