YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Bixby Ranch Decision Delayed Until Nov. 4

October 23, 1998|HARRISON SHEPPARD

Planning commissioners are expected to rule next month on controversial development plans for the 218-acre Bixby Ranch property.

More than 100 Seal Beach and Rossmoor residents showed up at a hearing Wednesday night to denounce the project. Speaker after speaker told the Planning Commission--which postponed action to Nov. 4 when Bixby Ranch Co. will make its rebuttal--that the project would bring too much traffic and hurt business at the nearby Rossmoor Center.

"It is simply too large, [creates] too much traffic and it destroys the aesthetics of our area," said Joe Siler, a resident of Seal Beach's College Park East neighborhood.

No one except the developer spoke in favor of the entire project, though some members of a proposed 3,500-seat church, the Cottonwood Christian Center, asked for support because the congregation is growing too big for its building in Los Alamitos.

On its property off Seal Beach Boulevard north of Lampson Avenue, the Bixby Ranch Co. hopes to build a 25-acre commercial center, senior living facilities owned by the Marriott Corp., and the 125,000-square-foot church. It also plans to expand the existing golf course from 117 acres to 158 acres and donate the tennis club to the city for public recreation.

The company's latest plan comes after its original proposal to build 98 homes and 125 low-income housing units with a smaller commercial section--was withdrawn in 1995 in the face of likely City Council rejection.

Although that proposal also generated major opposition in the community, most residents say they now prefer it because the latest project would create much more traffic.

If approved, the project is estimated to bring in from $1 million to $1.6 million in tax revenue and create 790 jobs. Residents said they fear that would motivate the city to support the project and ignore their concerns.

Wednesday's hearing will air Sunday on Seal Beach cable Channel 3. Watch Channel 3 for times.

Los Angeles Times Articles