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Orange County Focus

HUNTINGTON BEACH : Builder Asks City to Create Fee District

April 23, 1993|BILL BILLITER

The builder of the Holly-Seacliff development is asking the city to create a special district that would help reimburse the company for streets and other infrastructure, a move that has angered some nearby property owners.

Seacliff Partners is developing Holly-Seacliff, a 768-acre area northwest of downtown. Plans call for up to 3,780 housing units on the property.

The company has a development agreement with the city that was approved by the City Council in 1990. The agreement says the city "shall use its best efforts" to reimburse Seacliff Partners for building such infrastructure as streets.

Seacliff Partners officials say they believe that the most feasible way for the city to reimburse the company is by creating a "cost reimbursement district," which could levy fees on property owners near the Holly-Seacliff project.

The fees would not be assessed on existing homes in the area. Rather, they would be levied on owners of undeveloped land in the area once the property is built upon.

"We think this is a reasonable way for the city to reimburse us," said Bill Holman, an official with Seacliff Partners.

But some property owners are strongly opposed to the idea, according to former Mayor Robert Mandic. Mandic, who owns property that would be affected by such a levy, said Seacliff Partners' construction does not benefit the land he owns. Mandic said he and other property owners plan to protest the special district proposal at a hearing Tuesday.

The City Council was informed Monday about the developer's request for the special district. Council members looked grim as they heard the proposal, but no one commented for or against the suggestion. The council said a decision will be made sometime in the future.

City Atty. Gail C. Hutton, in a written legal opinion, told the council that the development agreement does not specifically require the city to create a special district.

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