Sen. Bergeson's Growth Seminar

State Sen. Marian Bergeson's call for statewide seminars on growth management seems on the face of it to be applaudable. It is only through such interplay of ideas that a decent product can be achieved--assuming the scenario is conceived in honesty. For as long as each side fights the other, as long as neither trusts the other, little can be achieved.

The product of such a "war" at the least means loss of money, endless court battles and bitter divisiveness.

But let's look at who's been invited to participate in the Orange County seminar. For example, one of the several invited developers a few years back told the Laguna Beach City Council his company would not build houses on Laguna Canyon Road. Today his company is going full speed again to build 3,200 houses along that same road. Other participants are either land developers, building reps or new-freeway enthusiasts. Oh, yes. There's one environmentalist and two academics.

Here they go again, one might say, erecting a farcical facade behind which good solemn gentlemen with knitting brows predictably finally find good economics to compel growth and new freeways. It's as if a pack of wolves invited a rabbit to a conference on saving wildlife.

Or like an Orange County Transportation Commission announcing it had conducted seminars all over the county, then hoping the public would translate "conducted" to mean "approved." Holy cow! Quite frankly, I could more easily accept the notion of a seminar publicly aimed at killing anti-growth sentiment. That would make it honest.

The seminar's purpose, Sen. Bergeson says, is "how we can manage growth." Maybe she really did mean, "How can we kill anti-growth sentiment?"


Laguna Beach

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