What kind of retail space can residents expect to see since the outlook for traditional storefronts is so negative?

MGP is contemplating additional restaurants, a multi-screen luxury movie theater, and fitness tenant.  Existing pad restaurants such as King’s Fish House and In-N-Out will remain, in addition to Nordstrom Rack.  The City currently expects between 225,000 - 300,000 square feet of retail to be part of development at the property.  The Laguna Hills Mall previously contained around 965,000 square feet of retail space (GFA), of which 536,000 square feet was contained in the former Sears, J.C. Penney, and Macy’s department store buildings. 

March 2021 Update: The final Village at Laguna Hills plans have been modified to eliminate the retail range described above. New commercial space will include a 50,000 square foot theater building, two retail pads on El Toro Road and one retail pad on Avenida de la Carlota totaling +/-23,000 square feet. An additional +/- 46,000 square feet of retail shops will surround the project’s proposed 2.6-acre park. Approximately 108,000 square feet of retail space will face El Toro Road. Existing restaurants (King’s Fish House/ In-N-Out/ BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse) totaling +/- 23,000 square feet provide the project’s 250,000 retail building area.

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1. Explain the current zoning, conditional use permits, and land use for the 68-acre property [the former Laguna Hills Mall] and adjacent developments. What can/can’t the City Council control?
2. What is the status of the plan MGP showed the community at their April 2019 Community Forum? How does it compare to the approved 2016 plan?
3. How much housing does the City’s Zoning Code allow on the property?
4. Does the City consider traffic in evaluating development proposals in the UVSP?
5. In 2016, the City approved over 926,000 sq. feet of retail and office building area and 988 dwelling units. If MGP is an established developer, why has Five Lagunas taken so long to get started?
6. What does the City Council see as a viable solution for the development of the site? When considering a new development, does and can the City Council factor in the greater good of the community?
7. How do the new and future proposed/approved Oakbrook apartments factor into any decision making?
8. What are current vacancy rates for existing apartment complexes?
9. Why doesn’t the City insist MGP provide more retail space and less office and housing space?
10. What creates the most value for the city and community: High-density multifamily housing, retail, or commercial office?
11. What kind of retail space can residents expect to see since the outlook for traditional storefronts is so negative?
12. How much revenue has the City lost from the mall closing?
13. How has the City responded to this loss of revenue?
14. How will property taxes benefit the city and how much will the city actually receive?
15. How does more development on the site, especially more residential development, impact community infrastructure such as police services, fire and paramedic services, traffic, water, schools, etc.?
16. What were the projected traffic levels for the originally approved Five Lagunas Project? What is the difference between retail development and apartment development with respect to traffic?
17. How will high-density apartments/multifamily housing benefit residents? Did the 09 General Plan call for 300 apartments w/ options to add more in future phases? Are the approved 988 units mandated
18. What if residents do not want to see more housing developed beyond the 988 units approved in 2016 in a future project?
19. Why doesn’t the City simply ignore State housing element law?
20. What is the City’s obligation to help address the Statewide/federal affordable housing shortage, including low-income and homeless shelters?
21. What exactly is the Housing Crisis Act (SB 330) and how does it impact the new project submitted by MGP?
22. What are the key steps involved in the entitlement process?
23. How long will it take for the project to reach the public hearing?