Petition challenges Anaheim’s deal for 2 luxury hotels near Disneyland

A group representing union hotel workers and Anaheim residents has submitted a referendum petition with more than 18,000 signatures to the city, challenging the proposed development of two luxury hotels in the Resort District.

The Orange County Registrar of Voters Office is verifying the signatures delivered by Citizens for a Better Anaheim on Aug. 25.

The referendum petition came just weeks after the City Council awarded Wincome Group an estimated $300 million in future tax subsidies for the building of two hotels that would meet AAA’s four-diamond standards. The hotels would replace Wincome’s Anaheim Plaza and Suites and the Anabella Hotel.

The group needs 12,651 valid signatures, or 10 percent of registered voters in the city, to force a public vote. City Clerk Linda Andal said the signature verification is due at her office by Oct. 14.

If there are enough valid signatures, the referendum will be presented to the City Council at its following meeting in October. The council would then either agree to repeal the agreement or schedule a special election or place it on the November 2018 ballot, Andal said.

Under the agreement, Wincome Group will build two luxury hotels and, in exchange, the city will for 20 years reimburse the developer 70 percent of bed taxes paid by guests. Guests pay a 15 percent tax on room rates.

The council passed a similar incentives agreement with Disney for a new luxury hotel near Downtown Disney, but Citizens for a Better Anaheim did not target that project. The union has sought a labor partnership with Wincome.

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