Bayfront and Politics

In Kathleen Cooley's excellent article on the Chula Vista Bayfront Plan ("Chula Vista Bayfront Project Stalled by Suit," Aug. 15), Assemblyman Steve Peace remarks that "we are dealing with a few people that are insane."

We suspect that Mr. Peace is referring to opponents of the Bayfront Plan and not his own elite cadre of Bayfront boosters.

It should be pointed out to Mr. Peace that the Sierra Club decision to proceed with this very serious legal challenge to the Coastal Commission's approval was ratified by the leadership of a national organization of over 360,000 members.

We are supported in this action by the League of Women Voters as well as numerous other independent biologists and citizens.

It is apparent that what we are "dealing with" is a few arrogant politicians and developers who believe that they can manipulate the normal environmental review process to their own ends. The latest example of the continuing "backdoor coercion campaign" was the unfortunate remarks by Sen. Pete Wilson that he "will pressure the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to do everything it can to hasten permit approvals."

The Fish and Wildlife Service and the Corps of Engineers has the responsibility to review a proposal that would allow filling of a marsh for a major access road to Gunpowder Point.

The marsh is already being counted as mitigation for other nearby projects.

It is highly improper for politicians to interject political pressure into a decision that is supposed to be based purely on the objective professional opinions of the appropriate agencies.

If the agencies believe more information and evaluation is necessary to make an informed decision, they should be allowed to require the preparation of the necessary documents; that is why we have the National Environmental Protection Act.

The Sierra Club is not opposed to appropriate economic development for the Chula Vista Bayfront, but we cannot support a grandiose scheme which puts profits for a few above preservation for all and haste before necessary, careful environmental review.


San Diego

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