Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Group Launches Initiative To Protect Fairview Park

A group of activists has launched an initiative designed to protect Fairview Park from any kind of future development efforts.
On Friday, September 18, 2015, representatives of the group Fairview Park Preservation Alliance presented an initiative to the Brenda Green, Costa Mesa City Clerk, for processing.  Now that document will be vetted by the City Attorney and, as was the case with the so-called Smart Growth initiative, he will produce a summary document and a title by which this new initiative will be known.

Once that process is complete - it must be returned to the proponents by October 2nd - they will have 180 days in which to gather signatures of registered Costa Mesa voters - at least 5,500, but will probably need 8,000 - 9,000 to be sure.  Once those signatures are presented to the City Clerk, she and her staff will accept them, count them, then present them to the Orange County Registrar of Voters.  His staff will then have 30 days in which to verify every single one of the signatures for validity.  Assuming all that goes well, the initiative will qualify for the November, 2016 ballot.

Although I've seen the text submitted to the City Clerk, I'm not going to publish it yet, just in case there are changes.  However, from that text, the purpose for this initiative is:
  • Keep Fairview Park as a natural and open space as documented in the Fairview Park Master Plan as defined in November, 2008.
  • Give the citizens of Costa Mesa a voice in determining whether the development of a project beyond the As Built condition of Fairview Park shall be allowed or not.  In this case "As Built" means the amenities and alterations that have been built in Fairview Park as of the effective date of the ordinance.
  • Ensure that the Costa Mesa officials provide timely, accurate and unbiased review of any such proposed development or change to Fairview Park.
  • Ensure that the Citizens of Costa Mesa receive all necessary and accurate environmental and relevant information needed to cast an informed vote on any such proposed development or change. 
It will come as no surprise that opposition to this initiative is already mounting, even though - in theory - nobody has yet seen it.  That's kind of how it works, isn't it?

Although I've not spoken with any of the proponents of this initiative about WHY they felt it was necessary, the actions over the past couple of years make it pretty easy to figure out.

For example, the very obvious attempt to ramrod playing fields into at least part of Fairview Park using the stacked Fairview Park Citizen's Advisory Committee as a tool demonstrated to many observers that some currently in power wish to plow under large parts of Fairview Park and install any manner of recreational amenities.  During those meetings at least 90% of the folks who attended and spoke to the committee preferred Fairview Park to remain in it's current state.  Dr. Richard Mehren, (shown here with vice chair Steve Smith) the man who is largely responsible for The City purchasing Fairview Park originally and the chairman of the FPCAC until he abruptly resigned in protest at a meeting near the end of their deliberations, is a participant in the group sponsoring this initiative.
The destruction of the vernal pools by replacing a user-defined trail by overlaying a decomposed granite road is another perfect example of this kind of ill-regard protected habitat is held in the eyes of some in power.  That intentional, misguided effort has resulted in nearly $20,000 in remediation and the ill-will of the United States Fish and Wildlife Department.  That debacle is not yet over - we're still waiting for the other shoe to drop - which could mean the removal of The City's stewardship of Fairview Park and sanctions imposed on individuals involved.
I'll keep you informed on this issue as it moves along.  As is the case with the Smart Growth initiative, I suggest each of you read it and try to understand it BEFORE signing the petitions that will be making their way around town.  You can find the Facebook page for the sponsoring group HERE.  The contact person for this group is Larry Courter who can be reached at lcourter@fairviewparkadvocates.com.  Their mission statement reads as follows:

"Our Fairview Park Preservation Alliance mission is to sustain Fairview Park as an open space, undeveloped, natural park, for public enjoyment in perpetuity. We strive to preserve, enhance, and protect Fairview Park for present and future generations."

For more information read Brad Zint's story in the Daily Pilot, published an hour ago, HERE.

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Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

I read an opposition comment on the DP website, and sure enough, they're back with the same old strategy. If we don't develop Fairview Park, kids will play on the freeway. (BTW, Kevin has problems with grammar and spelling if you read his posts frequently.)
The same this with the box houses- would you rather have this or a vacant lot full of weeds. (Jamie Jo) Would you rather have high density housing or a massage parlor? (Maybe Rob, I don't remember.)
How about some alternatives? There's got to be more than 2 choices for any problem.
If we're really lucky, Steve's house will be finished before the next election, he'll sell it and move to another city.

9/22/2015 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger Wendy Leece said...

Many have tried to work with the city leaders to preserve Fairview Park. This initiative will give us a voice. Many Costa Mesans collaborated for many hours on just the right principles and words. I'm proud to be a member of Fairview Park Preservation Alliance. It's the right thing, at the right time, for our City.

9/22/2015 05:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

Good deal!
Riggy, Caveman Steve, and their masters in Newport will all go on to greener pastures once they admit that 47 votes doesn't get you complete power and the ability to plunder.

9/22/2015 05:48:00 PM  

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