Thursday, January 05, 2017

A Trip Back In Time...

In the words of our carpetbagger-in-residence, Jim Righeimer, let me give you a little history...
Over the Christmas holidays, when City Hall was closed and all was well with the world, I contemplated the future and, out of necessity, also contemplated the past.  That contemplation took me back to July 9, 2005, when I first began A Bubbling Cauldron.  I was using a bargain-basement blog host at the time, so couldn't use images, nor were commenting capabilities available... it was just me, writing and  hoping somebody might read what I wrote.
The following is my very first blog entry, bemoaning the possibility of eminent domain being used to implement those now-vaunted Westside Overlays.  Of course, the bottom fell out of the economy a couple years later, so nothing happened.  But, I thought you might like a peek into my alleged mind back then.  For your reading pleasure:

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.

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Blogger mesa verde madman said...

Wow...just wow. You called it!

1/05/2017 06:18:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

A little history:

Once upon a time Costa Mesa was a city where councilmembers and other leaders worked together, regardless of political differences and outside influences, to find ways to create a better way of life for residents and business owners.

Then Mansoor f'd over his friend Paul Bunney and caused Righeimer to be appointed to the Planning Commission.

1/05/2017 08:51:00 AM  

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