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Like It or Not, Apartments Coming to Mission Viejo

"Young, drinking, fun-loving adults" coming to Mission Viejo's new apartments? After five hours of debate, the City Council approved plans Monday night to bring a new apartment complex to Los Alisos Boulevard on the former Kmart site.

The City Council on Monday night approved a construction project that will bring to Mission Viejo another 320 apartments, including 48 affordable-housing units.

The complex will sit between the 241 toll road and Los Alisos Boulevard. It was the topic of a five-hour debate in which several residents spoke against the proposed apartments.

Resident Frank Gilliland said he prefers homeowners to renters.

"Owners are better than renters," he said during public comment. "I don't think you have to be a genius to figure that out. People who have a monetary interest in their homes are going to be a lot better representatives of this city."

Resident Carl Hungerford said he was worried that "young, drinking, fun-loving adults" living in the apartments "would soon be zipping up and down Los Alisos Boulevard."

Mayor Dave Leckness said he did not agree with those descriptions of renters.

"They talk about slums, and these renters are going to turn it into a terrible place," he said. "I don't believe in that. I don't think it's correct. Everyone up here, when you left home, you probably went to an apartment."

Council members and proposed to stop the apartments despite approval from the Planning Commission July 11. They were the only two who voted against the project Monday night.

Councilman said fighting the apartments would put the city in danger of lawsuits and further state control.

"If we fight this, I have very little doubt the state of California will come down and say, 'We are done with Mission Viejo,' " he said. "We may win a little battle today and lose the whole thing going forward."

Councilwoman called the state of California "Big Brother" and said the state has come down hard on Mission Viejo in the past for being noncompliant with required affordable-housing offerings.

At that time the state took two pieces of land designated as open space and redesignated them for high-density residential development, Kelley said.

"The state gives us numbers ... and we are expected to comply with them, and if we don't there are consequences," she said.

john printy August 17, 2011 at 04:09 AM
IM all for these new apartments going in on the old K,mart, site, and the reason why I say that is because, that building just sitting there is just a complete eye sore it makes the area look like a getto, so yes again IM all for these new apartments going, in, I think it will make the area a much nicer place to live, and bring more affordble housing to people in mission viejo, because Id rather have a much nicer neighborhood to live in than an area where you have a building that sits empty, and Fenced off, where it can arractt the wrong, people coming in. so again in saying that, IM all for these new apartments going in,............
Peter Schelden August 17, 2011 at 04:53 AM
Hi John, thanks for stopping by and letting us know what you think.
Sharon Cody August 17, 2011 at 01:31 PM
I watched the meeting and the apartment project looks beautiful. Wouldn't it be swell if the teacher in your child's classroom could afford to live in the community where he/she teaches? My son taught middle school for 6 years. Most teachers fresh out of college live in rented apartments and many would qualify to rent "low income" apartments because their salary for doing the most important job on the planet, isn't that great!
Dan Avery August 19, 2011 at 04:24 AM
What I found interesting was Mr. Ury's question to both Schlicht and Reardon about what their specific reason was for filing an appeal. Neither could answer. Also of interest was the city attorney's summary of the law and how the state would not take "a bunch of people got mad" as a convincing argument against the development.
John Lusk October 06, 2011 at 01:53 PM
The comments that people made on Monday night that indicated they would rather have homeowners than renters is rather an antiquated way of thinking. If the Irvine Company (Don Bren) is any indication of where the future of housing is going they are building or planning to build more apartments than houses. As far as "low income" qualifiers are concerned some people didn't do their homework before speaking on Monday. For a family of six, two adults and four children the amount is $86,200 in Orange County. Most of the speakers that spoke on Monday night would probably qualify for low income housing. Folks, this isn't going to be the mega "projects" as in Chicago. Which by the way the City of Chicago bulldozed them down.

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