Mailbag: Keep Sunset Ridge passive, natural

I attended the California Coastal Commission meeting in Chula Vista on July 12.

Everyone in Chula Vista wanted Sunset Ridge in Newport Beach to be a park, and no one lost as they decided to push the decision off for another month. But the saddest thing about the day is the role that the city of Newport Beach plays.

It was clear to me, and to some on the commission, that the city has mowed Sunset Ridge, claiming fire suppression motives, when in truth it is done to make barren the landscape and reduce nature's access. The city is blind to the beauty shown in pictures taken, when mowing was not being done.

It was clear that the city has not worked with the Coastal Commission staff, and that the staff was clearly against the park as proposed. It is ironic that the city is now promoting the same parking and park access solution that, if highly criticized, as very dangerous, at the last Coastal Commission hearing just a month ago.

The city has one clear goal: baseball and soccer fields on one of the last remaining coastal bluff highlands in Orange County even though there is limited need, better spots available and all nature against 'em.

The public made the drive and was in Chula Vista in force, dozens, all against the park plan with the exception of four baseball coaches recruited to speak in favor of ball fields.

It will be tough for the public voice to be heard when the final decision is made next month in Santa Cruz. Hopefully, letters will make the case for a passive park, rightfully to be a part to Banning Ranch and the Orange Coast River Park.

Mark Tabbert

Newport Beach

The writer is a former City Council candidate.


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