Friday, January 09, 2015

An Echo That Gets Louder Each Day

The very first entry I posted when I began this blog on July 9, 2005 - hard to believe that the 10th anniversary is approaching - dealt with the specter of eminent domain on the Westside of Costa Mesa.  This entry was on an old blog host - which I've described as a bargain basement blog host - without the ability to post comments.  I changed hosts to the current Blogger format 18 months later.  If you want to read any or all of those old entries, there's a link over on the right of this page that says "A Bubbling Cauldron (7/05 - 10/06)".  Just click on the title or on that link, then scroll down to the bottom of the page and navigate through the various entries.  Or, go over to the "Archive Index" on the left side of the page, click on it, then look for something of interest.  It's cumbersome, which is one reason I changed hosts.

Anyhow, I thought you might find what I wrote back then to be of interest, so I've copied and pasted that entire first entry below, just as it appeared then.  It was published just before 3 p.m. that afternoon.  Enjoy.


Saturday, July 9, 2005
The potential redevelopment of Westside Costa Mesa got a whole lot more interesting recently. On June 23, 2005 the United States Supreme Court ruled in a Connecticut case that eminent domain can be used to force property owners off their land so another entity can replace it to generate more tax revenue. However, the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution states, in part, "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation". In this case that term, "just compensation", is just another way of saying, "way below market value".

If I were a business property owner on the Westside of Costa Mesa I would be shaking in my boots about now. It was bad enough when the residential overlay was approved for the entire area that will permit a willing industrial property owner to sell to a developer and facilitate the integration of residential units in the present industrial area. This recent ruling makes it a whole new ball game. Now eager developers can sweet talk our City Council into using the sledgehammer of eminent domain to oust even the most reluctant of property owners. Do I hear the jingle of campaign finance coins in the air?

You're probably saying to yourself, "Nah, our council members would never do that." Well, don't be too sure. It takes lots of money to successfully run for public office. Eric Bever, for example, managed to round up over $50,000 for his war chest in his slim victory last November. He and his pal, Mayor Allan Mansoor, seem likely to run again - Mansoor in 2006 and Bever in 2008 - so developers with jingling pockets will probably start showing up on their doorsteps pretty soon with plans for the "mansionization" of the Westside.

Ambitious Mayor Pro Tem Gary Monahan, who theoretically is termed out of a council seat after his current tour, might be looking forward to higher office - perhaps County Supervisor. I imagine he will have his ear cocked for the sound of jingling coins, too.

Lest you think the ladies on the dais will be left out, I suspect Katrina Foley and Linda Dixon can expect the developers to come calling, too.

If you're thinking to yourself that this won't affect you, think again. If you own a one of those little, old homes on the Westside in an area that falls under the shroud of the residential overlay, you might be getting a queasy stomach right about now. If you had a cocky smirk on your face a couple months ago when the Westside Redevelopment Oversight Committee's recommendations were usurped by Bever's sleight of hand that put the residential overlay over virtually the entire Westside because you thought it would rid you of obnoxious industrial neighbors, think about this: As I understand this ruling, it would be entirely possible for a residential property owner living in a redevelopment zone to be forced to sell his home for "just compensation" so a new, larger one could be built that would generate more property tax. If your little bungalow just happens to sit on a sliver of land that might be a key acquisition for a larger development, we could soon be seeing your taillights as you head out of town, because you sure won't be able to afford another place in Costa Mesa with the proceeds of your "just compensation".

Are you nervous yet? You should be - especially in this city, where the ruling troika on the City Council has already demonstrated a smug willingness to play fast and loose with the rules.

I, for one, expect to have more than a few sleepless nights about this issue.
AND, SO....
In case you're wondering, here's what the folks visiting Trader Joe's, between Superior and Pomona Streets along 17th Street, see as they head for the parking lot entrance.

Labels: , , , , ,


Anonymous Mike McNiff said...

Eerily prescient...then two developers were elected/appointed, and things really blew up.

1/10/2015 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

The agenda was clear back then and it continues today:

It's a land and money grab.

Tell them: SLMG.
Stop the Land and Money Grab.

1/10/2015 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Who will buy those Sing-Sing boxes?
Don't they start at $800,000. ?

1/10/2015 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger Chuck Cassity said...


Congrats on making it ten years. I was inspired to start my own little blog because of your having paved the way. Folks might not always appreciate,or approve of what you write, but I'm sure all would agree that your writing it serves as a catalyst for thought and discussion. Thanks...


1/10/2015 12:42:00 PM  
Anonymous It has to be said...

Well, how else will OC get back our #1 rank as the most rediculously overpriced market?

These crowded mini home complexes are dated. Even the LA Da Vinci developer has realized the potential of disaster after their fire, and are considering a parking lot instead.

1/10/2015 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Thanks. My goal was to provoke more people to get involved. I think we have done that. :-). We both manage to provoke folks with our contributions to the enlightenment of the populace.

1/10/2015 04:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

I wonder what Popp, Ramos, and the other lemmings were promised if they support Stevie's dream to have a sports complex in Fairview Park.

1/11/2015 12:48:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home