By Jim Tortolano
A mixed use project featuring a four-star hotel and other businesses and homes constructed in the French Colonial style was approved by the Westminster City Council on Wednesday night.
The council voted 4-0 (with Councilwoman Margie Rice leaving the meeting before the vote due to illness) to authorize a development agreement and other measures for the Bolsa Row, to be constructed at the southeast corner of Bolsa Avenue and Brookhurst Street in the Little Saigon area of the city.
At the public hearing at which supporters and opponents were roughly equal in number, critics complained about possible parking issues, traffic, light pollution and crowding. One speaker called the intersection “crash corner” and the project “party central.”
Backers cited the uniqueness of Bolsa Row, its potential effect on Westminster’s image and various financial benefits.
“The alternative,” said Councilman Sergio Contreras, “is an empty lot.” Mayor Tri Ta told members of the audience “I understand the concerns but I believe that city staff” had adequately studied the plan, especially in the topic of parking.
Bolsa Row is planned to include a 144-room hotel, a 48,000-square foot banquet facility, 37,550 square feet of retail uses and 201 dwelling units.
A principal feature will be a Festival Street area with benches, landscaping and architecture intended to be reminiscent of “old Saigon.”
I was one of the opposition speakers. The council, especially the mayor, did not appear to listen at all to what I, or others, had to say. It was already decided, long before we were ever able to share our opposition. It is very sad that city leaders don’t care at all about the residents who live around this new development. I would like to know if any one of them would have voted for this is it was right across the street from where they have live (and have lived for 30 years). I would also like to know what tools the so called traffic engineer used to figure out that the additions of hundreds more residents and even more hotel guests and retail shoppers, would not have any significant effect on the already busy “crash corner”.
… 5th sentence had typos, should have read … I would like to know if any one of them would have voted for this if it was right across the street from where they live (and have lived for 30 years).