ORANGE COUNTY, CA-The Cypress City Council Monday adopted an urgency ordinance at a special meeting declaring a 45-day moratorium on development of property surrounding the Los Alamitos Race Track and Golf Course Redevelopment Project, pending further staff review.

The purpose of the moratorium, which could last an additional 10 months, if needed, is to give staff time to study a proposed change in the land use of the property from professional office buildings to retail space that would include a restaurant row. Such a change would require an amendment to the city’s Specific Plan for the designated area and voter approval as a result of the passage of Measure D on Nov. 3, 1987.

“We would have to go through the entire specific plan amendment process. That could take six months to a year,” says Felice Acosta, interim community development director. “There are a lot of steps involved.”

The 15 parcels under consideration have multiple owners. In order to proceed with the process, the Redevelopment Agency authorized staff on Sept. 26, 2000 to forward invitations to the property owners to participate in the potential redevelopment of their properties within the redevelopment project area. Whether the owners indicate their interest and capability in participating will determine if the city will negotiate a fair price based on an appraisal of the property. If the parties cannot come to terms on a purchase, the city may institute eminent domain proceedings to acquire the property.

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