Council delays vote on apartments

The Costa Mesa City Council this week delayed a vote on a luxury apartment complex in a predominantly commercial area near John Wayne Airport.

Before Tuesday's meeting, city staff and the developer of the proposed 240-unit complex at 125 E. Baker St. agreed that the matter should be postponed. The council unanimously complied, and the vote was tentatively scheduled for May 6.

Peter Naghavi, a former Costa Mesa administrator who is representing the developer, Irvine-based Red Oak Investments, said some minor inconsistencies were found in the final environmental impact report, which the council was set to consider.

Sufficient time is needed to fix them, he said.

In the past few months, the apartment complex has received mixed reaction from adjacent businesses and manufacturers in the airport area, where it would be the only residential development east of the 55 Freeway.

Some business owners along Briggs Avenue have opposed it, while a host of others have written to city officials contending that it would be a welcome addition to the area.

Former Huntington Beach Mayor Don Hansen said he supports the project, even though he would lose his space in the 1970s office building that the apartments would replace.


Las Vegas conference

The council unanimously approved funding for four city officials to attend a business conference in Las Vegas from May 18 to 20.

This will be the third year that Costa Mesa has attended the real estate convention hosted by the International Council of Shopping Centers.

The council's approval pays for Mayor Jim Righeimer, Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger, city CEO Tom Hatch and Economic and Development Services Director Gary Armstrong to attend.

The group's goals include introducing Costa Mesa to national and international markets, advertising the benefits of locating a business in Costa Mesa and promoting specific businesses, such as more sit-down restaurants for Harbor Boulevard, according to city documents.

"It went extremely well," Righeimer said last year of the 2013 conference. "I met dozens and dozens of people that are interested in our city."


Committee appointments

The council chose nine men to serve on the Finance Advisory Committee for a two-year term: Jeff Arthur, Jim Fisler, Christopher Graham, Robert Juneman, Tom Pollitt, Richard Riva, Terry Shaw, Colin Smith and Howard Hull.

Arthur also serves as chairman of the Pension Oversight Committee. Pollitt serves on the Charter Committee and is running for the Orange County Board of Education in June.

Fisler, president of the Mesa Water District, was reappointed to the committee, as were Shaw, Riva, Hull and Juneman.

Hull turned in his application late, though the council still approved it. Councilwoman Sandy Genis criticized Hull's tardiness.

"To me, that doesn't speak well of the individual person's interest or commitment to the city if they couldn't find time in two weeks to come in," Genis said. "That's ridiculous."

Frank Davern was chosen to replace David Stiller on the Fairview Park Citizens Advisory Committee. Stiller, 78, died in March. The park's committee members have no set terms.

According to his application, Davern is an avid hiker who walks Fairview Park nearly every morning with his two dogs.

John McQueen was reappointed to the Historical Preservation Committee for a two-year term.

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