08 January 2009

A New Twist on Canyon Crest!

I've been informed that the Brea City Council will not be deliberating on the proposed Canyon Crest housing tract at their 20 January meeting, which was supposed to address the issue of whether to revise the Environmental Impact Report in light (oops) of the effects of November's Freeway Complex Fire, which tore through the site and virtually the entirety of the Brea side of Carbon Canyon.

The reason is that the city has asked The Shopoff Group, the project developer for $30,000 with which to make this investigation, the issue arising at a December council meeting at which Hills for Everyone, one of the main opponents of Canyon Crest for over a decade, submitted a lengthy letter and supporting documentation and comments requesting the reevaluation. This money has not, it seems, be delivered.

Moreover, it appears that The Shopoff Group already owes the city an additional $75,000, which has gone unpaid for a period of time, to the extent that the old "the check is in the mail" line has started, evidently, to wear a little thin.

Now, who knows for sure what all of this means. It is possible that Shopoff will come up with the $105,000 and the process will continue. Then again, given the fact that Shopoff has been trying to sell the property for quite some time, has had a construction partner that has gone bankrupt, and is facing a rapidly worsening real estate market and general economy, maybe the company won't be able to come up with the cash.

If this latter scenario were to be the case, the project, as it is now constituted with Shopoff as developer, would be terminated.

Someday, however, there will be a buyer for this land--the crux for Shopoff has, apparently, always been that the "golden ticket" to enhancing the value of the land and maximizing profit is the approval of the project by the city and the certification of that tract map, which is essentially valid forever.

The point is: let's just see what transpires over the next few weeks, see if Shopoff comes up with the $105K, and then see what the city does from there.

Stay tuned!

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