All work and no play makes Costa Mesa a dull city.
So says Mayor Karen Robinson, who plans to file an appeal today of
the Planning Commission's approval of Kohl's department store as a
last-ditch attempt to save recreational options at the Mesa Verde
The Kohl's store, approved by the commission on Monday, is slated
to replace the existing Kona Lanes bowling alley and the defunct
Edwards Theater and Ice Capades Chalet.
"As a City Council, we have an obligation to see to it that Costa
Mesa is not only a good place to work and do business, but to play,"
Robinson said. "But in planning, it seems like we've completely lost
sight of play for the quality of life of residents."
The commission voted 4 to 1 to allow the Segerstroms to build the
95,839-square-foot store against the recommendation of city planners,
who asserted that the building was too massive for the neighborhood.
In addition to lamenting the loss of traditional places to hang
out and have fun, Robinson also expressed concern that the commission
allowed Kohl's to supply 14 fewer parking spaces than the city
requires, considering the parking problems that have been caused by a
nearby beauty school.
"I find that quite astonishing in light of what we're experiencing
in the Paul Mitchell area," Robinson said. "It makes no sense to me
that we could even consider something like that in this particular
Paul Freeman, spokesman for the Segerstroms, said that while he
understands the nostalgia and passion surrounding Kona Lanes, a
bowling alley is just not a viable business these days.
"Independent of the merits or demerits of Kohl's, any discussion
of the bowling ally should be understanding of the marketplace for
bowling, and it ain't that good," Freeman said. "That's just the way
Freeman also reiterated that Kohl's meshes with the city's general
plan, which was just updated last year, and complies with the zoning.
Kohl's is also buying the property, which illustrates their
commitment to staying in Costa Mesa, Freeman added.
While the Segerstroms won over the 10 homeowners closest to the
project, the Mesa Verde Homeowners Assn. opposes it. Some Mesa Verde
residents said they are pleased that the decision will get a second
"I'm glad, because I think this needs more examination and I don't
think it's a good fit for our neighborhood," resident Robin Leffler
* DEIRDRE NEWMAN covers Costa Mesa and may be reached at (949)
574-4221 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.