Angels Stadium Sale Violates Surplus Land Act, State Agency Says

By City News Service
City News Service
City News Service
December 8, 2021 Updated: December 8, 2021

ANAHEIM, Calif.—The City of Anaheim’s sale of Angel Stadium violated the Surplus Land Act and its requirements for encouraging lower-income housing, California housing authorities told Anaheim city leaders.

The state Department of Housing and Community Development issued the notice in a letter to city attorneys last week, Anaheim spokesman Mike Lyster said, according to a report Wednesday in the Orange County Register.

The state agency planned to send an official notice of violation to the city on Dec. 8, said Megan Kirkeby, the Housing and Community Development deputy director of housing policy development, according to the Orange County Register.

Kirkeby said the agency will give the city a few options to come in compliance with the law in the next 60 days. They include declaring the land surplus and providing notice to affordable housing developers, or making 80 percent of the land available for housing and offering 40 percent of the units as affordable, according to the Orange County Register.

The city wants to keep talking with the state agency to address concerns that selling the stadium property to SRB Management, a business partnership of Angels owner Arte Moreno, without first soliciting proposals from affordable housing developers runs contrary to the Surplus Land Act, Lyster told the Orange County Register.

“We are disappointed but we are focusing on positive input we have received about our efforts and an open door for continued discussions,” he told the Orange County Register.

State housing officials began examining the sales of the Angel Stadium property last fall, and in April, they issued a preliminary finding that the state law—to promote affordable housing—had likely been violated.

The December 2019 sales deal with SRB Management included plans to develop restaurants, shops, offices, hotels, homes, and a new or renovated stadium in exchange for $150 million in cash to the city and another $170 million in community benefits, including affordable housing and a public park, the Orange County Register reported.