Benavides can’t vote on the Renaissance Plan

Busted! Gustavo Arellano, of the OC Weekly, has discovered that Santa Ana Councilman David “Benapuppet” Benavides has a conflict that may preclude him from voting on the Renaissance Plan. Here are a few excerpts from Arellano’s latest post:

Earlier, we discussed the developmental gerrymandering that seemingly allows SanTana mayor Miguel Pulido and councilmember Vince Sarmiento to vote on the city’s Renaissance Specific Plan (RSP), the controversial project that seeks to “diversify” and “revitalize” SanTana’s downtown. Now, the Weekly has learned that another councilmember might have a conflict of interest that would preclude him from voting on the RSP: David Benavides.

Say hola to PrimeUrban, a SanTana-based developer…owns two properties in the RSP zone–one near the SanTana Train Depot they want to turn into 140 residential units, and another on the northeast corner of Minter Street and Santa Ana Boulevard; they plan to turn the latter into Minter Court, a “a boutique residential community that is a unique vision of simple contemporary architecture.” Construction for the latter is scheduled for this winter, pending city approval–and both plans are being developed with an eye toward complying with the RSP.

Where does Benavides fit in? On PrimeUrban’s website, the developer proudly proclaims it’s “committed to giving back to the communities in which it works” (we’d link to the passage, but PrimeUrban has one of those annoying sites that always keeps the same URL). One of the non-profits they list as supporting is KidWorks. Its board chairman? Benavides.

We can’t fault PrimeUrban for buttering up councilmembers, but we can fault Benavides if he votes on the Renaissance Plan. Even if it’s not technically illegal, David, it sure doesn’t look good voting on something that’s going to greatly benefit your amigos.

This Renaissance Plan is really turning into a nightmare for Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido and his council hacks…

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