Bid Deadline for School Site Should Be Delayed

As a parent whose neighborhood schools have been closed for lack of money, I am outraged to learn that the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District is inviting bids for the sale, lease, or exchange of (the Loma Del Mar school site) on an ocean bluff on Wednesday, the day after the coming school board elections.

Why hasn't the sale of 8.5 acres of land with spectacular ocean views been publicized? Why would the school board dispose of an asset worth so much in so short a time?

Bidders for an undeveloped land parcel need far more time than this to investigate local land-use laws, building codes, geologic stability, view requirements, etc. Would anyone expect to sell their home and get top dollar in this short of time? Of course not!

It is well known that developers Barry Hon and Ken Zuckerman have an interest in the school site because it lies in the middle of their proposed multimillion-dollar golf course and home site development. During the past six months, the school board has been negotiating in closed session (through an intermediary) with developer Zuckerman. A quiet sale like this will only benefit someone wanting to obtain the site without competitive bidding.

There must be no question of impropriety in this transaction. The bid date must be postponed until new school board members are seated. We need to make sure that our schoolchildren get the highest possible price because once the land is sold, it will be gone forever.

WENDY HARPER

Rancho Palos Verdes

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