Letters to the Editor: Feb. 3, 2011

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Construction at Ocean Avenue and SB Boulevard

I hope the construction will be finished soon.  It’s been a month since they started.

According to the LA times, the 7th Street Bridge, connecting the northbound 405 and Seventh Street in Long Beach will be closed in Feb. for one year.  This is the main northbound route from the south of Orange County into Long Beach. This closure will cause massive traffic jams on Pacific Coast Highway in Seal Beach. Construction on the junction of the 22, 605, and 405 will be finished in the Fall 2014, three years from now. We need all the open roads that we can have.

Thomas A. Potase

Seal Beach

City’s record on parks spending

The current debate over the DWP project and related park certainly brings out the city of Seal Beach record on parks and open space.

Let’s start with the Quimby Act fees generated by Leisure World. The Presley Company paid $138,298 in Quimby Act fees to the city for parks in 1980. In 1986, the city gave $213,475.50 back to residents of Leisure World. In 1980 that money would have built a lot of parks.

The newest housing tract across from the Weapons Station would have had to pay the city more Quimby Act fees for parks. Where did the money go? Is the city preparing to make refunds to the residents rather than build parks again?

We all witnessed the removal of 100-plus year old eucalyptus trees on Bixby’s strip mall. A city employee with absolutely no training or degree in entomology determined a bug infested only half the trees on Seal Beach Boulevard. Even the City Council was appalled.

The latest destruction of our environment is the city vehicles driving over our sand dunes. The city claims these life guards are removing drug paraphernalia, broken glass and looking for dead bodies. No one has ever seen a lifeguard even get out of his truck to look.

The Coastal Commission had written the city twice to stop the practice. An alternate route would be north of the dunes on an existing trail. Of course, this would not provide the Disneyland thrill for these wannabe police. It appears the city is telling us our Police Department is incapable of policing the beach. Meanwhile, the city continues with its no parks, no trees, no sand dunes policy in pursuit of destroying that which makes Seal Beach unique.

Bruce M. Stark

Seal Beach

DWP controversy costs

Citizens of Seal Beach: We need to stand up and be heard when it costs every citizen in Seal Beach for our City Council to sue the owners of  the DWP property for a right-of-way which has never been denied to the public. This will  cost over half a million dollars in lawyer fees if the city loses in court.

What is our city doing about the DWP property on 1st Street other than feeding the lawyers? Suing for eminent domain against the DWP property owners for what?

When the property is developed with 70 percent open space the owners are willing to give the access road for the beach parking lot to the citizens of Seal Beach. Why then is our City Council in such a hurry to spend our money on lawsuits?  What is our City Council going to do when the state takes away the Redevelopement Agency money?

Stan Anderson

Seal Beach

Only lawyers win in DWP controversy

As I read article after article of the ridiculous amount of money being stuffed in the city attorney’s wallet at the expense of the taxpayers for the DWP resolution, it makes one ponder. I am sure we are close to $1 million of taxpayers hard earned money being burned up by hard headed people who cannot come to as simple resolution.

The City Council could have paid a fair market value for the ingress and egress moved on and been money ahead.

But no, our council needs to prove a point. They have tapped into Fort Knox and have endless reams of taxpayer money to waste and the decisions being made are very upsetting to the residents. It should at least be a mediator and stop the wasteful spending?

I had the pleasure of moving to Seal Beach in 1954 and have observed three major blunders unfold in Seal Beach. The first is the sale of Zoeter School property to a developer to raise money due to the city’s budget not being managed properly. The second is not annexing Sunset Beach. The third and most ridiculous is the resolution of the DWP property and the wasteful spending.

Had the Council paid fair market value for the DWP property, there would be funds to build a new salt water pool at McGaugh Elementary School, money left over to fund the Sand Castle contest and street improvements in south Old Town. But no just keep spending… how is the return on the $84,000 spent for the Grant Consultant for a pool that doesn’t exist?

I appreciate everyone’s efforts to keep Seal Beach’s Old Town feeling. They should focus on keeping an Old Town budget and not get caught up in wasteful spending. Quit being hard heads.

I would like to compliment Mr. Shanks on voting down the EV charging stations. The city could of held off for one to two years but no they have to be the leader in spending. Does this give the city the ability to say Seal Beach has charging stations? I guess that is important to some.

Call me a frustrated taxpayer who would like the streets in Old Town south fixed, not painted.

Tom Hetherington

Seal Beach

Resolving DWP issue

Brett Florio makes some reasonable points pertaining to the DWP land in Seal Beach.  However, once again we are being asked to look at this as an us versus them scenario.

Yes, Bay City has offered the access to the River’s End and the bike path to the city, but only if they approve their plans.  Holding these areas hostage in order to get a zoning change is not in the best interest of either party.  It just puts another roadblock in the path of getting this most recent proposal through the system.  When the DWP sold the parcel, these two areas should not even have been up for sale as they were already public use land.  However, the Bay City Partners bought the land as is, and do own them.

The city does recognize that fact, and is working within the system and are playing by the “the same rules that we, the citizens, must abide by,” as so eloquently put by Mr. Florio.  However, both Bay City and the City Council, are still butting heads because of all the past history.

Bay City has actually put four or five options in front of the City Council.  All previous options have completely disregarded the current zoning on the property (which has been in effect long before Bay City bought the parcel).  It has only been the last option that has made any sense in terms of making everyone happy.

I congratulate Bay City on their forward-thinking on this last proposal.  There are still some issues to be resolved, but I think we have a good start on this iteration.  What we all need to do is forget about all of the past issues and focus on trying to resolve the issues that remain.

Once again, to reiterate what I have already proposed in broad strokes …

a)  Give the city the 70 percent open area fully developed as a natural habitat park.

b)  The city approves the change of zoning for houses on the back 30 percent.

This would make the Bay City Partners heroes in the community’s eyes as well as making them tens of millions of dollars in profits.  If both sides can’t, or won’t, make some sacrifices, both sides will continue to lose, potentially forever.

Joel Davidson

Seal Beach

Letters to the Editor: Feb. 3, 2011