Great Park home fees will go to help homeless
Lennar housing foundation will impose fees on future Great Park homeowners.
By ERIKA CHAVEZ and JEFF COLLINS
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
IRVINE - Future Great Park homeowners will pay a fee to the nonprofit Lennar Charitable Housing Foundation, which funnels money to homeless programs.
Planning Commissioner Adam Probolsky wanted to ban such fees, calling them an "underhanded effort to line the pockets of a foundation with (Lennar's) name on it." But he backed off when Assistant City Attorney Jeff Melching told him the city does not have the land-use authority to impose a ban.
Instead, Probolsky amended Lennar's preliminary plans, requiring the company to disclose the "private transfer fees" to prospective homeowners prior to escrow. The amendment was approved 3-2 at a Thursday night meeting.
Probolsky objects to forcing homebuyers to give to charities chosen by Lennar's housing foundation, and burdening homeowners when they try to resell.
The Lennar Corp., which bought the former El Toro Marine base, began imposing the fees on its California homes in 2001, requiring that buyers pay a twentieth of a percent of the sale price of a home to its nonprofit foundation, or $500 on the purchase of a $1 million home, and again every time the home is resold.
Jeff Roos, Lennar's Southwestern U.S. regional president, said the fees have raised almost $6 million so far for charities including HomeAid America and Habitat for Humanity.
For more on the Great Park go to http://www.ocregister.com/greatpark.
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