Bunyan Applies For Planning Commission & An Omen?
CHRIS BUNYAN APPLIES FOR PLANNING COMMISSION
I received a note last night from former City Council candidate, author and local businessman Christopher Bunyan informing me that he will file an application for the Planning Commission this afternoon.
This is another bit of good news. Bunyan, who ran unsuccessfully for City Council in 2006 and again in 2008, has devoted himself to city issues and recently has been very active in trying to preserve Banning Ranch without development. He cites among his strengths being well versed in CEQA, California Coastal Commission, SoBeca Urban Plan and the Westside Overlay. His presence in the applicant hopper for the open Planning Commission position will provide some variety to the choices available to the City Council when they make their decision(s). Applications for the assumed vacancy on the City Council, Planning Commission and Parks & Recreation Commission will be accepted until close of business on December 17, 2010. The City Council will make their selections at their first meeting of the new year on January 4, 2011.
AN OMEN OF THINGS TO COME IN COSTA MESA?
I don't know if you saw it, but the Los Angeles Times had an article regarding the City of Calabasas on Saturday that may be an omen of things to come here in Costa Mesa. The article was entitled "Calabasas widens city-code crackdown", and deals with the recent enforcement efforts in that city against some elderly residents who owned homes in that area more than a half-century before it was incorporated. You can read the entire article HERE.
OPPRESSION OF ELDERLY RESIDENTS
In one instance the city raided the rural ranch of a 70 year-old man, locked him out and shut off his power and water. In another an 82 year-old resident was given a few days to "redo or tear down" his home, which was built in 1939 under Los Angeles County approval. In yet another instance an 86 year-old woman living on Social Security was ordered to disconnect her working septic tank and connect to a sewer line. Her home was built in 1937. Read the article yourself and decide your position on these heavy-handed tactics.
IS THIS THE FUTURE OF COSTA MESA?
I write about it because members of the current Costa Mesa Planning Commission, including about-to-be-anointed City Councilman Jim Righeimer, have demonstrated similar tendencies when dealing with older homes in our city. In one recent case, for example, they required an Eastside homeowner who wanted to renovate the home his family had owned for a half-century to demolish an outbuilding that was causing no harm to anyone. All the contiguous neighbors spoke in favor of the family before multiple hearings in front of the Planning Commission and City Council. Since it's possible that another member of the current Planning Commission will be elevated to the City Council early in January it is likely that the attitude displayed on the commission will be brought forward to the council.
A "POOR MAN'S IRVINE"?
There are more than a few people in this city very nervous about what they think they see coming with a Righeimer-dominated city council. They've already seen draconian rules imposed on cars being parked legally on driveways and are now worried that Righeimer and his minions will begin a concerted effort to turn Costa Mesa into a de facto Irvine, using Google Earth "flyovers" to discover illegal structures and force remediation by the owners.