HMB’s lawyers “educating” environmental groups about AB1991

Posted by on Wed, April 16, 2008

There’s a nice use of quotes in Julia Scott’s lead for today’s story about AB1991 in the County Times.

Lawyers for the city unleashed a public relations campaign Tuesday aimed at "educating" environmental groups about the merits of the Beachwood settlement legislation, attempting to dispel their "misconceptions" about how the bill might set legal precedent for future developments in California.

The story also quoted Coastal Commission Executive Direct Peter Douglas as offering some creative suggestions for compromise.  However, it’s not clear that this is possible any longer, now that the city has give up their right to appeal and guaranteed Chop Keenan $18 million if he doesn’t get everything they promised.


No one from the Coastal Commission was available for comment Tuesday afternoon. On Monday, however, Coastal Commission Executive Director Peter Douglas said his staff hoped that some compromise could be achieved if the parties were willing to rewrite the bill without setting aside the possibility of any environmental review.

The Coastal Commission approved 19 homes on the Beachwood property in 2001, whittling the original project down considerably because of the presence of coastal wetlands.

"It may be possible that a higher number of homes could be approved there," Douglas said, suggesting a hypothetical situation where the developer could offer to create a series of wetlands elsewhere in Half Moon Bay to account for the ones he would fill in during construction. "That’s a matter of compromise. But that’s not what they’re asking for. They’re asking for a complete exemption."


Beachwood history shows that “compromise” is not part of Chop Keenan’s vocabulary.  He appears to completely lack social conscience.  One might even say that he failed to learn the basic skill of sharing that most of us learn in Kindergarten. 
Keenan’s supporters like to label anyone who is opposed to this calamitous settlement as a “no-growther”. I’m not anti-development, only against development that endangers the environment on which we all depend, and that gives nothing back to the community but greater traffic congestion and increased cost of services that are in excess of property tax revenues.
We need to contrast Keenan’s development with the recently approved Carnoustie project which gave the city generous traffic mitigation fees, lot retirement, and affordable housing.

From the referenced article:

“It’s very easy for the Coastal Commission to come out against this settlement without telling us how we pay for the judgment if we lose it,” Davis added. “We haven’t seen anyone from the Coastal Commission willing to write that check.”

Why should the Coastal Commission pay, Mr. Davis? The City of HMB is responsible for this mess, not the Coastal Commission.

I loved that quote. The only reason I didn’t put it up was that I felt I’d already quoted enough from the original article.

If I remember correctly, the Coastal Commission didn’t create wetlands at Beachwood.

And, the city no longer contests the judge’s finding that they did.