Santa Ana is experiencing a housing crisis but one of the property owners/developers has discovered that the problem may be there Santa Ana Planning and Construction Department.

The developer and his colleagues embarked on a goodwill 9-unit apartment rehab project with the goal of providing much needed housing and contribution a few months ago. They have since encountered a series of bewildering and inexplicable obstacles thanks to the very administration aimed at facilitating this progress.

Their ordeal began when A.J Destroyed building fire overrun their project site, posing a real threat to the safety and well-being of the surrounding area.

Shockingly, they had to contend with this disaster for several months due to the inexcusable delay in issuing the permit from the City of Santa Ana’s Department of Building and Planning. This inaction has endangered the community, leaving the developer baffled and frustrated by an apparent lack of urgency.

The developer was then arbitrarily stopped by the same city administration, who claimed that the construction was not in compliance with the requirements of the neighborhood review.

The developer insists that it was simply committed to building plans that have been officially and fully approved by the City Planning and Building Department itself.

The department claimed that they had now “conveniently” forgotten to submit the developer’s plans for an additional layer of review. This bureaucratic error cost the developer valuable time, energy and resources, resulting in lengthy delays that turned the construction site into a hotspot for criminal activity and homelessness.

The city is now halting development for about four more months while it waits for the Historic Resources Commission to review the removal of unnecessary staircases in the backyard that the city has already fully approved.

That delay alone has cost the developer and his brother six figures in incurred costs and lost income, in addition to future litigation costs. It is a small family business and it has now been three years since a minor renovation of 9 units due to measures taken by the city.

The City of Santa Ana’s incompetent planning and construction management and lack of accountability directly harms the local housing supply and hinders potential business and development in our community.

Unfortunately, these are not isolated incidents; They reflect a systemic problem that requires public scrutiny and a call for reform. Many other developers, both large and small, have shared similar frustrations over the years.

The housing shortage crisis is exacerbated by these avoidable delays, and potential businesses and investors are discouraged from participating in our city’s growth due to the lack of transparency and predictability in the approval process.

The Santa Ana City Council and Mayor need to address these development issues that have held back our progress and undermined the safety and growth of our community. The development community won’t wait for progress in Santa Ana, they’ll take their money elsewhere!

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