The OUSD school board’s two year push to sell the old Peralta school property and end the lease with Super Sports should be reconsidered. The terms OUSD has associated with the property such as surplus, vacant, or not utilized are inaccurate. This leads citizens to envision a vacant lot with tumbleweeds blowing across it. In reality, the Super Sports Complex at Peralta serves over 6000 kids a month in six sports and theater! Most of these children, interestingly enough, are from the OUSD system of schools. The site also houses Olive Crest Academy, a school helping at risk children who might otherwise struggle in the normal classroom environment so they can get back to the regular classroom. They do this by utilizing low teacher to student ratios and special programs. Although the activities at this site are not directly run by OUSD, their students are certainly making great use of it. The current management from Super Sports is now trying to renew their lease and have come up with a fiscally sound plan to continue at the site and to support OUSD and the community. They plan to update and expand the facility to draw even more community use and income for OUSD. They propose expanding the number of privately run schools on the site to increase revenue and relieve OUSD school crowding. As a bonus, at the end of the lease, OUSD (tax payers) still control the site. The community sorely needs recreational open space and this can be part of the solution for that problem. There has been a recent push for a school bond to upgrade OUSD schools. This idea is well founded and anyone visiting our school facilities would agree it is past due. However, tying the bond issue to the sale of surplus property only confuses both issues. They are separate issues that need to be discussed independently. The amount of income generated from the sale of Peralta is insufficient to solve the problems of upgrading the schools. We need to preserve this open space to provide recreation areas for the community, to generate income for OUSD, and to preserve the site in case schools are needed in the future. Once sold, the site will be filled up with homes and the possibility of a future school or open space will be gone forever. We have learned from our neighbors in the eastern part of the city that once a developer buys land they may say they will keep the current zoning but then they do what they can to get maximum income from the site which means fighting to change the zoning. Please let your voices be heard. Contact OUSD school board members with your support for Super Sports or this opportunity will very soon be gone.
There was a great turnout at the Save Peralta meeting at the Peralta site on Saturday, February 15 at 10 am.
Jason and Layna updated the community about what has been going on with the Peralta site since the last School Board meeting where the Fairfield lease development was voted down by the OUSD school board 7-0 due to large public outcry. They made it clear that our work is not finished. A decision still has to be made about the property. They asked everyone to work continue to Save Peralta. We need to stay active in local elections. We need to actively support candidates who support our community and are not backed by developers. We need to actively work to keep Kathy Moffat and Diane singer in office. We need to actively work to ensure that Tim Surridge and Rick Ledesma do not get reelected because they listen to developers and not citizens of OUSD. They encouraged people to continue to go to the OUSD School Board meetings and continue to let board members know we are actively trying to save the Peralta site from developers who would destroy our neighborhood. They stated that although there are many things going on such as the bond issue, the primary focus of Save Peralta right now is to focus on saving this property.
Upcoming OUSD School board Meetings are at 6:00 at these locations:
Thursday 2/20 at Canyon High School
Thursday 3/13 at El Modena High School
Thursday 3/27 at Villa Park High School
If you would like to speak, get there 15 minute early and fill out a blue card.
There were many neighbors and members of OUSD in attendance. Also in attendance from OUSD School Board were Alexia Deligianni and Kathy Moffat. From the Orange City Council, Mike Alvarez and Denis Bilodeau were in attendance and gave their support for saving Peralta. Alexia Delgianni said at the end that she supports our neighborhood. That is good news because OUSD School Board needs 5 votes to sell Peralta. Diane Singer and Kathy Moffat also oppose the sale of the property. They will not be able to sell the property if the 3 of them continue to oppose its sale.
Jason, the general manager of Super Sports, gave an impressive presentation telling why Super Sports needs to be saved. He gave information and statistics about how the center has supported our community over the last two decades. They hope to extend their lease. They have put together a new plan where they want to continue to have sports and schools on the property. They hope to expand and bring in more revenue for OUSD. They would like to continue many of the current programs as well as bring in another school and upgrade the facilities. He brought speakers who have utilized the facility and they told their personal stories of the positive impact Super Sports has had on their lives. Coaches from OUSD schools told how the facility improved their programs. Olive Crest is the school currently on the site and they would like to expand. They take in OUSD students and provide services to at risk students who are then able to go back to OUSD schools. As part of the lease, they would be willing to leave if the property was ever needed by OUSD for another school site. The property could continue to enrich our community and continue to be a school site in the future with this plan.
Right now, there are a few ideas about utilizing the Peralta site.
One group opposes the sale of the Peralta property. That includes those leading Save Peralta and most of the neighbors who have been following this closely. They want to keep the Peralta site out of the hands of developers who would be picked by the current OUSD Board majority. These same member supported the development by Fairfield. There is distrust of these members and Save Peralta wants to actively work on the election to reelect those that have supported the community and vote out those who have put the agenda of developers over the wishes of the community. Super Sports continuing on the site is the best plan that has been presented to keep it open space, generate income for OUSD, support our community, and preserve the land in case a school would be needed in the future.
Some neighbors are not opposed to selling the property and so the land can be developed under the current zoning. However, all indicators show that probably would not happen. What developers have done in the eastern part of our city is probably what would happen here. They would buy the land and indicate they would keep the current zoning of houses with large lots. Then they would give excuses why that would not be profitable and come up with a plan for a zoning change with high density homes. We would be right back to where we started – trying to fight more high density housing in our neighborhood.
The majority on the OUSD School Board now want to sell Peralta and other surplus sites. These are the same men that wanted to lease the property to Fairfield: Board Trustees Surridge, Ledesma, Ortega, and Wayland. There has not been much talk about it at the OUSD meetings yet but selling Peralta has been on the closed session agendas. The reasoning for selling Peralta is that the schools need to be improved and they want to pass a bond to do that. They believe that selling the properties would be necessary to pass a bond and to add to the money to improve the schools. These board members continue to tie all kinds of issues together that need to be separated because they are not dependent on each other. Selling surplus properties and passing a bond are two totally different issues and should be discussed separately. Selling Peralta would be a very insignificant amount of money to add to school improvement. Selling it would lose a potential school site. It would close down a facility that positively impacts our community.
Thank you to all that are continuing to work to Save Peralta and to protect and preserve our neighborhood! We have been successful in the past and we will continue to be successful in the future if we all work together.
Does this sound familiar?
The Orange County Water District (OCWD) is considering leasing the Ball Road Basin — 20 acres of land along the Santa Ana River next to Ball Road and the 57 Freeway – to Competitive Power Ventures to build a 300 to 600 megawatt power plant.
A group of neighbors and businesses have come together to fight the project. They oppose the power plant want to use the land for a park not a power plant.
If you are interested in learning more or getting more involved and supporting another group of neighbors trying to stop this development, there are links below to help you.
Here is a website the group started:http://www.stopthepowerplant.com/about-us/
It starts with this: We are community-based coalition of Anaheim residents and businesses who oppose a plan to build a massive new power plant in Anaheim along the Santa Ana River – near existing Anaheim neighborhoods and businesses. We support the City of Anaheim’s proposal to build a much-need sports park on the same site. We support a Sports Park, not a Power Plant!
Here is their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/StopThePowerPlant
Here is an article from the OC Register about the project: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/power-534763-plant-meeting.html
Stay aware and involved. We can continue to make a difference.
Thank you to all of you for every big and little thing that you did to stop the horrible Peralta development.
Thank you to all of our elected officials that supported and helped us during this journey.
It is amazing that our little neighborhood came together in such a big way.
We need to not forget that we can work together to make great things happen.
Although this project has been stopped, out fight is not over.
A decision has not been made about what to do with the Peralta site.
We need continue to stay aware and involved.
We need to work to get responsible School board members elected in the fall.
We need to get rid of those that do not listen to the electorate and/or threaten them.
You can read more about the School board meeting: OUSD vote 7-0 to stop Project.
You can find it at: http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/
There is an interesting article at Greater Orange News that talks about a waiver for the Peralta Property or it must become open space . That waiver runs out in November. It also has information that surplus properties were NEVER a factor in those voting for bonds. The article included this information about surplus properties:
That waiver received in 2011 was to free OUSD from the California Education Codes that preserves surplus school property as open space. Without the waiver, the California Education Code dictates that surplus school property’s priority goes to being parks or recreation. The CDE waiver allowed OUSD to not complying with the California state requirements to offer the property first to public agencies for parks or recreation or to benefit non-profit organizations required in the surplus property procedures in the California Education Codes 17464-17465 and 17485 et seq.
For more information CLICK ON: CEC 17464 and CEC 17485
You can read the whole article from Tuesday, October 22. It is titles: Peralta Apartment Vote on Thursday/ As OUSD’s waiver from open space requirements set to end on Nov 10th .. Peralta Site Vote on this week’s Oct 24 Board Meeting Agendas a Community Bond group seeks a rushed “package deal”
School Board Meeting Thursday, October 24- Voting to stop the Fairfield Plan at Peralta will most likely be on the agenda
The next School Board Meeting is Thursday, October 24 at 7:00 at the OUSD District Offices on the corner of Handy and Katella. Most likely they will be voting to stop the Fairfield Plan at Peralta. It is amazing that with all of the hard work done by our neighborhood, that we have been heard and this project may be stopped.
Unfortunately, that does not mean that our work will be finished. The majority of the board wants to sell all surplus properties. No decision has been made about what to do with the Peralta property. It is possible that they might just sell it to a company like Fairfield who may want to develop it the same way. Then we will be starting all over again. With all of the opposition over the last year and a half, hopefully that won’t happen but it is a strong possibility.
The last study done on the Peralta property done by OUSD says that is should remain a school. More information needs to be gathered before the land is sold. Keeping it a school or open space could still be the best use for our neighborhood. We wouldn’t have to go through another long process of trying to fight a developer. It could be a good thing for OUSD and our community.
We are not finished.
We need to keep working to ensure that the Peralta property is developed in a way that doesn’t harm our neighborhood.
No zoning change.
We need to continue to protect and preserve our neighborhood!
You haven’t heard much about Peralta lately so here are a few updates. There has been much going on behind the scenes and a few things that need to be shared.
1. Most likely, there will be a vote at the next OUSD School board Meeting to stop the Fairfield plan. However, attached to it will most likely be an item that all surplus properties has to be sold. The next OUSD School Board meeting is on Thursday October 24 at 7:00 pm. No agenda has been posted More information will be available at this site: http://www.orangeusd.k12.ca.us/board/calendar.asp
2. A group of local business people are working on a school bond measure in OUSD. Their intentions are good – they want to pass a bond to improve all of the high schools in the district. This group has received input from Tim Surridge and Rick Lesdesma. They are trying to get all of the school board members to back their plan. Their plan includes the necessity to sell all surplus properties and they want to get it on the ballot quickly- at the November 2014 election. That is the same election where the school board positions held by Tim Surridge, Rick Ledesma, Diane Singer, and Kathy Moffat will be on the ballot. Kathy Moffat and Diane Singer are strongly in favor of passing a school bond. However, they have voiced their concerns about moving too quickly and things tied to this bond measure. They feel that the surplus property is a separate issue and needs to be separate from the bond.
School Bond Proposal from local business group:
There is a proposal for a school bond being put together by a group of local business people. They strongly want out neighborhood to back them. There are lots og good reasons to back a bond bond but there are a few points where our neighborhood probably will strongly disagree with them.
1. They think we have the victory on the Peralta property and need to put all of that aside and join with them to back this bond proposal. We are bad winners if we don’t. Our neighborhood doesn’t claim any victory yet. There has been no vote. From past experience, we know we can’t trust the part of the board that has backed the Fairfield development . Most likely it won’t be a clean vote. They will attach the sale of all surplus property to the vote and it may change how we view the vote. We will see what happens….?
2. They are in a huge hurry to get this measure on the ballot in November. They think interest rates will go up. They think it is irresponsible of us not to join their effort immediately because if the interest rate goes up, the bond cost could be more. Our neighbors have seen there are more important things that need to be done first. The majority of voters will not be influenced by the interest rate as a reason to vote for the a bond in a hurry. They have tried to pass two other OUSD school bonds in the past. Does anyone know the interest rate from those bonds? Did it make a difference in your decision to vote for or against it?
3. The motivation to move forward quickly is probably for a different reason. Most likely, Mr.Surridge and Mr.Ledesma are trying to appease the developers that backed them- once again- and not our neighborhood. They finally realize that there is too much opposition to the Fairfield plan to get it passed. So they are trying to get all of the surplus property sold and get the bond through quickly so that their developer friends will have other potential opportunities in our district. They hope that will make their developers support them again at the next election.
4. They say there is momentum in the community now to get a bond passed. They overlook where that momentum came from– our neighborhood and the extended OUSD community that has joined us to fight this horrible development at Peralta. People have been going to school board meetings. People know the names of school board members. People know who they like and dislike on the board. People see the dysfunction on the board and don’t like it. When was the last time there was a school board election that you really knew the candidates and made a responsible selection? Unfortunately, for most people that may be never. People often skip that vote or randomly select a candidate. I don’t think that will happen at the next election -thanks to our neighborhood. Many neighbors can’t wait to vote. They know who they will not vote for and who they will actively support with campaign contributions and spreading information to friends and neighbors.
Most people win our neighborhood who have been following the school board think these things need to happen before they would vote for a bond:
1. First, we need to focus on the November 2014 OUSD School board election and vote in a school board we can trust. That means finding some good candidates who want to do what is right for education and our community – not indebted to developers. We need to actively work to vote out some members and actively support others. That needs to be our focus before a school bond is on the ballot. We need to use the momentum created by our neighborhood to do something good for OUSD – get a strong, respected school board elected that will make responsible decisions.
2. The surplus property needs to be separated from both the Fairfield vote and the bond measure. They are all separate. Each surplus property has different issues. They need to be evaluated individually and the right decision made for each. The last study done on Peralta said it should remain a school. Yet all of the talk at school board meetings by those that support Fairfield is that it is surplus and must be sold. Studies need to be done and facts and figures analyzed so that the right decisions are made for each property. There is no rush on this yet. They are creating the illusion that it needs to be done in a hurry and including it as part of voting down the Fairfield deal at Peralta. The business group says that no one will vote for a bond if there is surplus property. Our neighbors are much smarter than that and will look at everything now that we have been watching the school board so carefully. They are separate issues and there is no need to tie them together.
3. The school bond issue should be after the November 2014 election so we know who the new Trustees will be on our OUSD School Board. After all that has been heard and seen at the school board meetings, many could be in favor of a school bond. It is good for schools, our community, and our property values if schools are good. However, there is general feeling from many neighbors that they would NEVER vote to give more money to Mr. Surridge and Mr. Ledesma. They cannot be trusted. They would not vote for a bond if there is a chance that these men will be in charge of that money
It is clear that our neighborhood was united in fighting the 380 high density apartments at Peralta. Once that plan is stopped, there will be many diverse opinions about the property and the OUSD School Board. It will be a good thing that we are all aware of what has been going on and there may be some interesting ideas generated that were never thought of before. That discussion will be good – even though we may not stay so united. We are all united in trying to keep our neighborhood safe and strong and we want the Peralta property developed responsibly – no zoning change. We need to work together to make sure that happens.
Here are some thoughts from neighbors about all that has been going on —
I don’t believe interest rate have any thing to do with it, most people (citizen of Orange)believe the OUSD is a money pit and have wasted a lot of money and time trying to get funds they don’t want the citizen to know about. Will this bond let them use money for other things that should have been used to keep the building repaired?
People or tired of school’s away need more money and government is taking more of our money everday.Mr.Surridge and Mr.Ledesma these two should not be trusted with any thing, they don’t understand they work for ‘We the People’
I general I agree with the above, I am more against bond than you appear to be because We (my wife and I) live on a fix income and have put our children thru school and don’t buy any of the ‘BS’ they have put out about their needs. Chapman College don’t need bonds to run their school why should OUSD need then.
I agree with most everything you said, especially about a school bond being voted on AFTER the Nov. 2014 election. I don’t want to entrust Surridge and Ledesma with any bond money. I think it would be spent recklessly and to funneled to mostly people they know and are friends with. That is not getting the best value for our money.
Thank you. I think you’ve stated this very well.
Thank you for your update . . . but count me OUT as a backer of any bond effort. We citizens should pour any more borrowed money down the black hole of ridiculous salaries and pensions for unionized government employees.
Read any one of the articles in Pension Tsunami, and you too will be become enlightened. http://PensionTsunami.com. Once this Peralta mess is killed forever, our community may have another political fight on its hands.
I agree with you!
I read your e-mail and i believe that you are doing a good job, but you should not deal with them by your self, I suggest that we have a neighborhood meeting to talk about what they are planning and to find volunteers to go with you when you are meeting with this business group. thanks
I basically agree with your thoughts on the sales and bond issue. They should be separate issues and this Nov. is too close to float a bond issue
I was relieved when the OUSD Board said that they did not want to pursue a lease with Fairfield. I agree with you, though, that we can’t really be sure the plan is dead until the vote is taken.
Selling the Peralta site, though, will be like starting all over again, just with different people to deal with. If the property is sold to a developer (Fairfield?), they can do whatever they want with it (including putting up 380 high-density apartments), and they won’t have to worry about re-election if the neighborhood is unhappy with their plans. Of course, they will have to get zoning changes made, plans approved, etc., but all that means is that we will have to start fighting again. In that case, our only hope will be to influence the City Council, and I don’t think they are against high-density apartments.
I guess a school bond is OK, but borrowing money to run a school district is not good financial policy. It is no better than using a credit card to finance home upgrades that you cannot otherwise afford. I think most people would agree that that is a bad idea. Before voting for a bond issue, I would like to see the district solve the root problems in its finances. Why are we in a position that the district cannot save up money for facility upgrades? I suspect this has to do with the influence of the teacher’s union in our district, but I am not sure about that. In any case, I would like to see the district putting away money for upgrades for a couple years before we agree to take out a loan through a bond (which we taxpayers will be obligated to repay).
Also, some of the comments I have heard from school board members in the past implied to me that they are interested in upgrading the schools mainly to keep up with other school districts. they have justified the need for upgrade money by comparing our school buildings with those in other districts. I have not heard, though, of any specific teaching activities that are being hampered by the current facilities. It makes sense to upgrade our facilities if they are hampering teaching, or if the upgrades will reduce maintenance costs significantly, but not just so they look nicer or compare more favorably with the facilities in other districts.
Thanks for all the information. I agree with you and your opinions.
Also, I heard some information at a OPA meeting I went to a couple of months back. I’ll try to relay this to the best of my memory, but it went something like this…when the Board developed the General Plan and/or received help in developing the General Plan they were told (or it was decided) that if they ever sold off any of their land, they should never sell the Peralta land. It was too important and it was needed too much to part with.
Additionally, at the meeting they said if the Board decides to sell Peralta, then the government gets to decide what is put there. One of their number one priorities is to do subsidized housing (low income or Section 8…).
Thank you for the very informative email regarding the upcoming board member election and issue with the surplus properties. I just wanted to let you know that my husband and I agree with your concerns and we stand with you. Unfortunately, it may not be a popular stance, especially with the strong desire to see this all end…We see the pitfalls in attaching ourselves too quickly to this new plan. It is always wise to take the time to consider all options and make a solid decision that we will not regret.
MOST DEFINITELY! We need new leadership, to be sure.
On August 19, 2013, The OC Register published an article about Brookfield developers in Laguna Hills pouring money into City Council races there to get their project approved. There are many similarities in this story to what we are facing with the Peralta property.
That isn’t surprising because Brookfield owns Fairfield. More on that can be found at these sites: http://www.brookfield.com/content/2010_press_releases/brookfield_and_fairfield_residential_company_annou-28747.html
That OC Register article starts by saying:
LAKE FOREST – Two developers proposing to build homes on the site of a former auto mall gave thousands of dollars to political action committees that helped elect Lake Forest officials who are championing the projects.
In the months leading up to the November election, Brookfield Residential and Trumark Co. gave at least $75,000 to groups that spent heavily in favor of Dwight Robinson and Adam Nick. The developers also gave directly to Robinson and Councilman Scott Voigts. Brookfield and Trumark have been working hand in hand since 2010 to convince the city to rezone about 16 acres of commercial land in Foothill Ranch to residential so they can fill it with housing.
The full article can be found at this site: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/brookfield-521800-robinson-forest.html
Fairfield Propaganda that will be published and distributed to get support for their Peralta Project
The information from Fairfield that will be distributed and published to citizens of OUSD.
There will be two memos concerning the Peralta project. These will be made available to the public by posting to the website and distributing to parties who have request information on the project.
1. The first memo is from Allan Kotin laying out the lease revenue streams the District could expect based on two scenarios, City approval of 340 units and 200 units, along with his assessment and experience.
2. The second memo was developed by Keygent (who presented the Bond 101 and 102 presentations) and is an estimate of a deal to monetize the Peralta rental revenue once it stabilizes in year five or six. The interest rates are certain to be different at that time, but the information provides a real analysis of the borrowing possibility based on current rates and fees.
Richard Callahan of the Foothills Sentry analyzed the information and was dismayed by what he read. This is his impression of the propaganda being put out by Fairfield:
In the ADJ&A release they quote raw dollars, not the present value, (actual buying power of future dollars). This gives the impression of much more money received than what it is actually worth. Examples at 3.5% inflation:
Yr. 10 they show $1,400, Present value $992
Yr. 20 $1,572, PV $883
Yr. 44 $2,266, PV $499
For the total they show $311,552, PV $55,784 or an average of about $563 per year or an average Return on Investment of a little over 2.6% in an industry expecting 12% or better.
As for The bond analysis by Keygent,
The rental revenue is based upon participation rates of an immediate 90% occupancy and that continuing static for the term of the lease. Pie in the sky!
The interest rate quoted appears to be based on whatever will make their example work. Actual rates for school General Obligation bonds on the market as today August 22, 2013 are at 6.10% and Revenue Bonds command a higher rate. My assumed rate would be 6.95% today and 7.95% by the time the bonds can actually be issued, the fifth year after construction has begun. What benefit the district receives during the construction period is minimal. At either interest rate the rental revenue is not adequate to pay the interest until year 15 at 6.95% and year 25 at 7.95% according to their chart. This is the “best deal”??
Just as an aside, Keygent shows a declining balance of interest amounts each year. Normal bonds are sold to investors who want an income stream for a fixed period years. A periodic redemption, resulting in a reduction of total interest as shown here, is highly unusual as I don’t ever remember seeing one, and this chart looks like something taken out of a textbook with no basis to the real bond market.