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  • Writer's pictureGabriel San Roman

Santa Ana Developer Seeks New Way to Undermine Affordable Housing Policy

Updated: Aug 27, 2020

Back in July, developer Ryan Ogulnick tried to change SanTana's Housing Opportunities Ordinance (HOO) for Heritage Village, the city's largest mixed-use project. He asked the planning commission to allow for phased payments of almost $10 million in affordable housing "opt-out" fees. A legion of nonprofits spoke out against any such move, saying it would delay affordable housing funding in the midst of a crisis before the commission deadlocked on the issue, sending the question to city council.

Council members originally planned to bring up amendment for discussion and a possible vote on August 16, but decided to postpone until September. Affordable housing advocates and developer-friendly planning commissioner Phil Bacerra hashed out their respective sides in competing Voice of OC op-eds in the meantime. But the HOO amendment has vanished ever since.

According to documents obtained by the Weekly, Ogulnick is still pushing for phased payments—only this time solely for his own Heritage Village development agreement. The developer rescinded his original request to amend the HOO while William R. Devine, an attorney for Heritage Village, wrote an August 19 letter to Santa Ana City Attorney Sonia Carvalho outlining their new strategy, one that goes before the planning commission this afternoon.

Read more on my latest OC Weekly Navel Gazing Blog post:

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