Sunday, November 18, 2007

Coastal Commission Bows to Shea Homes, Sacrifices Bolsa Chica Wetlands

This is just terrible! So many of us locals are VERY unhappy. Once again the money of the big developers wins out and nature loses. Sad, so very sad.


The Orange County Register story below barely begins to tell the awful tale of how Coastal Commission member Dan Secord and his merry band of development crazed panel members sought to gut their staff’s expert and scientific recommendations in order to allow Shea Homes to bulldoze and destroy wetlands and raptor habitat at the Bolsa Chica wetlands in Huntington Beach late last evening.
It wasn’t as though coastal scientists and environmentalists sought to deny development. In fact, the preferred plan would have allowed even more than the 170 houses sought by Shea, but would have used a clustered approach to save wetlands on the property and insure endangered white tailed kite raptors survive the subdivision.
Secord, notably, embarrassed himself and the intergrity of the entire California coastal program with his relentless efforts to destroy every bit of coastal resource protection conditions contained in the staff analysis. Secord even said, at one point, “Help me here, I want to delete the wetland.” Watch it for yourself as it is all on internet video available on the Coastal Commission website at (Note: Commission member Dan Secord is an appointment of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger - three of four of the Governor’s panel members- Brooks Firestone, Bonnie Neely and Secord- read off the Shea Homes crib notes for their actions. Only gubernatorial appointment, Steve Blank, made an effort to protect wetlands and raptor habitat at the site. Worse, ALL FOUR of Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez’ appoinments to the Commission- Ben Hueso, Patrick Kruer, William Burke and Dave Potter- towed Shea Homes’ freight. Sadly, only two of Senate leader Don Perata’s appointments- Sara Wan and Mary Shallenberger- sought to protect the wetlands, while the other two- Larry Clark and Mike Reilly- both sided with Shea.
In the end, it was a great day for a growing corps of highly paid pro-development lobbyists and the ‘wine and dine’ atmosphere of the Commission and a sad commentary on the direction of the Commission, where coastal development and private profits trump even marginal resource protection efforts.Wednesday, November 14, 2007Homes next to wetlands OK’d by coastal panelShea Homes proponents and opponents are confused, however, as to exactly how much land both sides lost for their causes.


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