Alternative Site for Disney's Westcot Center

* Congratulations to Stephen Smith on his splendid idea ("Golden Idea for Disney," March 16).

Building Disney's Westcot at the Golden Triangle in Irvine--connected to Disneyland and Anaheim by a modern monorail--is brilliant.

It is a blend of visionary idealism and enterprise. I just hope the Disney Co. and the Irvine Co. are smart enough to see the possibilities in the proposal.

LENA FRIEDMAN

Los Angeles

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Stephen C. Smith's suggestion ("Orange County Voices," March 16), that Disney build Westcot in the Golden Triangle instead of in Anaheim, misses several important considerations.

His main concern is that traffic will increase. If Westcot is built, there eventually will be two parking structures, not one: Each will open almost directly onto the Santa Ana Freeway, and each is designed so as to prevent traffic from backing up on the freeway. These two structures, by opening off the freeway, will reduce traffic on surface streets, as will the construction of the planned people mover and/or monorail connecting the parking structures with the area immediately adjacent to Disneyland.

The structure, which is the subject of Smith's article, will also serve the arena and the stadium, as well as being a mass-transit center that will be needed whether or not Westcot is built and which was planned for the area before Westcot was announced. With or without Westcot, the center has to be built.

The suggestion for building Westcot in the Golden Triangle is based upon the assumption that the light rail will be constructed, even though this is not a sure thing.

If the light rail is built, it is still many years away, and putting Westcot in the Golden Triangle would increase, not decrease, auto traffic for many years if not permanently.

Also, Westcot in the Golden Triangle would do nothing to upgrade the area around Disneyland, an area which is greatly in need of upgrading, with or without Westcot. With Westcot, there will be some return, in increased tax revenue, for the upgrading.

Perhaps, at some time in the future, a third theme park between Disneyland and the projected Newport Coast Time Share condos, would make sense; for now a theme park, except close to Disneyland, is not feasible.

One more thing: The $50 million for the parking structure is not a gift to Disney for expansion, because the revenues from this parking structure will go, not to Disney, but to a government body. The capital spent on the structure will be an investment, not a gift.

JUANITA MATASSA

Santa Ana

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It seems to me that Mr. Smith has a very original and innovative idea.

Our recent earthquake should make us think about the possibility of the world's largest parking garage--proposed to be built in Disneyland's parking lot--becoming a potential disaster area on its own. If I lived in Anaheim I would certainly favor getting this traffic away from the city, which this idea would encourage.

I believe this idea should be given serious consideration.

ANN STEINDLBERGER

Fountain Valley

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What a great article! I agree with this great idea!

Why should the new "Westcot" be crammed into such an "itty-bitty living space?"

This suggestion for dispersing traffic congestion is an important issue and a vital necessity.

It sounds like the Irvine Co. knows its business. The public gift of $50 million can be greatly used elsewhere.

RUTH E. SUNDBERG

Norwalk

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In response to the article, "Golden Idea for Disney" (March 16), I couldn't agree more.

There are many things interlinked to this issue. Some of which may not be as visible.

As stated, Anaheim is already overburdened with traffic as well as a lack of open land for the project. What this would most probably mean is that Anaheim would need to obtain the land for the project through eminent domain. Anyone familiar with this practice would certainly agree that almost any other alternative would be better.

Second, we have all this land that will be available in the near future through the closing of the El Toro Marine base. This seems like a pretty good alternative to overcrowding, overtaxing and eminent domain so far.

Finally, the main proposal for the open land created by the closure of El Toro Marine base is to construct an airport there. We already have one! Not to mention the money that it would cost taxpayers.

The article asked: "Is it ever too late for a good idea?" My only response to that is: I sure hope not.

BRENDA EDIE

Foothill Ranch

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