The Costa Mesa City Council on Wednesday approved a new general plan amendment that would allow C.J. Segerstrom & Sons to proceed with a scaled-down plan for its controversial Home Ranch development even if an upcoming citywide vote rejects a larger version of the project.
In an unusual session called to consider various Home Ranch issues, the council also voted to put a referendum on the larger version of the 94-acre project on the Nov. 8 general election ballot. That ballot will also include a slow-growth initiative that would tie future development in the city to improvements in roads and other public services.
If city voters turn down the 3.1-million-square-foot version of Home Ranch, then the smaller, 2.2-million-square-foot version could proceed as a result of the council's 4-1 vote Wednesday night.
Councilman David Wheeler opposed the council majority.
"This flies in the face of the referendum process," Wheeler said of the new general plan amendment. "The correct way to proceed is to determine first what the people want."