Commentary: Get the facts on the Banning Ranch project

Gosh, it almost feels like election season is still underway, what with all the newspaper advertisements and mailers from the Newport Banning Ranch development team informing us of all the wonderful features planned for the 401-acre parcel of land in West Newport Beach.

The latest mailer advises us to "Get the Facts. Stay Informed. Get Engaged."

Here is what I believe to be the facts, based on my reading of Newport Beach's certified environmental impact report of July 2012.

• The development will result in about 15,000 additional new vehicle trips per day on already congested roads.

• The size and scope of the proposed development is the maximum allowed by the city's general plan. It would consist of 1,375 homes, 75,000 square feet of commercial development, a 75-room resort hotel, and a four-lane road connecting 15th Street to West Coast Highway.

• The project would entail more than 10 years of grading and construction, including excavation of 2.6 million cubic yards of toxic soil.

Consider what the residents of Newport Beach would have to endure during this 10-year development cycle and afterward with the project's completion, including a significant increase in traffic and the resulting noise and air pollution.

So, yes, get the facts, stay informed and get engaged. And don't believe everything you are being told. We need to protect our precious quality of life in Newport Beach.

DOROTHY KRAUS lives in Newport Beach.

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