Carol Cormaci's article on the Sport Chalet is a tortuous recitation that should come with a warning: Facts have been altered and omitted to protect the guilty.
The purpose is made plain in her editorial: The rehabilitation of reputations and greasing the skids for the new proposal.
In this tale Art Pearlman is the patsy: If only he had been nicer. In reality he never budged in negotiations because he didn't have to: He had the votes. In 1997, a year before the project was introduced, council members secretly agreed to approve the project and they were good to their word. Art Pearlman was not the problem; he is the convenient bad guy in this story because he's not a local.
Events leading to the rescission of approval are completely misstated. It had nothing to do with the EIR lawsuit; no council would use that as the reason. Conveniently omitted is the singular event that derailed the plan. The circulation of a referendum petition by The Friends of 91011 that garnered over 2300 signatures in ELEVEN DAYS requiring the council to either rescind approval or hold a referendum within thirty days.
A lawsuit was filed against the EIR because it could have been used in future development proposals and major components were deeply flawed; think TRAFFIC.
The push for a Specific Plan didn't spring out of thin air. The Friends of 91011 campaigned for it during the ENTIRE time of the ongoing approval process and council elections. It was our insistence that brought it into being and many people who trumpet it today sneered at it then.
She empathizes with Norbert. I don't, I emphasize with Peter Kudrave, Judy Briteman, Liz Blackwelder and Deborah Orlik, good people who were smeared because they opposed his projects. That behavior doesn't meet any test of good citizenship. Let's be very clear, Norbert was never denied his right to develop his property. His plan was rejected because the majority of voters didn't believe it was appropriate for our town and the council elections, the referendum petition and the Specific Plan are testament to that truth.
We have a Specific Island Plan, it is a good blueprint. Those of us involved in its conception know it is not perfect but certainly better than anything preceding it. Let's take care it is followed. Local newspapers are important for small communities, flacking for developers shouldn't be on their to do list.