[Driftwood], where the previous owner had entitlements for 11 lots,"
South Laguna Civic Assn. President Bill Rihn said.
"Whatever the plans are for Driftwood and Aliso Creek, they are
not planning for an 18-hole golf course -- and that is a plus."
A workshop open to the entire community is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Wednesday in the City Council chambers
The developers ran into a buzz saw of opposition last year when a
concept was presented behind closed doors to county officials. That
plan intruded into parkland above the nine-hole golf course.
Although the proposal included restoration of the creek that runs
through the property and dumps pollution gathered along its path onto
Aliso Beach and into the ocean, environmental groups hired an
attorney to fight any violation of open space.
The concept never got beyond the talking stage.
Supervisor Tom Wilson publicly criticized the project, and the
developer went back to the drawing board.
Joan Gladstone, a public relations consultant for the Athens
Group, said the developer's representatives have been meeting with
focus groups prior to the public workshop.
About 60 people attended a neighborhood meeting Monday. Others
were invited to a briefing on Tuesday.
Both properties were purchased in 2004 by a partnership involving
Montage, the Athens Group and and a private investor.
Although few details were provided by Athens Group Vice President
John Mansour at the private meetings, Gladstone said the presentation
at the workshop will be more comprehensive.
"However, it is just a concept," Gladstone said.
High Pointe Properties spend years and hundreds of thousands of
dollars getting entitlements for Driftwood approved by the city.
The planning commission recommended approval of 13 parcels on the
site. The City Council dropped that number down to 11 in an
unsuccessful attempt to appease neighbors, and developer Steve Vliss
relinquished his contingency offer on the property.
The Athens partnership snapped it up with the entitlements.
"I am guardedly optimistic that they will come up with a project
that the rest of the community can support," Rihn said.
Gladstone said December or January will be the soonest new plans
for the acreage will be submitted to the city.