Developers Have a Lot of Nerve Questioning the Motivation of Environmental Activists

The last several paragraphs of the article "Endangered Species Debate Touches on Ethics and Motives" (Sept. 23) addressed questioning by real estate developers about the motives of environmental protectionists.

A point was made that to save the kangaroo rat, $1,000 will be added to the cost of houses in one Riverside County development. People are already gullible enough to pay an over-inflated price for a house made of tissue paper and spit that looks just like the one two doors down, so what's another $1,000?

We're all responsible for the preservation of these flora and fauna, but most of us are living in areas where the habitat was destroyed 80 years ago.

A second argument was that the environmentalists wanted to spend millions of dollars that might otherwise be spent on low-cost housing to save the likes of the fairy shrimp. Isn't this comparing apples to oranges?

It isn't the environmentalists' job to build low-cost housing. It should be the moral responsibility of builders and municipalities. The developers aren't willing to build low-cost housing in already developed parts of the Southland. I hardly think that the average low-cost housing candidate could afford to commute from places like Corona or Coto de Caza, even if low-cost housing were available.

The final argument that some developers made was that some people are using environmental issues as a smoke screen for slow growth.

When developers scalp the tops of hills, put in clone houses and expect the cities and counties to bear the burden of building new sewers, streets and sidewalks, why shouldn't some people want the growth stopped?

The issue here is not slow growth or no growth. It is responsible growth. I applaud the developers who are taking responsibility for their actions.



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