Settlement Proposed In Angels Stadium Redevelopment Dispute

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ANAHEIM (CNS) - Anaheim and state officials today announced they have worked out a settlement of a legal dispute involving affordable housing related to the Angels Stadium redevelopment project.

Anaheim City Council members are set to discuss the deal -- which will mean more overall affordable housing in the city of Anaheim but less affordable housing at the stadium site -- when they meet Tuesday. The proposal, if approved by the City Council, will be brought before an Orange County Superior Court judge to sign off on this month or next month.

As part of the deal, Anaheim will set aside about $123 million for affordable housing throughout the city, with $96 million dedicated to the creation of affordable housing within the next five years, and the rest going toward 466 apartments on site at the stadium for low-income residents.

What had been in dispute was how much affordable housing should be created at the stadium site. City officials argued that affordable housing elsewhere in the city could be constructed faster than waiting on the Angels Stadium project to be completed. They said it could have taken up to 25 years to build affordable housing into the stadium deal because in part it would require parking structures as well.

State officials were pursing a violation of the Surplus Land Act, which requires promotion of affordable housing on unused or underutilized public land in the state. But Anaheim officials argued it had a lease agreement with the Angels and that it did not violate the Surplus Land Act in the deal with the baseball club.

The agreement resolves the issue with the city not having to concede any violation of the Surplus Land Act.

``California is facing a housing crisis of epic proportions and it's going to take all of us, working together, to solve it,'' Attorney General Rob Bonda said.

``This proposed judgment shows what a successful partnership can look like -- and how state and local governments can work together to promote affordable housing in a community. I call on the City Council to approve the proposed judgment, which would dedicate more than $123 million to fund the construction of affordable housing on an expedited timeline and could result in more than 1,000 new affordable homes. This is a win for the community and a win for the state.''

Mayor Harry Sidhu said city leaders ``welcome the proposed agreement with our state partners. It would move our stadium plan forward and bring with it the largest investment in affordable housing in our city's history. On behalf of Anaheim, I extend our city's appreciation to California for working with us to find a path forward. I welcome the opportunity to consider this agreement with my City Council colleagues.''

The deal also would move the $319.8 million sale of the stadium to the baseball club forward with the transaction on track to close in the second half of the year, city officials said.

The purchase price for the stadium of 151 acres is $319.8 million.

The city will receive $148.7 million with $95.9 million in new cash for the city's affordable housing fund, $46.2 million for a 7-acre park, $27.7 million for affordable apartments at the stadium site, and $1.2 million for maintenance around the Stadium Gateway offices overseen by the city.

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