IRVINE, Calif. — Orange County Business Council is pleased to announce the winners of the 3rd Annual Turning Red Tape Into Red Carpet Awards, presented by Chase. The awards program was developed to recognize leaders in local government whose policies and programs eliminate the barriers to economic growth and private sector jobs creation. The winners were selected by a committee chaired by Dan Miller, Senior Vice President, Entitlement and Public Affairs, The Irvine Company, and were honored at last night’s reception at the Center Club. The award winners are:
Award for Business Retention and Expansion
City of Orange: Volkswagen of Orange
After Volkswagen of America identified the City of Orange as a possible new dealership location, with a 90-day timeframe to open shop, the city mapped out an aggressive timeline to facilitate the process. This included relocating and rebranding the existing Orange Empire dealership, expediting entitlements for both projects, and establishing a new city-wide sales tax sharing program. By cutting through red tape, the city reduced the entitlement process from the typical nine month timeline to 90 days, created 50 full-time jobs, provided the reuse of an existing commercial property, and resulted in the attraction and retention of two businesses in the city. Through this project, the city became one of the first Orange County cities to establish a formal economic development incentive policy to attract and promote business expansion and jobs creation.
An additional program was selected to receive an honorable mention in the category of Business Retention and Expansion.
City of Stanton: Business Appreciation, Expansion and Retention Program
The City of Stanton recognized that retaining business is a vital component to the overall economic health of the community and made the necessary changes to work with the business community in a more timely and cost-efficient way. The Business Appreciation, Expansion and Retention Program is a comprehensive strategy to assist business in each stage of development, including marketing, site design, planning entitlements, building review, construction, business licensing, and post-business licensing. The city was able to dramatically cut down permit application processing times by 50 percent and now has the fastest application process in the county.
Award for Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse
City of Laguna Hills: Oakbrook Village Redevelopment Project
The City of Laguna Hills demonstrated significant flexibility and creativity in working with the property owner of a prominent shopping center, Oakbrook Village, to attract and retain major retailers while redeveloping obsolete or failing portions. The partnership was successful in attracting new business to the center, while also developing 489 residential units to provide much needed workforce housing in the area. Redevelopment of this property marks a key phase in the strategic transition from auto- dominated to mixed-use with a balance of retail and housing. The project also includes a unique “Retail Loss Impact Fee,” which provides the city with protection against unforeseen erosion in its sales tax base.
Award for Sustainable and Green Development
Orange County Transportation Authority: OCTA Freeway Environmental Mitigation Program
OCTA implemented an innovative mitigation program that preserves Orange County’s natural resources and open space while helping accelerate 13 freeway improvement projects, creating much-needed jobs and building lasting transportation improvements for the county. In addition, the program includes 950 acres of open space and will fund 11 habitat restoration projects, enabling wildlife and native plants to return and flourish. The inclusion of the Freeway Environmental Mitigation Program played a critical role in the voters’ decision to pass Measure M2, as it provided comprehensive mitigation of project impacts, significant environmental benefits, streamlined approval processes, and greater overall certainty of project success as a whole.
Award for Responding to Globalization
City of Fullerton: Fullerton/KOTRA-LA MOU
The City of Fullerton, along with the Korean Trade Investment Promotional Agency of Los Angeles, created a first of its kind Memorandum of Understanding, which enables KOTRA – LA to showcase and promote Fullerton as a business destination. The two parties leveraged respective networks and resources to advance awareness, as well as provide a platform for discussing topics such as information sharing, marketing and promotion, visiting delegations and business assistance. The MOU is an innovative and creative way to not only recognize and respond to the large Korean population in Fullerton, but is a progressive approach to identifying and facilitating opportunities for businesses to better integrate into the global economy, and is a great example of Orange County cities taking a leadership role in capitalizing on the importance of global connectivity here in the county.
Award for Organizational Leadership – This is a new award developed by the committee this year
Caltrans District 12: Sign Within 60
As Orange County’s population continues to grow, workforce mobility and adequate infrastructure funding remain critical issues facing the county and its future economic competiveness. In order to cut costs and time on the county’s transportation projects, Caltrans implemented the “Sign Within 60” Program, which provides property owners with an incentive payment between 5 and 20 percent of the property value if they agree to sign a Right of Way contract within 60 days of the initial negotiation. By shortening the property acquisition process, which previously expended a tremendous amount of time and taxpayer resources, Caltrans significantly saved time and money on critical highway projects in the county. The program played a key role in expediting two congestion relief projects on State Route 91, while increasing public awareness and understanding of the urgency of infrastructure projects. Following the success in District 12, Caltrans plans to implement the “Sign Within 60” program statewide.
Award for Public-Private Partnership
OC Waste & Recycling: Olinda Alpha Landfill Renewable Energy Development Project
OC Waste & Recycling forged an innovative public-private partnership between the County of Orange, City of Anaheim, and utilities companies. As part of a multi-phase process, this project extracts the landfill gas, converts it to electricity and subsequently sells that energy to the City of Anaheim/Anaheim Public Utilities, which provides the power to more than 22,000 homes and business throughout Anaheim. The project created 155 jobs during construction and 25 permanent jobs for day-to-day operations, with zero cost to Orange County taxpayers. The Olinda Alpha Landfill is currently the third largest landfill gas fueled power plant in America and is an industry leader in both high efficiency and low emissions.
An additional program was selected to receive an honorable mention in the category of Public-Private Partnership.
City of Brea: Birch Hills Apartment Homes and Bonterra Apartment Homes
The City of Brea partnered with Jamboree Housing Corporation to meet the increasing need for sustainable and quality housing affordable to the workforce while working with an inclusionary zoning ordinance. The unique and long-standing 13-year partnership provides residents with aesthetically pleasing architecture in an established, affluent community at affordable rents. The new housing development resulted in 209 new homes and provides families who earn between 30 and 50 percent of the Area Median Income with rents ranging from $479 to $1,058 per month.
Award for Public Sector Leadership
Alan Murphy: Airport Director, John Wayne Airport
Alan Murphy is the Airport Director at John Wayne Airport, the 33rd busiest airport in the nation and critical to the needs of Orange County’s business community. As director, he oversees all aspects of the day-to-day management, including Business Development, Facilities, Finance and Administration, Operations and Public Affairs. He is responsible for managing a $305 million annual budget and a staff of 174 direct employees. Recently, Murphy oversaw the on-schedule, on-budget completion of the “Airport Improvement Program,” a multi-year effort that included the construction of a new terminal with six new commercial passenger gates; new security checkpoints; major improvements to parking; as well as the Central Utility Plant. Under his leadership, JWA also successfully expanded international flights through the JWA Air Service Development Program.
Orange County Business Council is the leading voice of business in Orange County, California. OCBC represents and promotes the business community, working with government and academia, to enhance Orange County’s economic development and prosperity in order to preserve a high quality of life. OCBC serves member and investor businesses with nearly 250,000 employees and 2,000,000 worldwide. In providing a proactive forum for business and supporting organizations, OCBC helps assure the financial growth of America’s sixth largest county. For more information, visit www.ocbc.org.