Hiding Behind the Drawbridge

I just had the opportunity to read Jeff Perlman's lengthy and informative feature on South County's two no-growth developers, Tom Rogers and Russ Burkett ("Mavericks Fight for South County Dream," Dec. 7), and several comments caught my attention.

One was Burkett's remarks about his wife's complaint: "My wife's bugging me to move. She says there's already too many people here and that she can't get out of her driveway. She talks about southern Utah. Southern Utah doesn't have any people."

As I recall, both Burkett and Rogers live in an exclusive, private community in San Juan Capistrano where multimillion-dollar homes are squeezed on acre-size estate lots. If Mrs. Burkett is having trouble getting out of her own driveway in that type of environment, maybe southern Utah is the answer.

As a 16-year resident of southern Orange County, I prefer to raise my family here and hopefully encourage my children to put down roots in this wonderful area. Slamming the door shut and hiding behind a drawbridge may appeal to some, but it will do nothing for the future.

Although it has been a long time in coming, I think the current trend toward "managed" growth, versus no-growth, is a much better solution. Coupling this system of growth with agreements calling for the completion of roads and other infrastructure (which the county is doing) offers a realistic solution for the future.

I also disagree with Burkett in his sweeping generalization that "people must suffer" and that their no-growth initiative will be good for the economy. (Some studies have already been completed that predict the initiative will cost taxpayers--read that you and me--more than a billion dollars.)

If we look to a simplistic solution, like a sweeping no-growth ordinance, to solve some of our complicated problems, we all may be joining Mrs. Burkett in southern Utah. The only problem is, I don't know how southern Utah feels about having a bunch of out-of-towners from Orange County coming into town.


Dana Point

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