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Official Urges 'Ration' of County Space

November 20, 1987|JEFFREY A. PERLMAN | Times Urban Affairs Writer

Responding to criticism of a proposed, countywide slow-growth ballot measure, Irvine City Councilman Ray Catalano said Thursday that Orange County must "ration" space because the county cannot accommodate every person who wants to live here.

"We can't provide roads and homes for everybody who wants to live in Orange County," said Catalano, an urban-affairs professor at UC Irvine, at a transportation forum Thursday in Garden Grove.

"We're going to have to ration it," he said about the county's viable space.

The forum was sponsored by the Orange County Chapter of the American Society of Public Administration, a group of city and county government professionals. About 100 people attended the forum at the Garden Grove Community Center.

Former Irvine Mayor Bill Vardoulis, vice president of Church Engineering, said the proposed initiative, being circulated for signatures to qualify it for the June, 1988, ballot, would "hurt the elderly and the kids" and eventually force them out of the county by driving housing prices up.

Catalano and Vardoulis were joined in a panel discussion about growth and transportation by Irvine Co. Vice President Tom Nielsen; Russ Burkett, executive director of the Citizens' Sensible Growth and Traffic Control initiative campaign, and Building Industry Assn. Executive Director John Erskine, who recently became mayor of Huntington Beach.

Nielsen questioned Burkett's commitment to road construction; Burkett said he would vote for more roads. Erskine said that the initiative will be tied up in the courts for years and that other ways must be found to help reduce congestion quickly.

The proposed ballot measure would require that new roads meet strict traffic flow standards. It also would require developers to pay for traffic improvements to offset any congestion that their projects add to existing streets or intersections. The measure allows growth on condition that police and fire services can maintain a five-minute response time in emergencies.

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