Heritage must prevail at Bolsa Chica

May 20, 2010

The story "'Green' project gets go ahead" (April 29) sounded so great until I realized these 22 homes approved by the Planning Commission are to be built on sacred land to Native Americans and just as likely to contain cogged stones and burials as the land Hearthside is building on now. Dozens of burials were dug up at the Brightwater site; let's not allow that here. Has Hearthside no conscience? This portion of the Bolsa Chica is zoned as open space, is nominated to be a historical site and was the cemetery for the indigenous people. It should not be built on.

It's not over till it's over. The project still has to be approved by the City Council.

Remember this zoning move during next election

The zone change from open space to residential housing on five acres of the Bolsa Chica Mesa is nothing more than a bailout for a bankrupt developer by the Planning Commission.


I encourage all in the community to remember during the November election that Planning Commission Chairman and City Council candidate Blair Farley voted no on the zone change, and Commissioners and council candidates Fred Speaker and Barbara Delgleize voted to change the zoning to benefit Hearthside at the expense of the people of the city.

The majority on the Planning Commission just did a huge favor for the developer. Hearthside officials admit in their own documents that they may not emerge from bankruptcy and may cease to exist as an entity. If the City Council upholds this zone change, and the developer is forced to sell its assets, the land will be worth more with the residential zoning. Hearthside Homes is not too big to fail, and the city has no obligation to bail them out.

I also take issue with the characterization of this development as "green." The developer can call it anything they want, but how can a development be green if it is going to be built on land that was zoned as open space recreation? This is no infill project; it is construction on the Bolsa Chica Mesa near a designated Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area.

Removing open space is no benefit to residents

The city is saying it's a public benefit to remove five acres of planned open space parkland and to build instead 22 private "green" residences.

Does that make sense to you? A 2009 study proved that living near green open space reduces people's rates of 15 ailments, including asthma and diabetes. Living near 22 energy-efficient houses benefits whom, exactly?

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