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Costa Mesa Project Clears Hurdle

Land use: The City Council approves an environmental report for Home Ranch, the Segerstrom clan's housing/commercial complex.


An environmental impact report for Costa Mesa's long-debated Home Ranch housing and commercial project won City Council approval Monday night.

The 4-1 vote gave C.J. Segerstrom & Sons, which built South Coast Plaza and other landmarks in Costa Mesa, the right to develop 93 acres of what are now lima bean fields near the San Diego Freeway and Harbor Boulevard.

The council stopped short of approving Segerstrom's specific development plan, which calls for 192 homes, an IKEA home-furnishings store and thousands of square feet of office space. The council will vote on that later.

"We have a couple of second readings, but it's a go," Mayor Libby Cowan said after Monday's action.

The residential part of the project would include $300,000 townhouses and single-family homes ranging in price from $350,000 to $450,000.

A group of residents opposed the project because of the resulting increase in air pollution and traffic.

The Home Ranch project has been debated for more than a decade. The developer's previous proposals have been rejected because critics considered them too dense and with too much rental property. The latest plan calls for no rental units.

In one version, Segerstrom proposed 400 rental units, "but that was shot dead on arrival. There was no support for it," said Paul Freeman, a Segerstrom spokesman. "We had proposed more affordable housing, but the community and the majority of the council don't want it," Freeman said. "We agree that affordable housing is an issue, but a lot of communities, including Costa Mesa, don't want it."

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