Sunday, August 03, 2008

Jeff Overley on Banning Ranch in OC Register


OVERLEY ON BANNING RANCH
Jeff Overley, an
Orange County Register beat reporter for the Newport-Mesa, had a good article on Banning Ranch in that newspaper today. You can read it HERE. He did a good job of covering the positions of the opposing sides regarding the use of that 412 acre oil field and open space.
DROPPED THE BALL
Overley, usually a thorough and accurate reporter, did drop the ball on this one, though. Except for a solitary mention of the location of the meeting hosted by activists who oppose development of Banning Ranch, no other mention was made of Costa Mesa or it's stake in this issue.
MOST OFFICIALS AWOL
No mention was made of the fact that half the residents at this "Costa Mesa" kick-off were from Newport Beach. No mention was made of the fact that, with the exception of Newport Beach City Councilman Keith Curry (who's running for re-election this year), no other city official or staffer from either Costa Mesa or Newport Beach was present at the meeting.

OPPONENTS DEFINED

Yes, the fight for the future of Banning Ranch is being waged by environmentalists who want to preserve it and the developers who want to put 1375 homes and retail operations on the site. However, the cities of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa are also adversaries on this issue.

NEWPORT BENEFITS, COSTA MESA PAYS THE BILL

Presently, the Banning Ranch is an unincorporated part of Orange County. But, the city of Newport Beach has tossed a one-foot wide noose around the land, which makes it all fall under it's sphere of influence. Costa Mesa, on the other hand, would certainly be the recipient of many of the negative elements of development - specifically, traffic on 19th Street, 17th Street and, possibly, 16th Street. Overley made no mention of this point in his article, which really does a disservice to the residents of Costa Mesa. He did mention an additional 14,000 daily auto trips that would be generated by the development, but doesn't mention that Costa Mesa would be expected to carry the bulk of that burden.

CANDIDATE POSITIONS ON BANNING RANCH?
It's clear that the fall elections in both Costa Mesa and Newport Beach will include the future of Banning Ranch as a campaign issue. Residents of both cities would do well to measure the views of candidates in their cities on this issue as the season moves on toward November.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Ralph G. said...

Hands down one of the worst reporters the OCR has ever hired.

8/11/2008 11:44:00 AM  

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