HUNTINGTON BEACH : City Votes to Retain Lobbyist on Bolsa Chica

Over objections from two City Council members who called it an unnecessary expense, the City Council agreed this week to spend another $12,500 to keep a consultant to help ensure that the city's concerns about the proposed Bolsa Chica housing project are addressed.

In August, the council approved a $25,000 contract with the Los Angeles consulting firm of Rose & Kindel to lobby the California Coastal Commission on the city's behalf.

The project was expected to be heard by the Coastal Commission this month, but the hearing was postponed until January. Koll Real Estate Group is proposing to build as many as 3,300 homes on the Bolsa Chica mesa and wetlands next to Huntington Beach. The project has already been approved by the County Board of Supervisors.

Councilmen Peter Green and Dave Garofalo voted against spending any more money to keep the consultant. "I think we can do it ourselves--the consultant has helped us, and we can go it alone," Green said.

Mayor Dave Sullivan said the services by consultant Susan McCabe of Rose & Kindel has been invaluable, however, to relay the city's concerns and views to the Coastal Commission.

"As far as I'm concerned, it's essential that we continue with the consultant to see through the process until a decision is made," Sullivan said. "We're definitely getting our money's worth."

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