Disneyland, Anaheim continue legal battle
The legal battle between Disney, the Anaheim City Council, and local housing developers is still ongoing, reports the Washington Post. Disney — which filed its first ever lawsuit against the city earlier this year — is protesting plans to build a housing project across from the rumored site
of the company's third California-based park.
"Unfortunately, in the heat of this debate, the real issue has been lost," Disneyland spokesman Rob Doughty said. "It's a zoning issue, not a housing issue." The zoning Doughty refers to is the special resort zone designation created in 1994 to clean up the area around Disneyland, which had been plagued by seedy motels and fast-food restaurants.
On the other side of the debate are locals, who feel that Disney is turning its back to the growing housing problems in the area. The median home price in Orange County has risen from $185,000 in 1997 to $645,000 in June, with rent hitting an average of $1,531 at the beginning of 2007.
"They want to make money, but they don't care about the employees," 10-year Disneyland employee Gabriel de la Cruz said at a recent protest. De la Cruz lives with his wife and two teenage children in a one-bedroom apartment near the theme park. "Rent is too high," he said. "We don't have a choice to go some other place."
Disney and the housing developer are currently in negotiating; the City Council has postponed a referendum on its vote to allow the housing project until Aug. 21.