Mixed-use project has superior design

For such an important project, the Daily Pilot failed to get all the important facts ("Housing project protested," July 16). The proposed mixed-use senior housing project at 845 Baker St. is consistent with the SoBeCa plan, as city planning staff and a majority of the City Council said.

The SoBeCa plan specifically encourages mixed-use development. While the idea of excluding senior citizens from this plan may be Sadeghi's personal vision, it is not what is stated in the plan. I doubt those of us over 55 would appreciate being excluded; I know I don't.

Furthermore, Sadeghi's representations about "military bunkers" totally mischaracterizes and belies the fact that USA Properties is a consummate developer of beautiful and quality projects. As architect for this project, I can appreciate the diversity of aesthetic taste, but I can safely assert that the project's design is far superior to many of the existing buildings in the SoBeCa plan area. Just take a look at the photo in this article!

Additionally, the reporting about the noise study is incorrect. If the noise levels from the existing businesses are acceptable to residents who already live in the area, could not they also be acceptable to residents living in these new mixed-use units which employ enhanced construction methods? What about enforcing the city's noise ordinance? Wouldn't that quiet things down?

Jan R. Hochhauser

Hochhauser Blatter Architecture and Planning

Santa Barbara

City hall measure was purposely vague

There have been a number of recent statements from Mayor Curry of Newport Beach that the residents voted and thereby directed the City Council to build the new city hall project now under construction by means of the earlier February 2008 ballot measure. I do not agree with those repeated pronouncements for a number of reasons:

•This is the text of the Feb. 5, 2008, ballot measure: "Shall the City of Newport Beach Charter be amended to require City Hall, city administration offices and related parking to be located on City property which is bounded by Avocado Avenue on the east, San Miguel Drive on the north and MacArthur Boulevard on the east and Newport Beach Central Library on the south?"

That ballot measure passed, 52.9% to 47.1%.

This measure, which Curry opposed, solely dealt with where a new city hall would be built — not when, for how much or what shape or size. The measure was purposely left vague regarding those details to give the council needed latitude. In fact, the city was forced to pay for that special election ballot because Mr. Curry and other council members were opposed to this site next to our Central Library as the future site for our new city hall, and were proceeding full-steam to build it elsewhere.

This council may have other good reasons to justify this massive $128 million public expenditure for the new city hall-park project in these most dire economic times, but it cannot be based on this ballot measure, which was solely a resident vote on where the city hall would be built.

John Heffernan

former mayor of Newport Beach

In-N-Out would help raise tax revenue

To the city of Costa Mesa: Why is the city making it so difficult for the burger firm to locate another store in beautiful Costa Mesa ("Will burgers be in or out?" July 14)? For years the site at Harbor and the San Diego Freeway has been a disgrace to the entrance of Costa Mesa.

Now you have a chance to get a great company that will employ many folks that need a job and produce tax revenue for the city, and you (the city) put restrictions on them that will drive them away.