Could the Renaissance Plan be a Bisno plot?

It turns out that the controversial Santa Ana Renaissance Plan, which proposes to change the zoning in a huge swath of Santa Ana’s poorest neighborhoods, is not all that original an idea. The City of Baldwin Park is undergoing a very similar plan…and surprise – millionaire developer Robert Bisno has negotiated an exclusive negotiating agreement with the City of Baldwin Park.

Check out this description of the Bisno project in Baldwin Park, “The primary objective of the proposed project is to relieve continuing physical and economic blight in the project area through the comprehensive redevelopment of the downtown with a mixed-use pedestrian and transit oriented master-planned downtown urban village.”

Compare that statement to this description of the Renaissance Plan, “It envisions the expansion of housing, retail and restaurants in the downtown, building on the vibrant mix of existing businesses. The Renaissance Specific Plan reintegrates the Civic Center into the downtown. It emphasizes walkable streets and a range of amenities such as parks and open spaces. The plan will embrace transit opportunities for local and regional transportation.”

Hmmm…pretty darn similar! Even the artwork for the two projects is similar. See the drawing below for the rendition of the Santa Ana Renaissance Plan, and the artwork above for the Baldwin Park drawings.

The Baldwin Park project also has a map that looks like the Renaissance map.

So why should we all be concerned about the similarities between these two projects? Because the “Bisno Development Company plans to seize over 500 homes and businesses in Baldwin Park California by eminent domain to make way for a project the size of about 125 football fields by Century City-based Bisno Development,” as Thomas Gordon reported previously.

I wonder if this is why Bisno has donated thousands of dollars to the Measure D campaign? How convenient. He can keep Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez in office so she can keep voting for his projects. But is Bisno planning to have Alvarez and her council cohorts seize properties in the Renaissance area, so they can give the land to Bisno? If so, this is an insidious plot indeed.

Don’t forget to go to the Santa Ana City Council meeting on Monday night and let the Council know how you feel about these shenanigans and about Measure D.

Also, there will be a meeting between with the City of Santa Ana on Monday Feb. 4th, at 3:00 pm, at Santa Ana City Hall Ross Annex, Conf. Rm. 1600 located at 20 Civic Center Plaza, to discuss the Renaissance Plan and its impact on local businesses.


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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.