More housing, talk of lawsuits in Irvine Business Complex
City Council approves two residential projects Tuesday night; on Monday 19 city officials were ordered to give depositions in a lawsuit filed by Allergan Inc. against the city.
By SONYA SMITH
IRVINE WORLD NEWS
Two more residential developments are approved for the Irvine Business Complex.
Tuesday night the council approved both the 2851 Alton and Martin St. Condos projects. The same night, council members withdrew approval of the 2323 Main project (approved as a residential project, which drew lawsuits by two businesses and two cities and is now slated to be a commercial project.
The industrial area near John Wayne Airport has 3,969 residences built, 3,953 residences approved for construction and 5,924 residences awaiting approval.
Also at the Tuesday meeting, during a discussion on 2851 Alton, Assistant City Attorney Jeff Melching said that in a lawsuit regarding residential development in Irvine Business Complex filed by Allergan Inc., 19 city officials have been ordered to give depositions (testimony before a trial begins). The 19 includes all five council members, City Manager Sean Joyce, three planning commissioners, two former planning commissioners, the director of planning and development, and seven other city employees.
The proposal is to build 170 condos next to a condominium project already under construction at Jamboree Road and Alton Parkway. The Irvine Business Complex project would have the condos built in four-story units wrapped around a parking garage. The proposal was approved with a 4-1 vote by the council (Christina Shea dissenting) and was previously, unanimously supported by the Planning Commission.
Shea said she voted against the project because it is nearby Lockheed Martin and she wants to protect industrial businesses and future residents from each other.
The developer's consultant, Tim Strader Jr., president of Starpointe Ventures, spoke in favor of the project. David Hunt, attorney representing Allergan Inc., spoke against the project. Allergan's request to deny the project and appeal the Planning Commission's approval were both denied. Council members who approved the project commended its design and said the condos are a mile and a half away from Allergan – too far away, council members said, to interfere with the business.
MARTIN ST. CONDOS
The proposal is to build 82 condominiums in the Irvine Business Complex at the northwest corner of Von Karman Avenue and Martin Street with four-stories in a U-shape built over two levels of underground parking. The council approved the project with a 3-2 vote (Shea and Steven Choi dissenting). The Planning Commission previously recommended approval with a 4-1 vote (Commissioner Greg Smith dissenting).
Many of the same arguments for and against 2851 Alton were presented for this residential project. Council members voting for the proposal said the apartments are 500 feet from Allergan, but are next to built and approved residences that were unopposed by Allergan.
Shea and Choi, who opposed the project, said Allergan is a key business and that the condo project is a threat to future, expanded operations by the company.
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