The time has come for local government to put its foot down on bad projects that seek to gain civic favor by rationalizing the need for affordable housing in Huntington Beach. The deeply flawed Ellis Avenue condo project is the poster child for this ill-conceived approach to residential development.
Many, including myself, have railed against this project on multiple grounds. There are other ways to eliminate blight, beautify our city and address our housing needs without compromising public safety and quality of life in the affected areas.
The time also has come for local government to give the people what they want: truly affordable housing, not high-density luxury condos shoehorned into problematic sites. Our planning and zoning decisions need to reflect this to build for the future and to correct the mistakes of the past.
Questions on Newport homeless proposal
1.) Is the city going to assess each one of these homeless individuals and determine if they have a drug or alcohol addiction, if they are felons or child molesters?
2.) Will the city help provide addiction counseling and a place that supports them?
3.) If they are mentally ill, will the city find out if they have family in the area, and if the family would be willing to take them in?
If they are truly down on their luck, the city can provide them with a hotel room, morning and evening transportation to and from potential places of employment, requiring them to provide proof of where they applied, copy of an application, etc. Perhaps someone from the city can call local establishments and find out if they have job openings.
I realize all of these recommendations cost money, but simply housing them will end up costing more. Housing these individuals in family-oriented neighborhoods is not a solution; it is a temporary Band-Aid that will not end well.
Public comments belong up front
The Newport-Mesa Unified School District trustees may have signed up for future political trouble by relegating public comments to the end of school board meetings from their traditional spot at the beginning of the meeting.
A recent letter to the editor criticizing that decision reminds me of an identical decision by a past Costa Mesa City Council majority — and of what happened to that majority. After the council moved public comments to the end of the meeting, only a few Costa Mesans remained at meetings to speak. However, it didn’t end well for the majority members who instituted the change: They were voted out of power by an indignant citizenry for that and various other insults to the body politic.
Why the indignation? Citizens take the public comments period seriously as perhaps their only way to raise the profile of matters they care a lot about. But few people could justify sticking around on a weeknight and sitting through hours of agenda items just to speak their mind to a tired council and a nearly empty auditorium in the mingy three minutes they were allotted at the end of the meeting.
In a representative democracy, such as ours, some voters are known to simplify their politics down to, “If you don’t even care enough about me to listen to my entreaties, what good are you to me?” All levels of government should respect and value their constituents by arranging to hear from them early in the meetings.
General aviation plan is flawed
As Newport Beach Mayor Diane Dixon and others stated during the June Board of Supervisors meeting, there is a need for more specificity in the details of the General Aviation Improvement Plab, which must be resolved before the requests for proposals process (RFP) begins. We feel strongly that the RFP process be transparent and reflective of concerns clearly voiced by Orange County residents.
To that end, we recommend the county incorporate the following specifics into its RFP process and future Fixed Base Operations (FOB) lease agreements:
1.) Eliminate the general aviation facility international provision and remove John Wayne Airport as a general aviation “port of entry.”
2. Ensure leases involving the county, JWA and the FBOs establish strict FBO hours of operation that mirror commercial jet hours of operation. Include provisions for terminating lease agreements of violators.
3.) Preserve the 2016 light general aviation-Jet mix as clearly defined in the approved environmental impact report, limiting the number of larger and louder aircraft. It is vital to limit hangar width to 40 feet or less.
4). Limit medium and large general aviation jet aircraft to 25.6 acres on JWA property.
5). Guarantee provisions for future aircraft utilizing electric and alternative energy.
Lastly, the request for proposals must define the terms of compliance with the resolution.
Nancy Alston and Lorian Petry
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