Council Approves Angels Negotiations and OCWD/Power Plant Items; Elects Kris Murray Mayor Pro Tem

The Anaheim City Council last night took an important step in the fight against the building of a 400 megawatt power plant on the Ball Road Basin, adjacent to the Anaheim Auto Center and very near residential neighborhoods and the eastern entertainment gateway to the city.

Ball Road Basin Power Plant
Support by a strong turnout of Stop the Power Plant coalition activists, the council approved a resolution proposed by Councilwoman Kris Murray stating that “if a special district or other government agency seeks to lease, sell, or develop property within Anaheim’s city limits, then the special district or other government agency should be subject to the City’s planning process to ensure orderly and consistent development with the surrounding community and uses, to the extent permitted by law; and 2) To direct representatives appointed by the Council, who may sit on a special district or government agency, communicate the positions expressed in this Resolution to the special district on which that member serves.”

The OCWD voted last week, in the face of intense community opposition, to lease the Ball Road Basin to Competitive Power Ventures for the construction of a power plant. CPV hopes to obtain a contract with Edison to provide power for its customers (Anaheim residents receive their power from the city utility). Since it is a power plant use, CPV bypasses the city planning process and the ordinary EIR process, and goes straight to the California Energy Commission for approval; the CEC approval process includes its own environmental review component.

The same resolution was also on the Fullerton City Council agenda last night, and was adopted on a 3-1-1 vote. Mayor Doug Chaffee and Councilmembers Jennifer Fitzgerald and Jan Flory voted in favor of it, while Mayor Pro Tem Greg Sebourn opposed it and Councilman Bruce Whitaker abstained. Whitaker is the Fullerton City Council’s representative on the OCWD Board of Directors, and voted in favor of leasing Ball Road Basin to CPV (Flory spokes against the lease at that OCWD Board meeting. As Fullerton’s OCWD representative, the latter provision of the adopted resolution would apply to him going forward.

Angels Negotiations
The council also adopted, unanimously, a plan requested by Kris Murray to engage Anaheim residents with accurate information and updates on the negotiations with the Angels through a series of community meetings to be held at the Anaheim Convention Center. From the staff report:

City staff has identified January 14, 2014 and January 30, 2014 as dates to conduct communitywide workshops to be held in the evening at the Anaheim Convention Center. These workshops will be advertised via the City’s website, Facebook page, email to anyone opting in to receive City news, outreach to local media, and the Convention
Center marquee, inviting all residents, businesses and stakeholders to a presentation on the following topics –

• an outline of why negotiations are taking place
• a discussion on the mutual goals of the City and Angels Baseball
• a discussion on the Major League Baseball marketplace
• Angels Baseball benefits to the City and community
• a discussion on the current lease agreement
• an outline of the negotiation framework and process
• development opportunities available within the stadium district

This is to the good.

Mayor Pro Tem
Councilwoman Kris Murray was nominated by Mayor Tom Tait to be Mayor Pro Tem, and that nomination was approved unanimously. It’s good to see that kind of unanimity on this council, and it would be equally good to see more bridging of the divides on this council.

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