December 5, 2009

Moving Forward in 90 Days

What a mixed bag of reactions in response to the Planning Commission's decision! Whatever your feelings (good, bad or indifferent), the City has a 90-day clock to come up with a plan. We can sit and talk about what happened at the meeting and if justice was served, or we can sit and talk about how to produce the best restoration plan possible. That's the goal, right? So moving forward.....

As I stated earlier, I think that the City should work closely with the California Coastal Commission. Their input and assistance should be solicited early and often.

I also think that the additionally produced biological reports (one by Land Protection Partners and another by Brenda McMillan) should be considered on even footing with the Hitchcock report and the City's peer review. As it stands now, they weren't even included in the Planning Commission's staff report. These additional two reports are excellent resources and should be heavily relied upon throughout the preparation of this restoration plan.

Ya know, when deliberations were transpiring (which was an admittedly cumbersome discussion), Mr. Beck mused that maybe production of another biological report was necessary. He doesn't need one. He has two very good ones. Just use them.

It also doesn't appear as though the "pre-destruction" photos were in the staff report either. These photos are brilliant. They show contours (which the land now lacks). They show vegetation (which the land now lacks). They show continuity with the surrounding environment (which the land now lacks). They're great.

Photo-documentation is perhaps the best tool to use when trying to "put back" something that has been destroyed. We are so fortunate to have photos available. They should be used.

I also think that this should be a collaborative process. There are many stakeholders and they should be recognized. They should be given a seat at the table during discussions. So reach out to them.

I believe that the Planning Commission tried to do the right thing. Commissioner Van Horik said it best, "enough is enough." Yes it is.

They voted unanimously to require that the site be returned to its previous conditions. Let's make it happen....responsibly, swiftly and in light of full information.