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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 12, 1991 | JIM NEWTON
A Superior Court judge said Thursday that he needs more time before considering a motion by a developer to toss out a building moratorium imposed by the City Council last July. The building freeze was enacted after city officials learned that the Orange County district attorney was investigating a land transaction involving 96 acres that had once been set aside for a future park. The council said a moratorium was needed to prevent the rest of the property from being developed.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 29, 1990
Jim Krembas of Laguna Niguel is not a bad fellow. I almost voted for him. The fact that he signed away the Salt Creek Park to developers is not his fault. He didn't do it deliberately, he says. Moreover, he claims that he read it but didn't understand what he was signing. (That's the kind of man we want running our local government. He's honest!) Maybe he couldn't read it properly because he's near-sighted, which is not his fault, or maybe he didn't understand it because it was written in legalese which nobody understands (except lawyers and they don't tell, claiming privilege like a priest)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 11, 1991 | JIM NEWTON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Lawyers for one of Orange County's most prominent developers and one of its youngest cities will face off today as a Superior Court judge takes up a civil suit over how 96 acres once set aside for parkland ended up with more than 100 homes on them. After months of pretrial maneuvering, Judge Floyd H. Schenk is expected this afternoon to hear the first round in a dispute that has pitted Taylor Woodrow Homes California Ltd. against the City of Laguna Niguel.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 30, 1990
Jim Krembas of Laguna Niguel is not a bad fellow. I almost voted for him. The fact that he signed away the Salt Creek Park to developers is not his fault. He didn't do it deliberately, he says. Moreover, he claims that he read it but didn't understand what he was signing. (That's the kind of man we want running our local government. He's honest!) Maybe he couldn't read it properly because he's nearsighted, which is not his fault, or maybe he didn't understand it because it was written in legalese which nobody understands (except lawyers and they don't tell, claiming privilege like a priest)
NEWS
July 15, 1990 | JIM NEWTON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
When Orange County supervisors took up a host of development agreements in early 1988, four months before a heavily favored slow-growth initiative was scheduled to appear on the ballot, local environmentalists howled in protest. The haste to lock in permits would result in mistakes and rob the public of potential benefits, they argued. Their pleas to delay action were ignored: In a heated session on Feb.
NEWS
July 14, 1990 | JIM NEWTON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In addition to investigating a local official who deeded 99 acres of public land to a developer in 1988, the Orange County district attorney is reviewing the role of county employees who indirectly managed the property, according to local leaders. Officials who have been interviewed by investigators said county staff members are not the focus of the probe, but they conceded that some staffers may have made mistakes in overseeing the land. Deputy Dist. Atty. Wallace J.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 20, 1990 | ROSE ELLEN O'CONNOR and GEORGE FRANK, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
In February, 1988, Laguna Niguel officials sat down with a developer to swap some land for the public good: The developer was to give up eight scenic acres of open space and in return Laguna Niguel was to give up three acres of slopes. Last week, the officials were dismayed to learn that they had actually given up not three acres but 96 that were supposed to have been reserved for future parkland.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 17, 1990 | ROSE ELLEN O'CONNOR and GEORGE FRANK, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
In the wake of revelations that a Laguna Niguel city councilman signed away the public's right to 99 acres of potential parkland, the council will meet tonight to consider halting home construction on the property or bringing all building in the city to a halt. A blanket building moratorium should at least be considered while planning officials review remaining planned construction in the city, Councilman Thomas W. Wilson said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 5, 1990 | GEORGE FRANK and ROSE ELLEN O'CONNOR, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
City Councilman Paul M. Christiansen said Thursday that he has been asked to testify before an Orange County Grand Jury panel being convened to investigate a transaction in which public control over 96 acres of open space was deeded to a developer. Christiansen, a critic of the transaction, said district attorney investigators asked him to appear before the panel on Oct. 16. He was a member of the Laguna Niguel Community Service District board in 1988, when then-vice president James F.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 13, 1991 | JIM NEWTON
The City Council will meet in a special closed session Tuesday to review an Orange County Grand Jury report that criticized city officials and others for their part in a controversial 1988 land transaction. "We're going to go over the recommendations of the grand jury and see how they may affect our pending litigation," Mayor Patricia C. Bates said. "We want to talk with our staff and make sure all the procedures are being followed correctly."
NEWS
June 6, 1991 | JIM NEWTON and GEORGE FRANK, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
The public's right to 96 acres of potential Laguna Niguel parkland was signed away in 1988 by inattentive, misinformed public officials and was turned over to a development company that showed "disdain for the system," the Orange County Grand Jury concluded in a report released Wednesday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 30, 1990
Jim Krembas of Laguna Niguel is not a bad fellow. I almost voted for him. The fact that he signed away the Salt Creek Park to developers is not his fault. He didn't do it deliberately, he says. Moreover, he claims that he read it but didn't understand what he was signing. (That's the kind of man we want running our local government. He's honest!) Maybe he couldn't read it properly because he's nearsighted, which is not his fault, or maybe he didn't understand it because it was written in legalese which nobody understands (except lawyers and they don't tell, claiming privilege like a priest)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 25, 1990 | GEORGE FRANK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Two key figures in the criminal investigation of a 1988 Laguna Niguel land transfer spent several hours Wednesday voluntarily testifying before the Orange County Grand Jury. Against the advice of their attorney, former Laguna Niguel Community Services District manager James S. Mocalis and former district board attorney James S. Okazaki carried enlarged copies of development maps and boxes of documents as they entered the grand jury witness room in the County Courthouse.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 17, 1990 | GEORGE FRANK and ROSE ELLEN O'CONNOR, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Prosecutors on Tuesday stepped up the criminal probe into the transfer of control over 96 acres of open space to a South County developer and called key figures in the 1988 transaction before the Orange County Grand Jury. While most of the local and county officials were summoned by subpoena to appear as witnesses, two former Laguna Niguel officials were notified of the proceedings by letter--but not subpoenaed--indicating their conduct may be under special scrutiny by the grand jury.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 5, 1990 | GEORGE FRANK and ROSE ELLEN O'CONNOR, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
City Councilman Paul M. Christiansen said Thursday that he has been asked to testify before an Orange County Grand Jury panel being convened to investigate a transaction in which public control over 96 acres of open space was deeded to a developer. Christiansen, a critic of the transaction, said district attorney investigators asked him to appear before the panel on Oct. 16. He was a member of the Laguna Niguel Community Service District board in 1988, when then-vice president James F.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 1, 1990 | LESLIE EARNEST
The organizers of a petition drive to support a proposed ordinance to protect undeveloped ridgelines in Laguna Niguel say they have gathered enough signatures to place the matter on the Nov. 6 ballot. The campaign received an unexpected boost from the controversy over the development of 96 acres of land that had been set aside for parks. That matter was disclosed in news reports of July 13, the day before the petition drive officially began.
NEWS
July 21, 1990 | ROSE ELLEN O'CONNOR and DAVID WILLMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
District attorney's investigators are examining contradictory documents that raise new questions about whether Laguna Niguel officials approved a 1988 transaction that deeded 96 acres of potential parkland to a housing developer, city officials say. One is a resolution indicating that the Laguna Niguel Community Services District board approved the land deal by a 4-0 vote on Jan. 20, 1988, with then-president Patricia Bates absent.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 8, 1990 | ROSE ELLEN O'CONNOR, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In a dramatic reversal, Orange County Planning Commissioner Thomas Moody on Tuesday defended a decision in 1985 that paved the way for construction of homes on portions of 96 acres in Laguna Niguel previously set aside for public open space. Moody's comments, made in an interview, are the latest twist in the controversy surrounding the disputed 96 acres, now part of the Marina Hills subdivision and the object of a criminal investigation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 1, 1990 | LESLIE EARNEST
The organizers of a petition drive to support a proposed ordinance to protect undeveloped ridgelines in Laguna Niguel say they have gathered enough signatures to place the matter on the Nov. 6 ballot. The campaign received an unexpected boost from the controversy over the development of 96 acres of land that had been set aside for parks. That matter was disclosed in news reports of July 13, the day before the petition drive officially began.
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