Thursday, January 20, 2011

One Anon's Take on the Hall Park

Prenotes:
The Hall Park Phase I is not funded
The park design was suppose to be done last summer.

From the Inbox:
Wednesday night the city council heard the appeal of the Planning Department decision to find Substantial Conformance of the design changes in the Hall property park since its approval in 2008. This mainly was related to the encroachment of the I-5 expansion into the park. Jerome Stocks quickly made a motion to go back to the original approved plan and derail the Substantial Conformance issue. Did he think that the city had a weak case? After all it was the city that thought it was necessary to initiate the review before beginning park construction.

Stocks had to withdraw his motion, and the appeal went forward. The Planning Department and the Parks and Recreation Department made NO defense and NO rebuttal of their findings. Isn't this an admission that the appellant was correct? There were statements in the City's letter to Caltrans on the I-5 EIR and in the comments of the consultant SRA that totally contradicted the findings of Planning Director Patrick Murphy. Isn't it odd the Murphy had nothing to say? The contradictions related to decreasing air quality, points may clear by the public speakers.

The council voted 4 to 1, with Barth dissenting, to revert to the approved 2008 plan. This seems an unsatisfactory solution for everybody, as it pretends the I-5 expansion won't take place. It is an attempt to shift all responsibility and cost from the city to Caltrans. Will this fly legally and politically? The lawyer of the appellant said that the city can't ignore a "probable" project, even if unbuilt. City Attorney Glenn Sabine said yes it can and Caltrans would be responsible for all costs. What kind of risk has the city taken on with this decision?
 

56 comments:

  1. Those with the intentions to KILL THE PARK (very clearly includes Councilperson Teresa Barth) just shit all over their neighbors by forcing the city to eliminate enhancements that were requested by the neighborhood and approved by the city.

    The game Donna Westbrooke and her KILL THE PARK (at any cost) GROUP did was to make sure "any" change would force additional litigation and delay or defeat the park. Therefore, the city had no choice but to eliminate the enhancements due to continuing litigation threats. Although, the city has won each of these law suits, it cost all of us taxpayers money. I for one will make sure my neighbors in Cardiff know those who killed (including Teresa Barth) these enhancements.

    SHAME ON YOU!!!

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  2. Teresa Barth is the real Cardiff Kook!

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  3. If the city didn't have a better argument then why are Donna and Teresa wrong? The fact that there is very little money to fund the Park at this time is perhaps why the City didn't fight. They could make Donna out to be the "bad guy" and get off the hook for what they cannot provide at this time. As far as Sabine, when has he been right? I can't recall the last time. Fire him, or at least let it go out to bid. Am I the only one that thinks it is odd that the position of the City Attorney has NEVER been let out to bid on? What hold does HE have over the CIty.

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  4. Most of the sports fields are in the potential adverse health effects zone where the children will be breathing the diesel and car fumes. That fact didn't seem to bother Council members Stocks, Bond, Houlihan, and Gaspar.

    And it was Stocks, Bond, Houlihan, and Gaspar who DECIDED not to talk about the toxic air pollution.
    anon 12:15:
    What part of "children breathing toxic air fumes" don't you understand?
    Build the park so that the children won't be breathing diesel and car exhaust fumes.

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  5. 12:15: RIGHT ON! I don't like the fact that the enhancements are not going to happen, but the NIMBY's who don't want a park are to blame. Time and time again the City has won the frivilous lawsuits that are aimed at stopping the park. The NIMBY's had to take one more shot, and instead, they only stopped the Enchancements. Thanks a lot.

    My kids are going to be in college by the time this park gets built, so I support the Council's decision to backtrack to make forward progress.

    For all of you NIMBY's that keep our kids from having this park 5 years ago - SHAME ON YOU!

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  6. 12:55

    What part of "children breathing toxic air fumes" don't you understand?
    Build the park so that the children won't be breathing diesel and car exhaust fumes.

    Council members Stocks, Bond, Houlihan, and Gaspar DECIDED to cut off any discuss of the diesel and car pollution that children will breath playing on those fields.

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  7. There were two lawsuits and an appeal to the Coastal Commission. The first lawsuit was from Feb. 2003 to May 2004. The citizens won this one and the city paid $54,000 in legal fees.

    The second lawsuit ran at the same time as the CC appeal from Nov. 2008 to Sept 2009. The city won. The land was bought in 2001, so add up the time spent in delay, and the city is responsible for over 3/4 of the time. The group that sued put its own park plan in the Alternates section of the EIR. Check it out. No one ever wanted to NOT build the park.

    The two lawsuits were always about soil contamination. It took the city until Sept 2009 to finally admit it and agree to mitigate. It's in the court record of the second lawsuit. Philip Seymour of Sohagi Law Group, the city's hired gun, testified to this in court.

    Now the city doesn't want to deal with the dangerous air quality from the I-5 expansion. The council majority doesn't care about children's health and has never considered a compromise.

    The proposed "enhancements" could have been saved. The appellant's lawyer proposed this, but Stocks would have none of it. It was Stocks who killed the enhancements.

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  8. Wow!

    Anonymous asks,"The Planning Department and the Parks and Recreation Department made NO defense and NO rebuttal of their findings."

    "Isn't this an admission that the appellant was correct?"

    No, it means it might be one of a hundred reasons, not necessarily the correct one.

    (See remedial Socratic Method)

    It was obvious to all, even the pretenders representing the Cardiff NIMBYs, that this was going to cost another pot of taxpayer money AND hold up the completion of the new park another year or two; which was the main motivation, stall the project till Teresa can get another council seat ally elected for her and Maggie to then desecrate the park.

    Back to the drawing board, everybody.

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  9. anon 3:28

    What part of "children breathing toxic air fumes" don't you understand?
    Stocks, Bond, Houlihan, and Gaspar KNOWINGLY ignored the toxic exhaust pollution that the children will be breathing while playing on those sports fields.

    Speak up anon 3:28 - Do you want the children breathing the fumes?

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  10. Children breath fumes, glue and huff gasoline and lighter fluid. What's a little carbon monoixide going to hurt?? Besides if it is unsafe for the kiddies for a few hours, where is your concern for the people that live next to the freeway now??

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  11. To anonymous at 3:28 pm:

    If it means it might be one of a hundred reasons, not necessarily the correct one, how about five or ten examples of other reasons that might be more correct?

    It's very odd that the city staff would bring this forward and then go mute when challenged in an appeal. Was it to escape public scrutiny of the real issues involved? The staff seemed unprepared to argue the scientific studies presented by the public speakers.

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  12. Toxic fumes? Please! This is a ruse to stop the park! Plain and simple. Scare people and delay the park ,that is what this is about. We are talking about exposure maybe two hours a day, two or three days a weeek a few times a year and your worried about it. What about sitting in front of a computer or HD TV 4-6 hours a day. Are you worried for those kids too? If you are so worried about this issue why do you drive a car with your children in it? Do you drive on the freeway too? Oh yeah, what about all those citizens and children who live along the I-5 corridor, are you going to tell me they are going to have health issues too. Donna does not care about them, she only cares about making herself known in the community because she has no life of her own!

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  13. So we get a park approved but the P&R Dept reaches out to the only neighborhood who is really impacted by the park, meets with them, hears input from those citizens and makes some minor but key changes to the park for the happiness of the neighborhood impacted. Moving the restroom and better retaining walls for sound mitigation, tweeking the gateway plaza into a very cool and unique skate park. But no, you just can't let it go! You have just screwed your neighbor in the ass just to have your way. Way to go Donna! You are a real peice of shit!

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  14. I was very impressed that Maggie Houlihan stood up for the citizens of Encinitas and augued against Teresa Barth. She made Teresa look very mis-informed and unprepared.

    Teresa Barth needs to be RECALLED.

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  15. Maggie only cares about Maggie. She is a classic flip flopper.

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  16. The predominant wind direction here at the coast is onshore most of the year. This so called rain of death from the freeway goes east of the park with the westerly wind.

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  17. Some of the comments here are crazy.
    Everyone want to get the park built. Our council majority voted NOT to do ANY investigation of the effects of the proposed I 5 expansion. Other cities in the subject area did. The delays have been caused, for the most part, by the city majority council.
    To shelve the imrovements because they don't want to acknowledge the effects of this massive expansion is irresponsiable.
    I believe we would have a community park open now if there wasn't a forceful myopic view that ignored the wishes of the majority.

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  18. 6;12
    Actually, in the evenings the wind calms and high level of particulents hang on the freeway and are blown east in the evening hours.
    And remember, this current plan was rejected by the planning department, even though the city still says that it was certified by the planning commission.

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  19. In the late afternoon and evening the onshore winds die down and then shift to offshore. This means that, as much as the wind is blowing east, it is also blowing west.

    It is also common to have northwest winds, which is the direction of the freeway. The pollution is simply blown down the I-5 corridor. Santa Ana winds are from the east or northeast, blowing pollution towards the park, not away from it.

    Anyone interested in an honest discussion of the winds can call the Carlsbad Airport and get the weather data.

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  20. We have too many damn parks. Return the money to the taxpayers!!! Stop wasting it on stupidity.

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  21. 7:57-

    you must be thinking Hawaii-

    Evening offshore. really?

    Watch the weather patterns.

    90% of the time it blows to the east. like the jet stream.

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  22. 9:22

    Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    The land heats up and cools down faster than the ocean. Hot air rises. These are principles of physics

    As the land heats up in the morning, air is drawn in from the cooler ocean (onshore). This reverses in the afternoon as the ocean cools more slowly and air is drawn to the warmer mass of air over the water (offshore).

    You can easily prove this by going down to the Cardiff State Park in the morning and watching the smoke of the campfires. The smoke will be drifting out towards the ocean.

    Call the Carlsbad Airport or listen to the TV weather news. They will explain it. This is taught in Middle School General Science classes.

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  23. 9:56: you're an idiot. Surfers know the local wind and water temperature patterns here quite well and it's onshore most of the time and the ocean is cooler than the land most of the time as well. Have you not heard of our local June gloom? It hangs around from from April to July most years. That's onshore flow.

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  24. 3:25 Are you really that stupid?

    First you and other say that everyone wants a park. In fact, in your words "The group that sued put its own park plan in the Alternates section of the EIR. Check it out. No one ever wanted to NOT build the park."

    Then later on you say "the city doesn't want to deal with the dangerous air quality from the I-5 expansion. The council majority doesn't care about children's health"

    Does your recommended park not allow child due to the hazards you mentioned?

    At least 8:15 was honest by saying "We have too many damn parks. Return the money to the taxpayers!!! Stop wasting it on stupidity."

    At least be honest in the conversation...

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  25. REturn to local parks. NO need for a huge sports park. Local sports field throughout Encinitas not one huge spot. Put it to the vote of the public. Its what we want.

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  26. Now let me see, if your special interest candidates (those that oppose the park) won office, would you still be requesting the vote?

    or do you not consider NIMBY's as a special interest group?

    GET YOU HEAD OUT OF YOUR *SS!

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  27. Teresa Barth doesn't give a dam about the youth or skateboarders.

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  28. To 10:15

    "Does your recommended park not allow child due to the hazards you mentioned?"

    You need to read the City's comments to the Caltrans I-5 expansion EIR. The section on Air Quality is a must read. The letter is included in the appeal package and can be found on the city website.

    It is a question of whether locating athletic fields within 500 feet of the freeway where children engage in vigorous activities is a good decision. Without air quality monitoring we are gambling with our children health. Recent studies suggest that it is unhealthy.

    Of course, anyone can choose to send their kids anywhere. The city has a greater responsibility.

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  29. It may be time to rethink the whole Hall Park property. Maybe scale it back by selling part of it to some commercial developer for a proven tax producer like Costco. The money generated could build a smaller park away from the freeway and still have enough left over to fund purchases for parks elsewhere in the city. Or improve the vacant park land we now own. Do we really need to fund a sports park for residents of Carlsbad, Solana Beach and RSF?

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  30. 5:30 has it down.

    Sell have to a Costco closest to the freeway.

    Build half closest to the west side.

    That way the City actually has the money to build the dam thing.

    Put it to a vote of the people.

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  31. I decided to check one of the documents mentioned above. From the city's letter to Caltrans:

    "At the request of the City of Encinitas, Scientific Resources Associated (SRA) has conducted a technical review of the Air Quality Section of the Draft EIS/EIR, and a technical review of the Air Quality and Mobile Source Air Toxics (MSAT) Analyses provided as appendices to the Draft EIS/EIR. General comments on the analysis are as follows:
    • There is substantial evidence in published studies that demonstrate that residents and sensitive receptors, including children, experience adverse health effects from freeway air emissions. None of these studies were discussed or evaluated in the Draft EIS/EIR for the Interstate 5 North Coast Corridor. SRA has provided a list of current studies in the attached literature review that summarize the available evidence.
    • The analysis does not address the potential for impacts to additional receptors to due the widening of the I-5 corridor, which will result in travel lanes placed from 48 to 73 feet closer to existing land uses in the vicinity of the freeway. The California Air Resources Board, in their Air Quality and Land Use Handbook, recommend that sensitive receptors not be sited within 500 feet of a freeway due to potential adverse health effects."

    These are not opinions of the NIMBYS, but come from the city itself. I think the city has some explaining to do. The original thread asks some good questions.

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  32. Wow - is there a Freeway near the park? I had no idea!

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  33. People our now asking for a Costco on this site. Are you kidding me? We already went down that road to nowhere. How much traffic would that bring to the neighborhood? Let's stuff an IN and OUT in there too? Let the taxes collected come in hand over fist. Who cares about more traffic anyway? Just stop the silliness. No more votes. We already voted on it and this is not what the majority wants!

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  34. you are clueless to the futureJanuary 21, 2011 7:54 AM

    As the world economic crisis expands,(no we are not out of this problem yet, wait until the EU collapses) the US dollar will crash in value and the Arabs will want $200-300 per barrel of oil. What will that do to the price of gas?? Somewhere in the neighborhood of $9-12 per gallon!! That will reduce freeway traffic by 70-80% and your worries about air pollution will be abated.

    You people are clueless to the future.
    PS- I could tell you more, but why?? Go bury your head in the sand, it's what you do best.

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  35. It seems that a day use community park for all would solve the problem best.

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  36. Chris- Solve the problem best? For who? Maybe you and your NIMBY friends? Get real. Stop the stalling and bullshit tactics!

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  37. Let's review:
    - The community ,when asked to, designed a community park. Not a regional sports park.
    - the planning commission reviewed the EIR, heard two days of testimony from the entire community and rejected the EIR. They recommended to reduce the fields by one or two and solve identified traffic issues.
    - the boys had park and rec. challenge the determinations and recommendations. The boys voted 3-2 to ignore planning's recomdations.
    - the city still says that the planning commission certified the EIR. Not true.
    - The I5 expansion caused investigation into what possible results would be. Not for NIMBYS but for all. Encinitas voted 3-2 to do no investigation. Othe cities, responsibility,
    did feel that the public deserved to know the impacts of the expansion.
    This is not a Nimby issue.

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  38. We need Whole Foods on this site. I understand Whole Foods is backing out of Pacific Station since the developer knew nothing about the grocery business and the loading ramps simply will not work. Also, they did not plan for enough power to operate a grocery store.

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  39. 7:22 am

    Like you, I guess Stocks, Bond, and Dalager didn't know there was a freeway there either, when they voted to overturn the Planning Commission decision.

    7:44 am

    "We already voted on it and this is not what the majority wants!"

    We, if you mean the citizens of Encinitas, never voted on this. A majority opinion has never been expressed. The Godbe Survey before the property was bought showed 85-90% in favor of open space/passive park and 15-20% in favor of a sports park.

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  40. Last post: truth
    We would have a community park with sports fields built now if the 3-2 majority had not ignored results of the city funded survey that determined the current plan is not what 85% of the public wanted or listened to SANDAG or the Planning Commission or public comments.
    But no.... This is the plan that Rotary wanted and the 3-2 majority believes that that is more important than what the citizens want.

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  41. There was an election recently where all this stuff was aired out by those who ran in the election. All of this was brought to light and the citizens did vote on that platform. You lost, just like you lost the EIR lawsuit. Get over it. Build the park before my children are too old to use it. I have waited 10 years for this park for my family to enjoy. No more delays!

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  42. Correction: the citizens WON the
    Lawsuit to force the city to do an EIR on the green house land.

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  43. The City's comments on the I5 widening, which included the air pollution effects on the children, and the 500-foot adverse health effects zone didn't come to light before the election. The paper was dated Nov. 19, 2010.

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  44. ...And the EIR was passed in 08. You lost! I"m sick of this delay ruse to stop the Sports park by the fake eco worriors who claim this is about childrens health. Go ahead and build a f-n Cosco. How about a Wallmart too? They can build you a cute little passive park behind them. Then you could get your tax dollars back and create some jobs and help the local economy too. You make me sick!

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  45. dumber than a bag of hammersJanuary 21, 2011 2:05 PM

    Park lover. They would not allow that business solution to get passed either.

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  46. Sell half the property to fund the completion of the other half.


    make to much sense to me.

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  47. Not allowed according to the terms of the lender.

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  48. The ideas for alternate development of the Hall property have already been run up the flag pole and nobody saluted.

    Costco was talked about in the early years once it became clear that the city would have to do the EIR. City Manager Kerry Miller and City Attorney Glenn Sabine with design firm RJM all worked to to avoid an EIR. It was a costly misjudgment. Costco was never a viable alternative, partly because the Coastal Commission would not approve one west of I-5.

    The city itself proposed selling part of land to build condos and put it on the agenda. After the meeting started, the item was pulled. The city realized they couldn't do it. The property was bought for recreation use and the bonds were sold as such. If the city were to build houses on all or part of the property, there would have to be a property swap to replace the land. Mike Andreen proposed swapping Ecke land on Saxony. The idea went nowhere.

    So the city has no easy way out. With the questions about financing the park, it's no wonder that Stocks is madder than a wet hen. He has a huge problem and continues to blame Teresa for everything. And she wasn't even on the council when the mess was created.

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  49. dumber than a bag of hammersJanuary 21, 2011 4:45 PM

    See what I mean. This City will never get anything built.

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  50. I literally laughed out loud when I read this. Of course Teresa voted against it!

    It's been clear from the very start that she only cares about the concerns of a few, NIMBY, Cardiff residents. Kids inhaling exhaust?! Is this the best argument the Cardiff NIMBYS can produce? I guess so.

    I laugh as I eat my apple. This just gets better and better. Teresa and company will file endless lawsuits to shelve this park and delay, delay, delay.

    I say fine. Why not just shelve the park idea all together and put up a lovely strip mall? Because, Lord knows, we need another one!

    But of course Teresa will scream about that one too. What the HELL does she want?!

    SHAME ON YOU TERESA! You are so transparent, it's hilarious.

    She will NOT be getting my vote next time around! It's a shame that I voted for this fraud who will go out of her way to screw everyone over, including the tax payers. How much did those lawsuits cost? Oh never mind that!

    Bwhaha.

    Annon 12:51 pretty much sums up the level of intellectual capacity of the Teresa "no park" Barth! Children breathing in gas fumes? That's why we should shelve the entire project?

    This is the biggest joke I've ever seen! I hope her and the Cardiff MORONS get railroaded....just steamroll them. I've had enough of this bullshit and it's time to stop playing nice.

    Build the damn park already. And if Teresa or the Cardiff NIMBYS don't like it....too damn bad.


    Signed,

    Pissed off common-sense liberal.

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  51. Build it and they will come. Ha! Not in this City.

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  52. I am sure there is a way to sell half and develop it. We could sell the whole thing and pay back the bonds and be done with the whole mess. We have plenty of other property to develop for parks in Encinitas. Get the neighborhood parks built.

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  53. Joe, it is apparent that you do not understand what happened or do not want to.

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  54. 6:40,

    No, I don't think we could sell the whole thing and walk away.

    The bumbling council overpaid for the property so badly that they would be left owing millions on it if they sold it... not to mention that the Coastal Commission and other groups would make it impossible to develop.

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  55. Selling the property would not be easy. The bonds would need to be paid off and a buyer found. The property still has all the problems it had at the beginning -- the adjacent freeway, poor access, and contaminated soil. Additionally there is a depressed market to sell into.

    There is a way out. The council majority is still in the driver's seat, as it always has been. I think people attribute too much power to the NIMBYS. Seriously, how could such a small group have so much power? The council majority would have to think the unthinkable, that is, a compromise. At this time it seems very unlikely.

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  56. Cardiffian,

    Good to see you again. I like when the Anons are turned off so we know who we're talking to.

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