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Proposed RV storage area goes to vote

Fire hazards are still a concern, despite developer's concessions.

June 16, 2010|By Britney Barnes, britney.barnes @latimes.com

The City Council is expected to vote Monday on a proposal to replace a nursery with a recreational vehicle storage lot behind a residential community.

The proposal has neighbors up in arms, despite concessions by the developer.

The Ward Garfield Specific Plan would turn a portion of land owned by Southern California Edison, and used by the Village Nurseries Landscape Center, into a storage lot for less than 400 RVs and a rental office.

The original proposal was slated to fit more than 557 RVs behind Mariner's Pointe Mobile Home Park and Aragon Circle, a residential neighborhood near Yorktown Avenue and Ward Street.

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The proposal has been modified to maintain the nursery behind Aragon Circle to address neighbors' concerns, said Wayne Carvalho, a representative with Michael C. Adams Associates, the project applicant.

The developer, Doc Rivers, is willing to work with the neighbors, Carvalho said.

If the project is approved, Rivers will work with the park owner to construct a taller fence between the residents and the storage lot, he said.

"He's never been one to just shove the project down the neighbor's throat," he said.

Rivers couldn't be immediately reached Monday.

Although the residents of Aragon Circle won't have it behind them, Linda Ramaglino, a nine-year resident of the mobile home park, said she doesn't want it behind her house either.

"I just feel that they're putting a difference between us and a person living in a single-family dwelling," she said.

Carvalho said Mariner's Pointe Mobile Home Park's owner wasn't opposed to the project during talks.

Longtime Aragon Circle resident Tim Karpinski said the neighbors still have the same concerns despite the changes in the project. Residents are worried the RV storage lot would lower property values, negatively impact their quality of life, increase traffic and noise, and create a fire hazard under the high-voltage electrical lines that criss-cross the area.

The fire hazard is the main concern for some of the park residents. The seniors in the park are worried that putting RVs under the electrical line will increase the hazard, and if there was a fire, many of their elderly neighbors wouldn't be able to get out of their homes fast enough, Ramaglino said.

Edison and the city wouldn't let the project go forward if it was a public safety concern, Carvalho said.

Sitting on her porch only a few feet from the nursery, Ramaglino said she won't be able to enjoy her porch or work in her garden if the project goes in. The pollution and allergies will force her to give up her "therapy," she said.

"The pollution is going to be 250 times worse than it is now," she said.

The City Council meeting is at 6 p.m. Monday in Council Chambers at City Hall on Main Street.

If You Go

What: City Council meeting

When: 6 p.m. June 21

Where: Council Chambers in City Hall, 2000 Main St., or watch live at http://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov

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