Heritage must prevail at Bolsa Chica

HB Independent

The story "'Green' project gets go ahead" (April 29) sounded so great until I realized these 22 homes approved by the Planning Commission are to be built on sacred land to Native Americans and just as likely to contain cogged stones and burials as the land Hearthside is building on now. Dozens of burials were dug up at the Brightwater site; let's not allow that here. Has Hearthside no conscience? This portion of the Bolsa Chica is zoned as open space, is nominated to be a historical site and was the cemetery for the indigenous people. It should not be built on.

It's not over till it's over. The project still has to be approved by the City Council.

Remember this zoning move during next election The zone change from open space to residential housing on five acres of the Bolsa Chica Mesa is nothing more than a bailout for a bankrupt developer by the Planning Commission.

I encourage all in the community to remember during the November election that Planning Commission Chairman and City Council candidate Blair Farley voted no on the zone change, and Commissioners and council candidates Fred Speaker and Barbara Delgleize voted to change the zoning to benefit Hearthside at the expense of the people of the city.

The majority on the Planning Commission just did a huge favor for the developer. Hearthside officials admit in their own documents that they may not emerge from bankruptcy and may cease to exist as an entity. If the City Council upholds this zone change, and the developer is forced to sell its assets, the land will be worth more with the residential zoning. Hearthside Homes is not too big to fail, and the city has no obligation to bail them out.

I also take issue with the characterization of this development as "green." The developer can call it anything they want, but how can a development be green if it is going to be built on land that was zoned as open space recreation? This is no infill project; it is construction on the Bolsa Chica Mesa near a designated Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area.

Removing open space is no benefit to residents The city is saying it's a public benefit to remove five acres of planned open space parkland and to build instead 22 private "green" residences.

Does that make sense to you? A 2009 study proved that living near green open space reduces people's rates of 15 ailments, including asthma and diabetes. Living near 22 energy-efficient houses benefits whom, exactly?

Also, the second so-called public benefit of "improved coastal access" is really just window dressing. The access already exists — the developer will just spruce up the first 400 feet of a milelong journey.

This developer is in declared bankruptcy and has been delisted from NASDAQ. What company in their right mind would move forward with a new project when they can't even manage their current one?

I hope everyone who cares about city parks, the environment and doing what's best for Huntington Beach residents speaks out when this project comes before the City Council (probably in late May or June).

It is past time the council did what is best for residents and not what may be best for a bankrupt developer.

Editor's note: Bixby is the vice president of the Bolsa Chica Land Trust. Time to speak up on RC vehicles in parks I always enjoy the articles in the Independent by Vic Leipzig and Lou Murray. However, more than that, this time I was really upset when I read what was revealed to all of us readers in the April 15 issue about the destruction of wildlife habitat, littering and illegal fires generated by the dirt bikes and radio-controlled cars at the Shipley Nature Center area of Huntington Central Park ("Don't let specific use destroy park," Natural Perspectives).

This is one of the last nature habitats in the area, and once the animal wildlife and native plants are destroyed, there really is no getting them back.

Owners of radio-controlled cars and dirt bikes have a right to enjoy their sport, of course, but not at the expense of so many others who are looking for peace and quiet in a natural element in an increasingly busy world.

This behavior is a violation of several city ordinances, and I agree that the city should investigate these activities and enforce those ordinances until this practice is stopped.

I hope people will take notice and call or write the City Council and demand that action be taken. This is your city. Don't let something like this ruin the past and the future.

Thanks to these good environmentalists for bringing this concern to all of us.

We'll need the paddle for this one "Paddling against plastic" (May 6) is for an amazing cause, so I'm very glad this article was written, if anything, to give awareness to those who had no idea. Thank you, Tom Jones, for doing this paddle.

I am a paddler as well, and that is why I am bringing this to your attention. In this article, the verb "row" was used to describe what a paddler does. Well, sorry to break the news, but a rower rows with oars, not a paddle. Therefore, saying that a paddler "will row" is an incorrect description.

The confusion is an easy one. This isn't the first time someone has used the verb "row," associating it with paddling, but most have been people that have never seen a paddler in an outrigger or on a paddle board before.

So, no hard feelings, but at least now our secret is out: Paddlers paddle, we don't row!

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