The Walt Disney Co. wants to fill in 250 acres of the Long Beach Harbor to build a $3-billion resort and theme park. It wants an amendment to the California Coastal Act to make the project feasible.
Proponents of such an amendment contend that their proposal would apply only to Long Beach Harbor, not other parts of the coast. They are either kidding themselves or don't know anything about history. The more developers get of choice property, the more they want. Even lurking in the minds of some Long Beach residents are ideas for other landfills. A former president of the Long Beach Harbor Commission is reported to have said he would like to see the port extend east to Cherry Avenue.
This Disney project would be the beginning of more and more "good" reasons to fill the harbor with dirt, rock and all the other stuff it takes to make a landfill. And the easier it would be for other developers to get exceptions to the Coastal Act to build in other places on the California coast.
The latest is that Disney would be willing to pay part of the cost of mitigation for environmental damage caused by the project. Disney would pay $40 million and the city of Long Beach (the taxpayers) would pay $12 million. We taxpayers would love that! Long Beach is already cutting all kinds of services to keep within budget.
People visit Long Beach to enjoy our beautiful beach. If they want amusement rides and exhibits, let them go to Disneyland in Anaheim. The California coastline is a great national treasure. Do we need to spoil it by projects that can just as well be built away from the seashore?
V. FAURE RILLIET