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Residents Slam Santa Fe Springs City Council Over Developer Agreement





By Brian Hews

Controversy surrounds the opening of the Miro Luxury Apartments in Santa Fe Springs as nearby residents descended upon city hall demanding to be made whole over a botched shared use agreement sanctioned by city officials in 2012.

The 150-unit Miro Development, built by Fairfield Residential, is located within the gated walls of the 384-unit luxury Villages at Heritage Springs (Villages) community along Telegraph Rd. between Bloomfield and Norwalk Boulevards.

Villages Homeowner’s Association President Ron Beilke spoke at the meeting and addressed what his membership called, “a huge problem created by the city.”

The 150-unit property in question was sold to Fairfield Residential by Comstock Homes in early 2013.

Sources are telling HMG-CN that during the time of the sale, Comstock’s three agents on Villages’ HOA Board secretly entered into and recorded a “Common Property Shared Use & Reservation of Easements Agreement” that in effect changed the conditions spelled out in the development’s original 2012 EIR addendum.

In a letter sent by Comstock to Villages homeowners on July 26, 2012, Comstock identifies itself as the developer of proposed 155-unit property.

Beilke noted “obviously at one point it was Comstock’s intention to build the apartments themselves which is why the EIR specified that HOA dues be paid accordingly for shared use of the property.”

Beilke suspects that at that time it was in Comstock best interest for the apartments to fall under one HOA umbrella but once they enlisted Fairfield to take over the project, the HOA was “thrown under the bus” and Fairfield was afforded a heavily-reduced reduction that flew in the face of the EIR requirements.

The problems began when Comstock, in a conflict of interest, decided to sell the property to Fairfield while simultaneously acting as majority representation on the HOA Board.

During the time of the sale, Comstock entered into the Common Property Shared Use & Reservation of Easements agreement.

In a letter received by the HOA on January 21, 2015, from one of the Villages’ two sub-associations, it was pointed out that “although required by law, it does not appear that the Agreement had been placed on a Master Board of Director’s Meeting agenda, nor was it openly discussed or voted on properly.”

The Master Board did notify Comstock in early February of its concerns about the legality of the Shared Use Agreement, but received no response.

At the City Council meeting, Beilke brought 85 signed homeowner petitions supporting the suspension of the issuance of “Certificates of Occupancy” at Miro.

Beilke reminded the City Council and staff that in 2012 dozens of Villages residents vehemently protested the approval of apartments inside Villages.

Beilke stated to the council, “the residents of the Villages pleaded with you back in 2012. The only protection you afforded was the EIR that clearly stated we would be compensated for use of our property that we pay to maintain…that did not happen.  You created this problem and now we expect you to fix it.”

Longtime homeowner Jose Fabio Lainez explained to HMG-CN that when he purchased his home in 2010 he was lead to believe the property across the street would be made up of more high value homes.  He now claims that apartments so close to his home will hurt his property values.

Lainez said, “I opposed the apartments when they were announced back in 2012 and the city didn’t listen just like they’re not listening now. I get so disgusted when I see them sitting up there not even acknowledging the damage they’ve done to our 384 homeowners. The entire city should take note of that come the November city council elections.”

Follow Brian Hews @cerritosnews
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