On Sept. 16, the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) in
charge of deciding how such an annexation happens will determine who
goes where. But a few technicalities still exist that would allow
residents to veto the commission's decision.
On Friday, City Editor James Meier sat down with Roger Summers,
chair of the Project Advisory Committee for the redevelopment of
Santa Ana Heights, to discuss the history and future of the area and
proposed annexation and split of the "island," as the county dubs
unincorporated areas. Meier met Summers at his Santa Ana Heights
How confident are you that east Santa Ana Heights will be annexed
to Newport Beach by July 1?
I believe the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) will
approve the application, which Newport has submitted for the area of
east Santa Ana Heights. There's a silent majority up here, as there
is anywhere. And a lot of the silent majority are longtime members of
the community, and I'm not totally sure how convinced they are
Newport is the best thing for them. But my overall impression is that
it will finally take. This is the fourth or fifth attempt. This has
one has certainly gone the furthest of those attempts.
What makes you think so?
Part of it is human nature. A lot of times when people who are the
silent majority -- when you sit with them in their living room, they
may express a feeling one way or another, whether that feeling will
prompt action. Because in order to protest after the LAFCO commission
has their hearing, they will approve a protest period. It can be
anywhere between 21 and 60 days. My reaction to that is it'll
probably be somewhere in the 30-to 45-day class, which they will
approve as part of their commission hearing on Sept. 16.
The protest has to be in writing, addressed and sent to the LAFCO
commission. It can't be by phone call, it can't be by e-mail. It must
be in writing.
Therein lies the question of human nature and that is, what you
and I discuss in my living room, whether that actually becomes enough
for them to sit down and write that letter and put it in an envelope