Moreover, Roth said, special legislation signed into law by Gov. Deukmejian in 1986 prevents the county from using any state bond money to build a jail on the Katella-Douglass site. That means the county would have to finance the $950-million project on its own.
Uncertainty Over Site
But Supervisor Vasquez said the county can not afford to reduce its jail options because of continuing uncertainity over where a new facility will be built.
"It is imperative to preserve all options so we are not backed into a position of the federal court stepping in and making a decision for us (on a jail site)," said Vasquez, whose district includes Gypsum Canyon, just south of the Riverside Freeway and east of Anaheim Hills. Both Gypsum Canyon and Katella-Douglass have been highly controversial, spawning lawsuits, intense local opposition and dividing the supervisors.
Lacking the votes to keep the proposal alive, Roth decided after the board's executive session not to seek a vote at today's supervisor's meeting to drop the jail site designation from the Katella-Douglass property. That action would have cleared the way for the board to officially consider the sale of the parcel to Anaheim.
Supervisor Wieder blamed Anaheim, in part, for the deal's collapse. She criticized the city for making an offer on a parcel of county land that had been set aside for another use.
"How could the city of Anaheim talk about buying a piece of property with a clouded title?" Wieder said. "It was like putting a gun to our backs and saying, 'Undeclare it so we can buy--or else.' That's no way to do business."
Wieder and Vasquez said that even if a jail is not built at Katella-Douglass, the county should consider leasing that site rather than selling it. Wieder said a May 10 report from the county auditor recommends leasing county property as way to generate revenue and build equity for its real estate holdings.
In Anaheim, Ruth said he will present a report about the city's arena options to the council June 6.
Of the two alternative sites under consideration, Ruth said the 12 acres at the corner of State College and Katella is the preferred parcel. Community Bank owns 7 acres; Kiewet Realty of Anaheim owns the other 5.
The second site under consideration is just a block north of Katella along Douglass Road. That 7-acre parcel is owned by the Phoenix Club, a 3,000-member German Club that meets about four days a week.
"Obviously they do not want to move," Ruth said of the club. "The catch is to find them another site."
Ruth added that club officials are willing to sell the parcel, however, if another site could be found. The city has proposed three alternate locations to the club. But Ruth declined to put a price tag on the club's property.
Arena parking remains the overriding concern for either the Community Bank or Phoenix Club properties, Ruth said. County negotiators told him they would be still be willing to lease a nearby 17-acre vacant lot along the Santa Ana River for parking if the Phoenix Club site is chosen.
The Community Bank site, valued at $1 million an acre, would require shared parking with Anaheim Stadium for an estimated 20% of the proposed arena events, Ruth said.
That may pose some problems, he added.
The one advantage of the bank site is that the land is for sale and could be bought immediately, Ruth said.