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Group Still Needs 600 Signatures to Turn Back Developer

'Save Lake Forest' must submit signatures of 10 percent of the city's registered voters by 6 p.m., to allow citizens to vote on controversial development.

By Martin Henderson

The drive to put a controversial housing project in the Foothill Ranch Auto Centre on the ballot is going to the wire.

More than 200 signatures were added Wednesday to the Save Lake Forest effort, leaving the group about 600 short of meeting the approximate 4,000 required to put a referendum on the ballot.

The Save Lake Forest group must submit their signatures to City Hall today by 6 p.m.

The grassroots contingent will make their last stand at Bagels and Brew today, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.—or as long as there are a stream of registered voters willing to sign the referendum to place the Trumark Companies' development on the ballot.

The group had 30 days to get signatures from 10 percent of the city's registered voters. They have been aiming for 4,000 signatures, though the registered voters is slightly less than that.

The group has been collecting signatures for the last 1 1/2 months—first for the Brookfield Homes project in which it got about 2,500 signatures before the deadline two weeks ago, and then Trumark.

During all that time, the group has never had a 600-signature day.

City Council recently rezoned the auto center from commercial to residential, and the project has routinely created some of the most contentious feelings from the dais among council members. Developers Brookfield and Trumark contributed heavily to the 2012 election, and new councilmen Dwight Robinson and Adam Nick voted with Mayor Scott Voigts to provide special dispensation for Brookfield and Trumark when compared to other developers who are building 4,200 other homes throughout the city. 
Lionel M. October 03, 2013 at 11:42 AM
Thank you Jim Gardner, Mary Altoff, and the dozens of people who helped in this effort. You are already winners. You exposed a major problem with our City Council and reached thousands of people who agreed and signed the petitions. 30 days is way too short to get 4000 signatures without professional help. When I see how close you came I regret I didn't play a more active role. I hope you make it. The city is a better place for your efforts.
wertabs October 03, 2013 at 12:22 PM
We went to Bagels and Brew to sign the petition and they didn't know what we were talking about.
Jim Gardner October 03, 2013 at 09:27 PM
Hi wertabs. We were there today from 8:30 am to 2 pm. Sorry we missed you.
Jim Gardner October 03, 2013 at 09:29 PM
FYI - as of 6 pm tonight we had 3,600 signatures on hand, which was about 400 short of the State mandated 10% or 4,000 signatures. I'll talk more about this tomorrow, but wanted to update for now. Thanks to everyone who helped.

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