Urban Renewal Plan Translates To Job Loss And Gentrification

<p>This editorial from the <em>Orange County Register</em> bemoans the urban renewal process proposed in a new specific plan for the city of Santa Ana that some say will gentrify the city's downtown and eliminate many industrial jobs.</p>
December 28, 2007, 8am PST | Nate Berg
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"Where's the outrage, I keep wondering, over the city of Santa Ana's latest plan to remake the city's core area based on a cookie-cutter urban-renewal idea? Why aren't more Santa Ana citizens mad as hell over this carefully orchestrated city plan to drive out long-running industrial businesses that offer good-paying jobs and replace them, and existing family neighborhoods, with high-rise condos and apartments? Why aren't Santa Ana residents up in arms at an effort to gentrify the downtown, in a fairly obvious effort to replace the city's Mexican-themed atmosphere with something more in keeping with a yuppie clientele?"

"It's hard to imagine a rebirth of central Santa Ana based on a high-density housing plan, just as Lennar and other housing developers are retrenching in response to a busted housing bubble. But even if the planners' vision is correct for 10 to 20 years down the road, the plan offers nothing more than the same old central planning. I'd call it the 'Forced Gentrification Plan' or the 'Send Good-Paying Industrial Jobs to Rialto Plan' or, as one person said sardonically, 'Remove the Poor Mexicans from Downtown Santa Ana Plan.'"

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Published on Sunday, December 23, 2007 in Orange County Register
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