What About the People There Now?

Dana Parsons writes in his Los Angeles Times column about the people who currently inhabit the piece of land that is the subject of an Anaheim Resort zoning fight.

Caught between a developer, SunCal Cos., which wants to build new residences where their trailers stand, and the Disney Co., which doesn’t want the units there for the next generation of theme park-building, the residents at the Satellite Mobile Home Estates wouldn’t seem to have much clout. Not to mention an Anaheim City Council trying to make both sides happy.

It’s an emotional piece that looks at how development impacts people.  It is tempting to think of this sort of thing as a reason to own property such as permanent housing, but with the Kelo decision, it is clear that even then, you can be uprooted as long as some compensation is thrown your way.

Both sides in the fight – the side led by the housing developer who want to go against the Anaheim Resort zoning, and the side led by Disney and the Chamber of Commerce head who want to keep the status quo for the zoning, have created activist groups that are sending mailers to Anaheim residents.

Being an Anaheim homeowner who wants to upgrade to another home, a former Disneyland Cast Member, current Disney shareholder, and current Disneyland Resort Annual Passholder, I have a lot of perspective on this whole thing and all of the issues it has raised.  I’d certainly like to see the Anaheim Resort continue to "bulk up" with tourist-focused developments, and I’d like to see Disney upgrade California Adventure and develop a worthy "third gate".  I’d also like to see more resident ownership housing, but that can be built away from the Anaheim Resort zoning, and the developer’s touting of their "affordable units" as part of the project is laughable, giving that they will replace a greater number of mobile homes.  Finally, I’d like to see at least some level of the front-line Disneyland Cast Members (such as RFTs) make enough to be homeowners in Anaheim without having to work another job, because I think that will keep the Cast performing at a level that will be good for me as a guest and as a shareholder.