Even as a new property owner takes over with major expansion plans for the next year, residents in Rossmoor are determined to have a voice in the process.
Today is the first meeting of The Shops at Rossmoor Ad Hoc Committee, a resident group aimed at articulating the community’s concerns with the quality of life impacts of the shopping center, which will see major expansion in 2012.
A Toys R Us, Babies R Us, Rite Aid, and an In ‘N Out Burger are already in varying phases of construction at the south end of the shopping center. Additionally, the Shops’ property owners have already submitted plans to the city of Seal Beach to remodel into three separate stores to house a Staples and a PetSmart after the lease expires. None of the remaining projects will require approval from the Seal Beach Planning Commission or City Council, nor do they require input from neighboring Rossmoor residents.
Last month, dozens of Rossmoor residents converged on a Rossmoor Community Services District Board of Directors meeting to .
“The community came to the district and said they wanted to do something, but the district has no responsibility or authority over the issue,” said Rossmoor Community Services District General Manager Henry Taboada. “Rather than just ignore the concerns of the community, (Rossmoor Community Services District Board of Directors) President (Alfred) Coletta set up a forum to discuss the issues.”
Since the last board meeting, Seal Beach city officials me with district officials to discuss some of the community concerns, said Taboada. Seal Beach city officials will be at today’s meeting with a presentation and explanation of a traffic study conducted by the developer and over seen by the city, he added.
The traffic around the shopping centers is also a concern for Seal Beach residents, some of whom spoke at Seal Beach’s City Council meeting Monday night.
“We need to get a handle on the shops at Rossmoor and what is going on over there,” said Patricia Campbell, a resident of Seal Beach’s College Park East neighborhood.
As it is, there are too many lights on Seal Beach Boulevard between Lampson Avenue and Bradbury Road (four), and Rossmoor residents are forced to deal with the Shops’ traffic and parking on St. Cloud Drive and Montecito Road, said Campbell.
“That’s not fair for the residents of Rossmoor to expect them to handle our excess parking,” she said.
She urged city officials to conduct additional parking and traffic studies before new stores are added to the center.
“Once it’s been built, then we all have to live with it, and then it will be too late…. don’t let this project destroy us,” she added.
City Councilman Gary Miller agreed.
“We need to have a traffic and parking study,” said Miller. “Seal Beach Boulevard is becoming a nightmare north of the freeway.”
Tonight’s Ad Hoc Committee meeting is at 6 p.m. at the .