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SANTA ANA : Decision on Market May Not Be Final

August 09, 1995|JEFF KASS

A proposal for a downtown supermarket has been killed by the City Council in a 3-3 deadlock, but the project could be revived in less than two weeks when a seventh council member will be eligible to vote on the issue.

Council members who voted for the project said it would bring much-needed development to a barren area "that suffers from tremendous disinvestment," said Councilman Robert L. Richardson, who supported the plan for the $6-million, 31,500-square-foot Gonzalez Northgate Market project.

Seventeen speakers, including the project's developer, addressed the council.

"Isn't it neat that people will be able to walk down the street and do their shopping?" asked Sam Romero, who owns a business in the area.

Council members who opposed the market, however, said the city would be setting a bad precedent if it approved plans calling for exceptions to parking and landscaping regulations.

Also, the city would have agreed to vacate a one-block section of Mortimer Street for part of the market's parking lot.

Councilman Tony Espinoza did not discuss or vote on the project because he had received campaign contributions from one of the principals in the project. But the statute of limitations on the conflict of interest expires on Aug. 16.

City Clerk Janice C. Guy said Councilman Ted R. Moreno has asked that the council consider another public hearing on the project at its Aug. 21 meeting.

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