City Hall Expansion Halted Amid Talk ...

City Hall Expansion Halted Amid Talk of Disincorporation of City.

There are 1 comment on the story from Sep 16, 2013, titled City Hall Expansion Halted Amid Talk of Disincorporation of City.. In it, reports that:

La Habra Heights, CA - A last minute appeal has been filed by this publication forcing a review of the City’s self-issued Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to expand City Hall on the grounds it violated the City’s own municipal code.

The City staff had originally sought to exempt the City from filing a CUP, but was ultimately required to do so since a portion of the current building is too close in proximity to an adjacent school building.

As a result, the City’s project was exposed to greater scrutiny, which the City had sought to avoid.The project adds 1,500 square feet to City Hall by eliminating parking and enclosing public walkways.

Part of the expansion project includes remodeling City offices for its 9 full time employees. This involves asbestos remediation, re-roofing and updates to the electrical system. The project would also seize the Fire Department’s training and briefing room to allow for larger City staff offices.

The project is expected to cost between $2.4-3 million including design fees.Up until August the City was able to push though much of the project without public input or review, other than what was provided by the “Renovation Committee”.  The committee was created without public notice shortly after a failed Road Tax assessment in 2012.  The City-established and controlled Renovation Committee consists of community members who were selected by and serve under City Manager Shauna Clark’s direction. The Committee did not meet in public, didn’t provide minutes of actions taken, nor were the meetings recorded. It remains unclear how many members make up the committee. What is known is that Planning Commissioner Ray Fernandez is among them.

On August 27, 2013, a Special Meeting of the Planning Commission was held. Among the items on the agenda was the City’s request for a Conditional Use Permit for the City Hall Expansion Project. During the hearing, Commissioner Ray Fernandez failed to recuse himself from the proceedings despite sitting on the City’s Renovation Committee.

Instead Fernandez chose to go after Editor Stephen Blagden who provided testimony at the public hearing regarding safety issues with the project. Fernandez stated Blagden was a "naysayer" and had become “The La Habra Heights Cry Baby./p>

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Exhibit 1

Burbank, CA

#1 Oct 17, 2013
September 30, 2013 hearing -

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