The Save Lake Forest group opposed to two residential developments in the Foothill Ranch Auto Centre is running out of time, but is digging in for one last push to get enough signatures to put one of the controversial projects on a ballot before city voters.
A signature gathering effort to put the Trumark Companies' plan for detached homes before voters is about 800 signatures short of 4,000 with less than two days remaining.
Headed up by Mary Altoff and Jim Gardner but utilizing a workforce of several volunteers, the group must submit the names and signatures of 10 percent of the city's registered voters by Thursday, 6 p.m., at City Hall.
The Save Lake Forest group will be at Bagels and Brew, at the corner of Lake Forest and Serrano, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., today and Thursday in hopes they can get enough walk-up signatures to satisfy the requirement.
"It's doable," Gardner said, though he admitted it would require the strongest day of signature gathering since deciding to take on the city council's controversial 3-2 decisions to allow residential dwellings to be built where the auto center sits mostly vacant surrounded by Lake Forest Drive, Bake Parkway, Portola Parkway and Towne Centre Drive.
With less than 36 hours before the deadline, they are banking on parents dropping their kids at school and then swinging by to sign the petition. They are also hoping for a strong lunch crowd.
If successful in submitting 4,000 signatures for the referendum, the
Trumark development would then go before voters in November 2014 during
the general election, or be placed on the 2013 ballot as part of a
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. The developers 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 Residential and Trumark.
The Save Lake Forest group had 30 days from the time of the council decision to meet the signature requirement. Brookfield was approved two weeks before the Trumark project; the group got a late start to take on Brookfield and got about 2,500 signatures by the deadline.