Polls will be open today from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 37 precincts for Fountain Valley voters to decide whether a 140-acre strawberry field should be rezoned to allow a retail center and office complex.
A "yes" vote would approve the zoning change and the specific plan outlining details of the project, known as Southpark. A "no" vote would reject the Southpark plan altogether.
The project calls for development of a 30-acre retail shopping center, with the remaining 110 acres to be converted into a business park for research and development and light industrial uses. The area proposed for development is bounded by Euclid Street on the west, the Santa Ana River on the east, Slater Avenue on the north and Talbert Avenue on the south.
Proponents claim the retail project would be a major source of income for the city, generating at least $1.5 million in annual sales taxes for the largely suburban city. But opponents, who succeeded in qualifying the referendum for a citywide vote after the City Council approved the plan, have argued that the project is unnecessary and would cause perpetual traffic congestion on neighborhood streets.