The state of California Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) has mandated that the city of Seal Beach plan for 1,243 units at varying income levels. The city has identified 11 “housing opportunity sites” within the city, one of which is in Leisure World. This site is the RV lot parcel 95-691-05 of 5.5 acres. The deed for the RV lot is held by the Golden Rain Foundation (GRF) Trust property. Contrary to what District Five Councilman Nathan Steele stated at the Sept. 27, 2023, meeting with the city of Seal Beach officials, the shareholders DO NOT vote on what happens to GRF property. The board of directors of GRF would decide on its use. Since LW is already the lowest cost housing option within Seal Beach, this probably is a NO BRAINER SITE for the city. It’s already zoned for housing and the city officials only must influence the GFR Board. We, like many of the 290 RV and boat owners, chose to live in LW because of the availability of the low-cost RV lot. We, like others, are VERY concerned that Dominic Massetti is on the Seal Beach Planning Commission and that the GFR president, Marsha Gerber, is a realtor. It seems likely that the GFR board would be quite willing to take away our RV Lot and add 150 housing units to increase revenue for GFR. According to Davis-Stirling documents, an amenity can be eliminated if the Business Judgment Rule is followed. We believe if GFR rules on the housing at the RV lot, they are acting in bad faith and grossly overreaching which can rebut the judgement rule. If you’re feeling uneasy and disappointed, remember WE VOTE IN THE GFR Board members. Get informed! Speak up! Question authority! The city of Seal Beach cannot force GFR to use the LW housing opportunity, but GFR CAN DECIDE without SHAREHOLDER input!
Recreational vehicle land in Leisure World
We understand that the City of Seal Beach 2021-2029 Housing Element Appendix B – Land Inventory has been published. The city has determined that the 5.5 acres (Recreation Vehicle Storage Lot) is on the list as “underutilized”. The city does not realize that the 5.5 acres are being used for its “intended purpose” and is fully utilized. Other private and federal property in Seal Beach also has “Recreational Vehicle Storage”. Those location would be less disruptive to the Leisure Would Community. Adding any new housing to Leisure World would only add more traffic and congestion on our streets, overload the underground sewer and storm water systems, and more noise pollution to the adjoining Mutuals 8 and Mutual 4. We already have a parking problem on our streets, additional vehicles will only add to current parking problem. And the new building would be towering over their neighbor’s single-story units. Do you want someone looking through your windows any time of night or day?
GRF would have to add more security staff, more maintenance staff, another building inspector, and additional administration staff, etc. … Such construction activities, trucks and heavy equipment needed for the construction of a building, would devastate our roadways, and cause a lot of unnecessary noise and traffic congestion. GRF has already increased their staffing over the past couple of years, even though the population and facilities have not increased since Leisure World was built over 60 years ago.
The City does not have the authority to force private property owners to increase the housing density to meet the City Housing mandated by the state. Additionally, according to the State CODE. Availability of Infrastructure: “The element must demonstrate sufficient existing or planned water, sewer, and other dry utilities supply capacity to accommodate the RHNA in the planning period”. Gov Code 65583.2 subd (b).) “The element should also demonstrate access (existing or planned) to infrastructure and utilities for identified sites”.
The GRF Board is the Trustees of the Golden Rain Foundation and are the only ones who can vote to sell or develop the 5.5 acres RV Storage Facility property. The GRF Board does NOT need the approval of its Members. They are the only ones who can move forward with this project, the city cannot force Golden Rain to use the LW 5.5 acres property for additional housing.
The GRF Board Members that are in favor of developing the 5.5 acres should publicly identify themselves to our community. The Members of Golden Rain Foundation and Mutual Shareholders DO NOT want and will not vote for any kind or type of new housing being built in our community here in Leisure World. We love our community just the way it is.
Air show a politicized, for-profit spectacle
I live in College Park East near the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base. As I write, jets roar over my neighborhood—some directly above my house—on their way to and from the three-day Huntington Beach Pacific Airshow. My dogs cower underneath furniture; some neighbors resort to tranquilizing their frightened pets.
In the past, I’ve weathered the disruption without complaint because so many people enjoy the air show. This year, however, the Huntington Beach city attorney and the new MAGA council majority have thoroughly politicized what simply should be a fun family event.
Final straw: The air show’s opening day featured none other than a flyover by the Trump plane.
I am forever surprised by what is “legal.” Not all Huntington Beach residents support Trump, but they all helped pay for his free campaign stunt.
Due to a head-scratching and secretive lawsuit settlement, Huntington Beach taxpayers are providing more than $5 million for what was previously self-supporting entertainment. (The organizer alleged the city, despite having little choice, maliciously shut down the 2021 air show after an oil spill catastrophe.) What’s more, the private company running the air show gets to charge an entrance fee for swaths of a public beach. That seemingly under-appreciated privilege should not have become a Trump whistle stop.
But this disrespect doesn’t just concern Huntington Beach. Seal Beach and Los Alamitos residents should not be compelled to endure the noise and safety risks imposed on us to prop up a highly politicized, for-profit spectacle.
Susan Christian Goulding