Huntington Beach puts Sunset annexation vote on calendar

But Sunset Beach wants the City Council to wait until August 2011 because its incorporation application should be completed by then.

June 08, 2010|By Michael Miller

The Huntington Beach City Council plans to vote July 19 on whether to apply to annex Sunset Beach, the unincorporated seaside community to its north.

At a study session Monday, the council opted to wait a month and a half before voting so the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission could consider a pair of consultants’ reports on the economic feasibility of annexing the area.

A city-commissioned report by Ralph Andersen & Associates declared that Huntington could make as much as $624,000 annually if it annexed Sunset, while a report from Willdan Financial Services, ordered by the Sunset Beach Community Assn., argued that the community had the financial resources to incorporate as a city.

Joyce Crosthwaite, the executive officer of the county commission, said her office should have a review of the reports finished in two weeks. The intent, she said, was to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the reports and not to revise them.


“We’re not going to be redoing all the numbers,” Crosthwaite said.

City Administrator Fred Wilson said Huntington would try to have a staff report on Sunset available two weeks before the July 19 meeting.

Greg Griffin, the president of Sunset’s community association, said his group had filed an application earlier Monday with the county to incorporate as a city. He asked that the council wait until Aug. 31, 2011, to vote on annexing the property, because he believed Sunset would be done with its own application process then.

Griffin also noted that 52% of Sunset residents had signed a petition favoring incorporation.

“The people of Sunset Beach, given the alternative, want to become their own city,” he said. “They want to be independent.”

The association voted June 3 to apply for cityhood. Once a community applies to incorporate, the commission does its own financial analysis and votes on whether to approve the application. If the commission approves it, the matter goes to a general election ballot.

If Huntington decides to annex Sunset, however, it merely has to send an application of its own to the commission. The commission does not have the power to deny the application, but can require conditions for approval.

Going through the application process with the county, Griffin said, would cost about $100,000, which would be lost if Huntington were to annex Sunset.

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